Let me begin this post by saying that “Dizzy” is my favorite song we have ever written. Maybe this sentiment stems from the fact that it took us three years to write. Maybe it is because it was born and reborn numerous times, each demo sounding significantly different than before. Heck, maybe it’s just because this chorus hit really hard. Whatever the reason is, I confidently believe this is the best song that either Wait For It or The Farside has written at this point.
The inception of this idea manifested itself in 2017. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some relationship-esque inspiration for this song, but as I get older, I ask myself how I can capture a specific feeling attached to a situation rather than just explain the situation itself when I write. That way, hopefully I can avoid spewing a bunch of “You hurt me / I hate you / I never want to see you again” type of lyrics. Those obviously have a place in music, and I definitely jam out hard to the likes of The Story So Far, Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and other angsty pop punk bands that, in my opinion, are more stream of consciousness with their storytelling. (“You did ____. I feel ____ . I’m going to blatantly tell you off now.”) For the record, that’s not a slight AT ALL. I love those bands, and I think some of their lyrics go hard in the paint. (That’s a basketball reference, FYI.) Gosh, this all probably sounds so pretentious. I guess I say all of this to say that setting the scene for Dizzy was difficult for me because even though I knew the exact situation I was writing about, I struggled with identifying how to go about explaining how I felt. That’s one reason why “Dizzy” took so long to finish–nothing ever felt quite right.
So here’s the scenario- It’s 2017- probably well past midnight. I’m kind of on autopilot, unaware of my surroundings and aimlessly scrolling through social media. Have you ever just come across someone in your feed that makes you lose your cool for a second? Yeah, that happened. It was a Friday night, and I was in bed while this person was posting pictures with friends. You know, just living it up. I hadn’t been in contact with that person for a few weeks or maybe months. In retrospect, the timeline is fuzzy. Still, there was something infuriating about seeing this person smiling and posing in tons of pictures. (By the way, one of my pet peeves is when people post like 500 pictures on one Instagram post. I don’t know why, but I think it’s so annoying haha) Regardless, they were all having a fantastic time, and I was not. I was probably covered in Cheeto dust, and it was too late to text any of my friends to keep me company. This split second feeling of jealousy and self-pity was honestly a blessing because I quickly came to the realization that no matter how easy it is to compare yourself to others on social media, it is pointless to do so. It makes you feel like crap, and it doesn’t fix anything in your own life. At that moment, I stopped wanting to one-up this person. “Dizzy,” in essence, is about convincing yourself to do your own thing and just move on. I wasn’t going to get any type of closure from this person; the pictures said it all. So, it was time to say “peace out” to the past. Fall Out Boy has a phenomenal lyric in “HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T” that sums up this feeling well. I mean, it was released a year later, so it did me no good at the time, but still, it’s similarly poignant, yet assertive.
“I took too many hits off this memory. I need to come down.”
Like I explained in an earlier post, the chorus is always the first part of the song to come out of me, and this one was no different. As Ron Burgundy once said, “I’m in a glass case of emotions!” I, too, felt that way for far too long, and at times, I swear the influx of nagging thoughts made me literally dizzy. I wanted to write something that stated that, but not in a melodramatic way. I knew this wasn’t going to be a “woe is me” type of song. The first line of the chorus was the first line I wrote down- “I’m dizzy, but I’m doing fine on my own.” Then, I immediately just plugged in what was happening in real time. “I’m keeping busy while you’re striking a pose.” People have told me that line is weird, and I totally agree with them, but when you know the story behind the song, it’s actually kind of perfect, don’t you think? Seeing someone else be perfectly happy without you has to be one of the top five worst feelings ever, and it’s human nature to block that nonsense out haha. At the end of the day, though, all you can do is remember the good times, breathe in, breathe out, and let it go. It’s way easier said than done, but it’s true nonetheless.
After sending the chorus to Aaron, he instantly loved it. (He’s not here for me to ask him, so I’m just going to assume that the voice memo was the single greatest twenty seconds to ever grace his eardrums. He probably wept at the sound of its beauty. I know he just ran to his computer, grabbed his guitar, and started writing at 2:00 in the morning when I sent that message because every second he let pass was one more second that the world would not possess the opportunity to listen to a finished product.) Fast forward a few days, and Aaron sent me a chorus demo. We were both positive that “Dizzy” was going to be special.
We spent a lot of time trying to finish this song with Wait For It. For a solid year and a half, we would come back to it intermittently, but as much as we loved that chorus, we could not get the verses right. First they were too rocky, then too empty. The cadence of the vocal delivery was off. Too many lyrics. Lyrics that made no logical sense but rhymed well. Finally, we just stopped going back to it. About another year and a half later, one of the The Farside’s first decisions was to resurrect this song. After toying around with it a few more times and rewriting the verses for the millionth time, it all finally came together. This song never would have worked as a Wait For It song because it’s too poppy and too reliant on texture; however, we were able to blend in some rock elements, especially in the chorus and bridge, to put some meat on its bones. I remember Aaron using “Wasteland” by Against The Current as his main influence. We love how hard that chorus hits. And each time it plays, it introduces something new to keep it fresh and make it hit even harder. The more I listen to “Dizzy,” though, the more appreciation I have for the bridge. Aaron did a great job of building that thing. The instrumentation is spot on. It builds so well without being overbearing. When I take the melody up an octave and the tone gets grittier, I always find myself head banging to it. (In a pop song? Weird, right?) I also think it was a nice little nod to an old Wait For It song called “Fire Away” that had a similar, albeit more punk rock vibe. That bridge was the most fun section of any song to play live because of the rapid lyrical flow and the guitars that cut in and out. Again, this “Dizzy” bridge follows suit well considering the genre.
That takes us to the end of the song, in which we really hammer home the whole “dizziness” theme. On top of some new instrumental elements, we wanted to have a crap ton of vocals swirling around to mimic thoughts and emotions getting louder and louder. Half jokingly, Aaron referenced Jarrod Alonge’s “First World Tragedy.” His bridge is purposefully laughable because there’s wayyyyyy too much going on in it at once. The lyric he sings to poke fun at this concept is “Toooooo many voicessssssss.” Aaron wanted to do this in a more serious way, and I think he nailed it. It really made the song come together. Everything gets loud, and then you kind of breathe in, breathe out, and let it all go as it fades out. Another full circle ending? I bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?