Have I told you that Flow is my favorite song off of the FORWARD album? It’s a tough call for me because I love all those songs in different ways, but I always seem to come back to Flow. Partly because I love the weird, synthy-spacey bass, and partly because of the story behind the song. This song is completely what it says it is, and here’s why.
I originally wrote it as inspired (or some could say knocked it off) from “American Woman” by The Guess Who. I am a huuuuge Guess Who fan from my early nineties college days, when I discovered them at The Green Elephant’s jukebox in Dallas. (My favorite song by them is right here, and if you knew me then, you knew that….but I digress.)
I thought this should be a song about female friendships, and how we bring out the best in each other. I was calling it “Sparkle.” (I know. Don’t judge. Songs have to start somewhere.) As we sat down to initially make the bass part, it began to take on a life of its own. It became like floating into space, and I could’ve listened to it forever, it was so beautiful. We turned it up super loud in the studio and all laid back and spaced out to it. As we layered parts on top of it and the song grew, I increasingly couldn’t make sense of the lyrics I had written. I was forcing the song into the direction I wanted it to go, rather than the natural, beautiful progression it was making on its own and under the deft hand of producer David Butler.
I kept pushing it off. I recorded everything else for the album, and three extra songs, even, and there it was, Sparkle, just sitting there, taunting me. It was sparkling, but not in the way I’d imagined. Isn’t that just how it goes sometimes when we create? Things are beautiful in ways we never dreamed.
David sat me down to talk about finishing the song and I fell apart. I was tired after weeks of recording and writing and getting up so early and I felt utterly stuck. I told him that what I had written wasn’t worthy of the magic now contained in that three-minute-plus-track. And he gently asked me, Well, what does it make you think of? And I replied, Space. Floating. And he said, Then write that.
So I did. I scrapped everything and started over. And it was by far the simplest and easiest song I have ever written. Yes, you could say it flowed. That song is what it puts out there, to its core.
Enjoy. And here’s to not fighting the flow.
Tears on rain
Ashes on dust
Gone as we came
Feel the flow
Just let go
Feel the flow
Just let go
So put it out there
Give your heart
And say a prayer