.

Song Stories

“L.E.S. Artistes”

Santigold | 2008

Santi White, a.k.a. Santigold, went from writing songs for others to doing her own thing, but in order to pursue her career, she had to relocate from Philadelphia to Manhattan’s trendy Lower East Side. “The song is about me moving back to New York, feeling really vulnerable, wanting to be an artist soaking up all stimulation creatively but at the same time staying introverted and in my own mind,” White said. “At the same time, it’s about being accosted by the New York scene and the scenesters and hipsters, who are really not artists and are just pretending to be.”

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com