TRACK BY TRACK // Roo Panes – ‘Paperweights’

Roo Panes will release his sophomore album, Paperweights at the end of the week. Collectively the record boasts ten subtly-worn poetic moments, that effectively showcase Panes’ maturity as a songwriter and instinctive outlook on life.

We were kindly given a few moments with Roo, for him to talk us through each of the tracks on Paperweights, so sit back, discover and delve into the brilliant mind of Roo Panes.

1. Stay With Me

Ironically, this song is about the moment you realise you’re the one who ran away, and the journey of rediscovering the very thing you loved in the first place, coming full circle. So the chorus “Stay with me” is actually a plea for patience, it’s saying “I ran away, I should have stayed, but please don’t leave me, I’m coming back as I speak (or sing!).” 

2. Corner Of My Eye

This little song is all about the illusive nature of ‘conscience’ and ‘truth’. You can’t ignore them, when you try they just grip you harder, they are always in the corner of your eye when you look away. But equally they seem less obvious when you’re looking them in the eye, so to speak. I reckon the situation, more often than not, is that truth isn’t illusive, we are. 

3. The Original

This is about innocence and disguise. When you look at someone, how much of what you see is actually them, and how much is just the world they’ve passed through? This song is exploring the idea that we all have an original version of ourselves, before insecurities and the other inevitable challenges of life begin to sculpt, reshape or paint us differently. There’s a few people who inspired this song, where there was a person within that they had almost chosen to keep secret, hide and protect. Or they had just forgotten and found themselves lost, drifting in another identity. I found that poignant, and wanted to tell the story of that inner dialogue. 

4. Lullaby Love

This is about peace. People think of lullabies as sending us to sleep, but this song is about the idea that peace energises us, it’s a spring board. It’s about finding life through the process of reconciliation with something, letting go of the restlessness and in turn finding yourself feeling more alive, so the end of the chorus is “it’s your lullaby love that keeps me awake.”

5. Paperweights

This song is about sharing, it’s a challenge/discussion. It just struck me how often people expect you to share your deepest inner dialogues or stories with them, sometimes almost demanding, or getting upset if you don’t. The thing is, why should you? Are they asking for your benefit or theirs? Is it their business? Are they going to understand? Can they really carry the weight of your concerns? There’s so many questions. This song is about lifting the paperweight, letting the words fly, taking the risk and saying, “ok, well, can you hear it coming? The thunder of a being”

6. Water Over Fire

This song is really simply about the feeling of being forgiven by someone, knowing you’re in the wrong and being surprised by grace. Water over fire was a way of describing that. It kind of hinges on the lyrics, “well, then I read your face, and your lips were spelling grace, and its alright. We were face to face as the tears put out the flames, its alright.”

7. Vanished Into Everything

I read a sonnet when I was young where Shakespeare was describing the feeling of someone being ever present, everything he looked at reminded him of that person, up to a leaf on a bush. They lived on around him, because that person had shaped the way he perceived and experienced the world. I related to that idea, and describe it as those things or people in our lives who vanish into everything. 

8. I Was Here

The amount of times I’ve seen those words scratched into walls etc. It’s like people are trying to say, “someone acknowledge me”. And on an emotional level that happens the whole time with people we’re close to, so I guess this is about encouraging someone of their value, and the role they have in making you happy to be alive. It meditates on the lyric – “it seems that every moment is a memory when you’re near, my heart keeps beating, I was here! I was here!”

9. Summer Thunder

I’ve always loved thunder storms, especially summer ones, the electric blue skies, their brooding, all encompassing nature. But I use it in this song as a metaphor for something one’s fond of but that also carries danger. It’s about that inner tug of war where you know its bad but you keep wanting it. I had the line “how many times must lightening strike in the same place until you’ll call it trouble?” for about 3 years…But I could never tie it all together for some reason, until one day the words just came and it was ready to write. 

10. Where I Want To Go

So, this track has got the least words but is quite tricky to explain briefly! In life, one can set a destination only to arrive and think “this is not what I imagined.” So instead, perhaps we should focus on the journey, with a guiding principle we believe in, we’ll be happy with where it leads us. Basically we don’t need to see the end in order to follow our hearts. So it’s kind of a relief and celebration, no need for all the planning!

‘Paperweights’ will be released on 4th March, via CRC Music. Pre-order a copy of the album here.

For more on Roo Panes, head to his Website here.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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