Taro by Alt-J
“Do not spray into eyes – I have sprayed you into my eyes.”
The first time I heard this utterly spellbinding lyric that brings, what for many, was the album of 2012 to a close, I was wholly mesmerised. This beautifully isolated lyric gives you a few moments of intimacy between you and Joe Newman, and it’s an example of true self expression in art. To me, it’s clear he has one person in mind that he’s speaking to but in this song he makes it your own. Who have you sprayed into your eyes?
As with many fantastic lyrics, it can mean something to you. Personally, I felt it was about falling in love. Maybe you know you shouldn’t (the imagery of spraying an irritating chemical into your eyes, and the pain subsequently caused) fall in love with him, but you already have.
However; the intended meaning of the whole song is far beyond me, I think. Gerda Taro was the name of a war photographer. She died when she was working when a tank crashed into her car. In the first verse, they mention Capa too. Capa was Gerda’s love and colleague. Capa also died, when working, as he stepped on a landmine. It’s a truly fascinating story, so I reccomend reading about it in more detail (I’m sure I’ve made it far more mundane but it’s clearly an interesting story if the band wanted to write about it!).
Also – how wicked is it when they launch into that Asian inspired, chorus instrumental? I love it!
For AMBY’s interview with Alt-J, click here.
Cultured Lad aka @aculturedlad