“Deep Breath, Deep Breath” – Meaningful… or perhaps not?

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B+ – January 16

Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new song.

‘Oh, I just let the rhythm take over me and aim for perfection!’

The preceding quote is an excerpt of the song “Deep Breath, Deep Breath”. The title’s repetition traps you into thinking what kind of message or story the songwriter would like to convey. No need to overthink because in fact, the song is much simpler than you think! As you can see from the quote above, its main spotlight is a mystery girl’s routine on weekends and what she felt on that day. After analyzing the lyrics, I came to believe that she is involved in a community focusing on an arcade rhythm game.

However, she doesn’t interact with the other members. Instead, she decided to hone her skill as stated in the song, ‘a lone freelancer whose face no one bothered to memorize’.  She feels indifferent toward being ignored for she came to the place with one simple objective in her mind: to have fun. She certainly doesn’t care about forging bonds with people she doesn’t know or trust, at that matter. The lyrics also shed some light on the community’s dynamics, describing it as a ‘den of ambition built on hazy fraternity’.

Now you might ask yourself this question: “what does the story have to do with the title?” As the song progresses gradually to its end, the indifference is actually an act she puts to prevent herself from breaking down. The truth is, she is worried about what the members and the people around her think of her ‘inadequate skills her insecurity prides on’. She is scared that the community members wouldn’t want to befriend her as she feels that the only thing she is good at is being a wallflower who ‘at least knows how and when not to disturb and bug’. She realizes that her anxiety will cripple her ability to have fun that day, so that is why she lets the song she keeps playing over and over again engulf her mind and aim for perfection after taking deep breaths.

What makes the song interesting is the fact that the lyrics are written similar to a narrative poem. The diction may seem simple and make you think “how is this supposed to be meaningful?” I believe that the lack of symbolism in this song is just another charm it possesses. Just like the girl told by the songwriter, the mellow but steady acoustic melody, as well as the depressing lyrics simply invite us to immerse ourselves in the girl’s world without thinking if there was some hidden meaning or maybe a slap in society’s face behind her story. They simply tempt us to discover who she really is, how she felt, and why she is the way she is.

Who knows, maybe we could end up falling in love with her without us realizing it, or perhaps we ended up imagining ourselves as the girl? Either way, this song is guaranteed to drown yourself in the girl’s internal maze and make you recall the feeling of being abandoned and frightened of building relationships, just like the song’s mystery girl.

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