Behind The Tracks: GLDN - Hole (Single) (2023)

“Hole” was a song that I wrote in 2020. For most of the year, I was living in a house in the middle of nowhere, so I had a lot of time to sit with my thoughts. The idea first came about when I realized how I often felt alone. I don’t even mean that in the sense of being physically alone; much of the time, I feel alone no matter where I am, what I’m doing, or who I’m with. I really wanted to portray the hopelessness that comes along with that. There is a disconnect between yourself and the ones around you, so the only person you really have to talk to is yourself. Generally, that can lead to quite a bit of self-doubt and, in the most extreme cases, self-hatred.

The first thing I wrote on the song was the bassline, which is very simple. I wanted something that almost conveyed the imagery of trudging along through some sort of thick substance that’s keeping you from moving forward in any substantial type of way. Every step feels so heavy. Every movement feels like it takes all the energy you have left. A big visual reference for me was the opening of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia.

Next came the percussion, which I also wanted to keep very simple; they were more of a compliment to the bassline than anything else. But again I wanted to somehow convey the feeling of being held down, so I ended up adding some samples of marching footsteps and chains, which I layered over the kick and snare.

I knew I wanted the chorus to feel explosive, but I also didn’t want to stray too far from the idea of feeling trapped. So when the chorus starts, there is this big explosion of guitars for a measure before going right back into the trudging rhythm of the verses. Almost as if you are beginning to break free of this oppressive force but pulled right back down.

By the final chorus, you may notice that the lyric “here in this hole” changes to “here in my hole”, which represents finally taking ownership of the situation that you’re in. Once you’ve been in this kind of mindset for long enough, it becomes part of who you are. So you finally own it as a part of yourself rather than considering a circumstance you’re being subjected to. This leads directly into the piano outro, which feels melancholy but beautiful at the same time for a reason. Because now that you’ve accepted your place in this darkness, you can see the beauty in it. You know that you won’t ever really escape it, so you’ve embraced it.

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