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Cleverly Titled: A Deep Dive Into The Lyrics of "Car Crash Hearts"

A quick foreword:

I feel like it’s important for me to say, before I dive right in to bearing what is essentially my soul to the internet, that I’ve never really believed in telling friends/family/listeners what a song is about. Everyone experiences lyrics at different times in their life and I don’t want to rob someone of a truly unique interpretation of what I’m saying. I think partly because sometimes I don’t even know what I’m saying until I take a step back and look at what’s happened. The creative process is like that for me. All consuming. It is like a fever dream that you wake up from and suddenly there’s art where before there was not. I dunno. It’s all a little pompous (and slightly egotistical), but that’s what art is. All that to say, this record is different and because of its difference, I feel like it can help do the songs more justice to give some context to each. That and, I suppose, I have had a LOT of people ask me about song meanings, lyrics, etc… So ego be damned. Let’s dive in. 

Car Crash Hearts:

Car Crash Hearts was always going to be the opener. When I was writing the music I knew it. When I was writing the chorus I knew it. Shit, before I even wrote the thing I was thinking “This record needs a true opener.” So here it is. 

“We were car crash hearts in the middle of the night on the road to LA”

A lot (and I mean like 90% of this song) is a tribute to touring with my bands (both current and previous.) But, I hid a lot of tributes to my musical influences within a good portion of the songs on the record. This line is one of those. Car crash hearts is a shout out to the Fall Out Boy song “Thriller”. (long live the car crash hearts). It’s a cool line, so I used it. It also captures a lot of the recklessness of being on the road at 18-22 years old. Sleeping in vans, on couches, and occasionally a Dodge stratus. Drinking Four Loko’s on the beach in Oregon under the light of the stars and a Duraflame log. Taking shots in a circle in a dorm and escaping out the 5th floor window when we were about to get caught. Someone trying to sell us bullets after a particularly strange show (thanks Ashland.) Touring is a dream, but also a nightmare, but also… a dream. 

“Don’t take the money, Don’t fade away, Don’t make me wonder, Don’t make me beg, Fill my lungs with the things I want to say.”

This first chorus is kind of depressing and redeeming at the same time for me. A year and a half ago I released songs that I was pretty confident would be my last. I just thought I lost the gift. I always wondered when the magic would run out and it felt like… when you notice something is not quite as tall or shiny or grand as you remember it being as a kid. These were the thoughts running through my head as I thought about life without songwriting. Life without a companion I had since I was 14. I basically have known songwriting longer than most of my closest friends. This record is littered with moments of brutal honesty… this is one of them. 

“We chased the sunset across the borders of different states”

Remember those shout-outs I was talking about before? This was one to my old band (Take Me Instead) and best friends. So Far, So Good. If you know, you know. 

“Horizon Lines, the great divide, and the blindest faith”

This shout out is really deep. Probably only two people in the world know this one (and one of them recently passed away). Look To The Horizon was the name of a record that never really came to fruition. I was also probably 17 when I was writing it with TMI. Time man… makes you realize that album title was just so bad… jeez

“Late night talks in parking lots, shine brightly through the grey”

There’s another band that I play guitar in called Jim’s Bait Shop. We play a lot of covers, but the originals are really where that band shines. One night after a show, it was probably 1 am and we were sharing cigarettes and stories in the parking lot of the venue. It was one of those moments where you become instantly self-aware and think “I may never forget this exact moment in time and if I do, it will be a tragedy.” I remember feeling so lost in my own musical journey and in that moment feeling… less lost? Whatever that emotion is, I needed it. Shine brightly through the grey. 

One last note: There was a hidden line that I never recorded, but always wished I had. I’m not sure why I decided against it at the time. Maybe it just didn’t fit the production well enough. Maybe it was too open for my liking. Regardless of the reasoning, here it is:

“If we all feel lost, is it normal not to find comfort in the pain?”

If you made it this far… you are probably avoiding something. Like work. Either way, I am endlessly grateful for taking some of your time. Interpret the rest as you may:

“We were car crash hearts in the middle of the night on the road to LA.

Forget me nots and vodka shots, it was all a haze.

You’re the nicotine daydream that flows through my veins.

It felt like only you could save me. I had everything.

Don’t chase the money, don’t fade away, don’t make me wonder, don’t make me beg.

Fill my lungs with the things I want to say…

We chased the sunset across the borders of different states.

Horizon lines, the great divide, and the blindest faith.

Don’t chase the money, don’t fade away, don’t make me wonder, don’t make me beg.

Fill my lungs with the things I want to say…

Don’t chase the money, don’t fade away, don’t make me wonder, don’t make me beg.

Late night talks in parking lots, shine brightly through the grey

If we all feel lost is it normal not to find comfort in the pain?”

Isaiah Dominguez