Ecstasy: Behind the Lyrics
Ecstasy was a challenge to myself. I know that I will not have the opportunity to experience all of life’s situations, emotions, and relationships, and because of that, I only have so much content to draw from. In an attempt to combat this, I decided to challenge myself to write from the perspective of characters from movies and television shows. I started with another song (that I hope you’ll hear one day), but that song is about a romance, which is definitely easier to write about. So to take the challenge further, I wanted to write about a feeling or situation that I have never experienced and might not relate to.
This brings us to season 2 episode 4 of HBO’s Euphoria. I wasn’t necessarily planning on the concept of this challenge to be addiction, especially because I really have no experience with it, but there was one scene in this episode that really inspired me. It’s the scene where Rue, Jules, and Elliot had stolen from a convenience store and were driving away. Jules noticed that Rue was intoxicated in the backseat and the two had an argument about it, and the scene ended in a zoom out shot of Rue from the back windshield of the car. It was such a cathartic scene and I was immediately inspired to write the song.
The best way for me to start this process was to start with writing about what I do understand, and that’s the experience of taking a hit - of having good highs and bad highs. So I structured the song around a single hit. The first verse reflects the good ~euphoric~ feelings of a substance with lyrics describing the sweet relief of feeling apathetic towards things that may have previously caused anguish. The second verse delves into the negative feelings of a bad high - or what a good high can sometimes become - cold skin, the room spinning, pulse slowing, and feeling alone. The bridge speaks more directly to the relationship where the character (based on Rue) is basically saying that their lover can’t change them, and that this feeling of “flying high” is almost more important to their life than the relationship in that moment. The song builds in intensity through the verses and bridge but by the end, it fades back into the softer energy in which it began, signifying a new hit, starting the experience over again.
When we produced this song, I really wanted it to feel psychedelic. I often like to describe music in color so I like to imagine the beginning as like a blue/purple galaxy. Then, it transitions to a purple/green haze after the first chorus with the inclusion of the electric guitar. I want this song to make you feel like you’re tripping a little bit. And if you do engage in the use of recreational substances, I hope that you listen to this song high because I really think it can enhance the experience. If you’re a sober girlie, close your eyes and try to picture the colors and enjoy that way.
Regardless of how you choose to listen, addiction is incredibly serious and not something I want to make light of or claim to be educated on. If you or someone you know needs support, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) national addiction hotline, 1-800-662-4357.
Thank you for listening and joining me on this journey. Enjoy responsibly :)