Song of the Week 31: Fresh Feeling – Eels

freshfeelingeels

Mark Oliver Everett, or E, is the founder and singer-songwriter of the band, Eels. In 1992, he released an album A Man Called E under the name E, then Broken Toy Shop the following year. In 1993 he also began his long standing collaboration with drummer Jonathan “Butch” Norton. The band Eels were officially founded when the two met Tommy Walter. They chose Eels, so the records would be close to E´s solo records on record shelves, forgetting that Eagles and Earth, Wind & Fire came in between. Beautiful Freak was their first album, which was moderately successful.

The next album, the dark Electro-Shock Blues, came at a difficult time in Mark  Everett´s personal life. His sister committed suicide, and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. The album is inspired by these events, and focuses on his family, as well as suicide, death and cancer. The tragedy of his father´s death in 1982 returned again to mind as he struggled with the impending death of his mother, and the song Baby Genius was written about his father.

hugheverettIII

Everett´s father, Hugh Everett III, is a famous American physicist who first proposed the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, although at the time he was not recognised, and many of the top minds of quantum physics did not accept it. His theory has been described as “one of the most important discoveries of all-time in Science”, for some as earth-shattering as Einstein´s Relativity Theory and Newton´s Theory of Gravity, in fact some of the applications answered Einstein´s early criticism of quantum theory. However the rejection of his theory led Hugh to abandon academia.

“My father never, ever said anything to me about his theories. I was in the same house with him for at least 18 years but he was a total stranger to me. He was in his own parallel universe. He was a physical presence, like the furniture, sitting there jotting down crazy notations at the dining room table night after night. I think he was deeply disappointed that he knew he was a genius but the rest of the world didn’t know it.”

The normally private Mark opened up his life to appear in a fascinating BBC programme Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives where he goes on a journey to find out about his father and his groundbreaking theory. A lot of Eels fans probably aren´t aware of this. Here´s the first part of the video. It´s all on youtube. It´s got a great soundtrack (of Eels music)!

The next album Daisies of the Galaxy was the day to Electro-Shock Blues´ night. Everett said “if Electro-Shock Blues was the phone call in the middle of the night that the world doesn’t want to answer, then Daisies of the Galaxy is the hotel wake-up call that says your lovely breakfast is ready”. The strings sample for Fresh Feeling came from a song off that record called Selective Memory. You can click on the link to have a listen to the original string part. Also of note is that the piano Everett used on that track was the same piano that Neil Young used on After The Goldrush.

eels-souljacker

So, Fresh Feeling is a track off the next album, Souljacker, and it´s a pretty, upbeat song which isn´t typical for Everett. Even his most upbeat album Daisies of the Galaxy is still kind of down.

The 2001 album, Souljacker, has a heavier more rocky feel than its predecessor. John Parish, previously of PJ Harvey´s band co-wrote most of the songs and played guitar on the album.

The track was featured in the episode My Hero in the first series of Scrubs. Fresh Feeling was co-written by Koool G Murder who plays bass guitar, guitar, clavinet and synthesizer on this record. I´m pretty sure that´s his stage name.

For me, Everett is one of the best songwriters around these days. His songs almost always have a  profound message, the lyrics are well thought out, and there are some great melodies in there. None more so than this song. I don´t need to explain the meaning behind it, because I think it´s quite clear. We all know that “fresh feeling” he´s talking about. So, short and sweet, this week. Just enjoy the track…

Lyrics:

You don’t have a clue
What it is like to be next to you
I’m here to tell you
That it is good
That it is true
Birds singing a song
Old paint is peeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling
Words can’t be that strong
My heart is reeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling
..
Try
Try to forget what’s in the past
Tomorrow is here
Love,
Orange sky above lighting your way
There’s nothing to fear
Birds singing a song
Old paint is peeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling
Words can’t be that strong
My heart is reeling
This is that fresh
That fresh feeling
Some people are good
Babe in the ‘hood
So pure and so free
I’d make a safe bet
You’re gonna get whatever you need

11 thoughts on “Song of the Week 31: Fresh Feeling – Eels

  1. I’m going to pretend that Mark wrote those words just for me and as my eyes opened this morning he was serenading me at the foot of my bed…… no that would be kinda creepy…..
    Anyway… I love the idea even if the reality would include a call to 911, a few police sirens and a straight jacket…. for HIM not me :p

    You have wonderful taste in music, Thank you

  2. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However
    I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    1. Thanks Augustina, I haven’t heard of anyone else having the same issue. I just changed to songoftheweekblog.com a couple of weeks ago, but not sure if that’s affecting subscription. It shouldn’t. Maybe try a few times, and I’ll let you know if you pop up on my followers list.

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