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Moonflowers (Best Friend)

from Lamplighter by Tommy Ashby

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    13 track 12" black vinyl version of Tommy Ashby's debut album 'Lamplighter'.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Lamplighter via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

This song is about the intense friendships you have as a kid and how they change as you grow up. I’ve had friends who dreamt of leaving our hometown but never did; others who left and wish they hadn’t. There can be a feeling of loss in both directions - going somewhere and feeling alone, or being left behind and feeling like life is happening somewhere else.

I think that people love to create narratives out of other’s success, even if they are not logical or ben-eficial to our health. This can lead to mental illness, depression or anxiety, which is exacerbated by so-cial media where everyone appears to be doing incredible things all of the time with none of the mundane ins and outs of life that we all experience.

Last year there was a moonflower in the UK that flowered for just one night. I’ve had ephemeral moments like that with friends. Your best friend as a kid is such an intense relationship. To have some-one you share everything with in a simple and honest way, I didn’t realise until I left home that that was a rare thing. The fact that those moments were fleeting made them all the more special.

Skin and bone,
I found out when I left home,
That you and me,
Were branches on the same tree.

I didn’t set out to write a personal song about my own friendships. They just seemed to sneak in and I didn’t realise they were there until I reread the lyrics. When I was a kid, there were no streetlights near my friend’s house. I remember walking home in the pitch black, picking my way along the riverbank’s dirt track, always breaking into a sprint when I neared home. The song starts with a moon-flower growing along that river path. I was trying to describe those moments with friends where the world seems to have conspired to create a moment just for the two of you.

The moon flowers are just our’s,
Blooming soon,
In the pitch black of the dust track,
Our holy tomb.

People sometimes think of kids relationships as light or superficial but I don’t think that’s right when you see what hardships kids can help each other through. The emotional turmoil that they are capable of experiencing and weathering due to those friendships can be equal to any adult relationship.

The town creek, waist deep,
Through April showers,
You cried when your gran died,
We talked for hours.

Best Friend was one of those songs that came together really quickly. A lot of what you hear on the final track, such as acoustic guitars and vocals, were recorded on the day it was written.

lyrics

The moon flowers are just our’s,
Blooming soon,
In the pitch black of the dust track,
Our holy tomb.

My best friend,
Every summer,
we’d pretend,
That we were brothers
Didn’t know it then,
My best friend.

The town creek, waist deep,
Through April showers,
You cried when your gran died,
We talked for hours.

My best friend,
Every summer,
we’d pretend,
That we were brothers
Didn’t know it then,
My best friend.

Skin and bone,
I found out when I left home,
That you and me,
Are branches on the same tree.

Skin and bone,
I found out when I left home,
That you and me,
Are branches on the same tree
(oh to be young again)

My best friend,
Every summer,
we’d pretend,
That we were brothers
Didn’t know it then,
My best friend.

credits

from Lamplighter, released March 3, 2023
Written: Tommy Ashby
Produced and Mixed: Sam Okell
Mastered: Felix Davis

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about

Tommy Ashby London, UK

Tommy Ashby’s background is a rather unusual one for a singer-songwriter. Awarded a PhD in the perception of sound in his early 20s, Tommy manages to blend a technical understanding of the way our brain processes sound with the indisputable pure creative energy of someone who grew up writing and playing music in the wilds of Scotland. ... more

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