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Song Stories

“Discoverer”

R.E.M. | 2011

“It’s a moment-of-discovery song,” said Michael Stipe, “about discovering oneself and suddenly feeling this huge sense of possibility. New York can do that to you,” he said. “You come here to change the world, but you end up changing yourself.” "Discover" was the lead single and opening cut on Collapse Into Now, and at the time of release the public had no idea the band’s 15th studio album would be its swan song, though like their subsequent retirement, the band planned it to be just that. After 30 years together spent shaping alternative rock, R.E.M. mutually agreed it was time to discover itself apart after this last musical moment.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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