The song “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” from the album In Rainbows by Radiohead is a beautiful, haunting piece. In this piece the narrator stands in the depths of great sadness and stillness, the ocean a metaphor for his subconscious, until he is seduced by a new love. He questions why he would ever choose to remain in his depressed stasis, asking “Why should I stay here?”, and decides to follow this love no matter the risk. However, what he’s feeling is not bound by reality, and though he is desperate to feel something, it falls through- likely due to his own self-doubt. Tragically, he descends back into despair. He is “eaten by the worms”, his hope now decaying alongside him. However, there is a tinge of relief, as he accepts failure and can now see reality fully again. Ultimately, following a faulty love leads him back to his depression, but the other option is to escape this cycle and embrace the truth of the situation without false hope.
“Turn me on to phantoms
I follow to the edge of the earth
And fall off
If they get the chance
And this is my chance”
Feature: Darren Pearce at Flickr, some rights reserved