Song Stories

“A Drowning”

How To Destroy Angels | 2010

Featuring Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandiq and his longtime musical collaborator Atticus Ross, How to Destroy Angels directly lifted its name from Coil's 1984 debut single. About being in a band with his wife, Reznor told Rolling Stone: "I'm very aware of the multitude of ways [it] can go wrong. We're best friends and are interested in the same things, so it's natural to make music together. Taking my personality out of the spotlight and working in a more supporting role is what's exciting to me now." On this 7-minute post-industrial track, Maandiq sings about feeling as though she's drowning in emotion.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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