Notes & lyrics for Song Sessions Vol. 1

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Jonathan Leibovic

Lead to Roam

I didn't want to write a song about coming to college and feeling isolated, but somehow — like any good song, in my experience — it wrote itself anyway.

The heightened and unrealistic expectations; the variations in tactics without improvement in strategy; the re-contextualization of structures and stereotypes and the recognition of patterns in personal and global history; the application of new and exciting words for familiar concepts, whose former labels seem inadequate or obsolete by comparison, but whose essential meaning remains nameless; the temptation of nihilism, which makes optimism seem both childish and holy; the overwhelming and inescapable gap between any two people, no matter how close.

I tried to capture this atmosphere in the lyrics as well as in the music: the floating, timeless introduction; the wandering progression and accumulation of sound; the arrival in time, but with an arresting four-on-three polyrhythm; the drifting in and out of key; the protracted ìoutroî section without resolution. They say all roads lead to Rome, but I was there in July, and since September I haven't gotten any closer.


Lead to Roam — Jonathan Leibovic

Floating faces fading every chance I get.
Social graces shielding everyone I met.
Here it's colder. I get older too, I guess.
New apartment, new excuse to make a mess.
Same old garments, slightly different way to dress.
Every road I take only leads me to roam,
and I wonder, when will it start to feel like

Cosmic comment. Gilded frames for tired art.
Mental vomit. Common interests, private parts.
Once a comet, now a chamber in someone else's heart.
And I wonder:
when the revolution will become routine?
and if the institution is stealing my steam?
and if the confusion eventually means
more than just elegant elocution and survival machines?
am i already choosing the suicide scream
as the only solution to these thunderous themes?
the violent illusion the desperate dream
the constant delusion (whatever it seems)
The proud puppet plays on the shadowy screen.
With this hemlock infusion, I'll sleep so serene.
But it's already useless and I just turned nineteen
and everything is as it's always been:

The bursting grey space.

The endless ravine.