I’ve never written a song the way I struggled through writing Trash My Heart… and I hope to God I never write one this way again. The trouble was- I came up with the title first- Trash My Heart- and I LOVED it. I loved the way it looked. I love the way it felt. I knew that was the title of the song. It provoked me enough for me to instantly consider it as an album title as well.
All of a sudden I had not just an entire song, but an entire recording project hinging on a title of a song I’d not written a word of yet. The stress I felt to write a song worthy of being the foundation of a record was huge. I must have written 15 versions of this song. Most were terrible; some were emo some, were R&B, one even sounded like a circus. The pressure was mounting and I didn’t end up with a final version of the song until the day I had scheduled a rehearsal with the girls. They had been waiting to hear this song I had told them about for months and I would have been mortified to show up to rehearsal and not have the song finished.
Early in the day I had all of the lyrics finished, but the music was ghastly… it was a really emo song in ¾. I was starting to panic when, out of desperation, I took out everything complicated from the guitar line and switched it to a swinging 4/4 time. It was like flipping on a light switch and everything suddenly worked. The song was adorable and memorable and right. The last thing I had to figure out was how to fit together the last line of the verses- but luckily that weight was taken off of my shoulders and Charity and Rebecca came up with that lovely descending melody “I haven’t heard from you in days…” and that was the final twinkling magic the song needed.
Recording this song was a much more pleasant experience that writing it. The romantically sweeping string parts came quickly to my mind, the fluttering clarinet was instinctual, and Jordan’s electric guitar work fit cozily into the arrangement instantly. Figuring out the ending was a bit tricky- I really wanted it to rile up into a temper tantrum. Jordan really shined here orchestrating and arranging the last minute of the song to sound like an explosion in slow motion- shrapnel of themes and sounds floating away.
The story Trash My Heart tells is about the sad festering ache of being in love with someone who doesn’t love you, they never will, and you just can’t get over them because unfortunately – they aren’t jerks. That guy or gal is a lovely person who it was natural to fall in love with. They keep dragging you behind them because every time you almost work up the strength to walk away they do something sweet or fun that makes you fall for them all over again. It’s the worst; a wound that lingers and doesn’t heal.
“Don’t you know how cruel it is to be so kind?” – John Davey, a great songwriter and pal-o-mine, borrowed from Shakespeare.