Background on “No Stars” (by Natalie)
Behind the Lyrics: I had just recently read a facebook post from a sister Girls Rock Camp about the long line of celebrities and big names that they were able to secure as guests for their week of Summer Camp, and I was feeling a little glum. Rock Camp isn’t about celebrities, but I must say that I was nevertheless feeling slightly jealous. The words, “no stars here” came into my brain, and kind of lingered there. I was sitting on the sofa in my living room, which looks out onto Lake Union, and started thinking about how we rarely see real stars in Seattle. Weather it’s due to constant cloud cover, or light pollution, we do not have a typically starry sky. That connection felt very poignant to me- no stars- literally and figuratively.
The rest flowed out fairly easily, because Seattle is an easy city to write about. It is so complex, the love affair that people have with living here. We love it, and we hate it. It is so good to us, and it can be so brutal. Today the sun is shining, and everyone will be wearing shorts. Today everyone will finally wear one of their 6 pairs of sunglasses that they have been buying since April at department stores- stores with a national distribution plan that assumes that “seasons” happen simultaneously throughout the country. Today the temperatures will reach “well into the 60s!” and we will all jump for joy… and you know why? Because yesterday sucked. Yesterday was rainy, cloudy, windy, and drab. It was June 26th, and I wore my winter coat to walk to the bank. And you know what also sucked? All of June. And why don’t you throw in a little May, April, March, Feb, Jan, Dec, and November while you’re at it. But today… oh glorious day! It turns out we have mountains here! And I can see them! The glory of this city!! I will never move! Ever!
I worked for many years in a psychology clinic in a hospital on a hill. Many of the patients were suffering from chronic PTSD, but along with that, many of them had depression, and as I’m sure you could guess, (given the locale), Seasonal Affective Disorder. A disorder that comes from a lack of sunshine. The more people I saw getting prescribed “Happy Lights” as their treatments, the more I started thinking about this city, and what we might look like to a bird, or an alien, looking at us from above. If they could see into our houses, what would they see? They’d see all these tiny people, sitting like robots in front of flickering lights, hoping to get the happiness from a light box that the sun does not afford them.
As I am writing this, my friends and family in Colorado are at great risk with uncontrollable fires devouring their wilderness and their homes. The temperatures are up past 100, and the humidity is at 9%… aka, not a drop of moisture in the air. As I breathe in the cool, damp air of Seattle, I feel very grateful, and never want to take for granted the lovely… rainforest… that I live in. I often wish that we could send our abundant rain to places that need it the most. I only ask one small favor in return… can you send us back some sunshine?
PS: We think this song would sound really great in cars driving down I-5, listening to KEXP. Want to help make that happen? Request us: firstname.lastname@example.org