Song of the Week
“American Cliché” by FINNEAS is a jazzy pop song about missing his girlfriend, social media star Claudia Suelwski, while on tour. The classy song was produced and written by FINNEAS himself. He is also famously known for his help creating his sister, Billie Eilish’s, songs but he does have a thriving career of his own. The LA born and raised artist is relatively new to the music scene but I can see him going places with his inspiring song writing talent. I chose this song for song of the week because it is honest and poetic. I also had a realization about what exactly it’s about recently and can’t help myself from sharing.
When considering the title you have to start by thinking, what’s cliche about love? The definition of cliché is something overused and void of original thought. He is obsessed with his girlfriend, madly in love and doesn’t care who knows it. Love is what almost every song is written about, as in over used in music. Furthermore, America is known as a country of comfort and first world problems. The American Cliché is that he’s rich, young, famous and his biggest problem is that he misses his girlfriend yet he still needs to complain about it to a melody. He’s making fun of himself a little bit and trying to say that he is grateful for his life. He does make fun of himself by calling himself a cliché BUT he’s still gonna complain about his longing for his love. Put together the idea of first world problems and too many love songs and you have the perfect title explanation.
The first verse’s loving words flow down sweetly like a chocolate fountain accompanied by the attention grabbing brass instruments. “Too little to do for too long and / Too little of you for my songs to be anything but lonely / In a couple weeks, you’ll own me / Too tired to sleep, good morning / And I’m too wired to heed the warnin’ / That there’s danger in the summer / The calm before the thunder”. I think this verse is about him coming home from being on tour, let me elaborate. The first line is about him being agitatedly bored. He then romantically says all of his songs are going to be sad because he doesn’t see her enough. When he gets back in a couple of weeks he’ll be a slave to her because of their extraordinary bond. He is so excited to see her that he can’t sleep or do anything. This all seems semi-obvious looking at the lyrics but the part where he talks about danger gets interesting. He’s wired we get that but what is the warning? What danger lies in the summer? The calm before the thunder is his restlessness before they’re electric meeting but is the danger their explosive love or something else? My guess is that he’s ONLY home for the summer. It is dangerous because everytime he sees her he misses her a little more once he leaves again. He is like an addict getting one more hit after a master cleanse.
The chorus opens up a scene in the listeners mind that I imagine is an event that could have actually happened to him. “I’m an American cliché / Missin’ a girl in a French café / I say, ‘God damn, you’re beautiful’ / You blush and duck out of frame / … / I say, “How’d I get along so long without you’ / And you say, ‘Same'”. Picture this, He’s sitting in a french cafe while on tour facetiming the love of his life. He obviously misses her as anyone would and these lyrics could have been a legitimate part of a conversation they had. The give away for the fact they’re on facetime is the line where she blushes and ducks out of frame. At first, I thought maybe it was just and artsy lyrical thing but the facetime idea makes a lot more sense. Once you think about the song like that it is so easy to picture the scene happening in real life. On the other hand, I also feel like I can see him dancing with a cane and top hat to this jittery beat of a song or maybe doing jazz hands on a broadway stage somewhere. That mental imagery is on instrumental alone while the lyrics veered us elsewhere.
The second verse has a shout out to a rock legend and deepens the impact of his magnificent lyrics. “Graveyard, Jim Morrison forever / In my arms, they’ll have to bury us together / ‘Cause I’m never gonna let you go / Missed my flight, makin’ love in the morning / While everybody else was boarding / They love to say they told you so”. Jim Morrison was the lead singer of a classic rock band, The Doors, before he passed away due to heart failure in 1971. I assume this was nothing more than a shout out to a favorite artist. Although, Morrison was in love most of his life with Pamela Courson and wrote various love poems and songs about it, their relationship was on and off again so I’m not sure you would want to compare your own to theirs. The second line brings me to see him comparing his relationship to that of the Lovers of Valdaro which is stunningly majestic to say. Anyone would be honored to have their love say that about them. The Lovers of Valdaro are a pair of skeletons dated over 6,000 years old that were found near Mantua, Italy. The bones are intertwined and it appears they died holding each other. You could say it is an imposing sight that stirs a whirlpool inside a person to see in real life. In the final few lines you can hear him almost bragging. Whoever the they is that told him so is probably his manager or someone who is trying to keep him on schedule. He clearly disobeyed them and missed his flight but in his mind it was definitely worth it.
The bridge is the final section and does not add to much to the story but a secretive sneaky feeling to the ending. The mischievous aspect only excites the feeling of this ode to love. ” Come on over now, you’re one layover down? / No one we know around / Don’t want the city without you / I want you / … / Can’t say I’m sober now / Do something I’m not allowed to”. I’m sure this inability to see each other only makes their meetings that much harder to cool down. She must fly out to visit him on tour occasionally because that seems to be what this bridge is about. In the end, This could be any other upbeat love song but behind the curtain is an epic love story of two people meant to be, causing friction on a tour that needed to be done. That’s my perception of “American Ciché”! What do you think the song is about?