Anyone swirling in the seas of conditional connections, tough luck, and moves that put you in unfamiliar places will find a kindred cushion in Fred Argir’s latest single, And Then There’s You. If you have ever felt alone, you will recognize the internal struggle between isolation and undying spirit. “This song,” begins Fred, “is the outcome of a long-lasting emotion, a forthcoming declaration of love resulting from a long list of bad luck. It captures a moment that, when all things fail, we find hope in our closest friends. When all things abandon us we find light in the eminence of something better.” Thinking back to the day he wrote and recorded what remains the only version of the song ever laid down, Argir recalls feeling “remarkably alone, like a very small person in a very large world.” The whole project took all of about 20 minutes, not counting the years he had to live to get to that point.
Every move that I make
I get a little older
Nothing left at stake
Just the sunrise over my shoulder
Uncharacteristically, this song was recorded once and only once. Fresh emotions being as powerful as they are, despite the fact that he doesn’t consider the recording to be up to his usual technical standards, he chose not to go back for even a second take. “It probably took about ten minutes to write it,” he recalls. “I left the studio, and ten minutes later came back and thought, ‘I might as well record it, to get the basic idea down, so I can come back and record it again later, with great microphones, and placement, and all the engineering you supposedly need. “I went into the studio, turned on one microphone, put it in front of my mouth, hit roll on the tape and started playing. I didn’t even mic the guitar. I got done, left it, and came back about an hour later to listen, because the song kept ringing in my ears. “When I listened to the track, there was something so innocent about the recording, something so imperfect about it, that fit the song so perfectly. I knew I was done right there, and I never recorded that song again, never added anything to it.” This is “incredibly unusual” for the artist who now calls the greater New York City area home base. “I don’t typically re-work songs a lot,” he says, “but I do focus a lot on the quality of the recording. I tend to be a perfectionist in the studio.”
No one’s gonna listen
To my little mission
No one will ever hear
Me pour out all my fears
A Moveable Song
Even the song itself – part of an acoustic collection coming soon – lived through a whirlwind series of moves, leading from the mountain West to the East Coast. In a matter of a few months, final production took place where Fred was living in Denver, the video for it was filmed and edited in Minnesota, and the single is now being released from New York. This latest phase of his life, in fact, reminds Argir of the period that produced Then There’s You. “At that time,” he said, “I had recently moved from a home that I had known for many, many years, with cherished relationships and people that I love. I moved away to a brand new world, a brand new environment. How I lived, where I lived, what I did for a living, everything changed. (This song is) about how I felt, how I knew I was there to stay for a while and I needed to really deal with it. “It’s a song that acknowledges that there are people in your life who are anchors, no matter what emotion you’re feeling or what you’re going through. I like to think we all have people we love and who love us, and they’re the reason we can continue on and dismiss some of these negative emotions. "It’s a song of great endearment, of great appreciation for people who are simply always there, because I think, as you look back on your life, there aren’t a lot of people who have been there through all those years.”
Dreams of endless roads
In the distance, dying voices moan
And then there’s you
It might all start in childhood, but there are an awful lot of things that pile on over the course of your life. When it rains a steady shower of stomach-churning, resolve-testing badness, the umbrella that comes with a dry towel is found in the undying support of people who are both close to you and provide what you need. Because all of us mix with a distinct group of friends, family, acquaintances, and events, you can make the tired argument that we are all unique as snowflakes – that, by definition, we have a unique set of emotional highs and lows throughout our lives. Deep down, we know there are common threads everywhere, spider webs of emotion that pulse, tighter and looser, around all of us, the individual threads differing only slightly. There is commonality in the human experience. This is why great songs about difficult circumstances help us through dark tides that settle in. For all but the luckiest among us, there will be recognition while listening to And Then There’s You, because we all want (maybe need) a You.
Notes: And Then There's You digital downloads are available on the 'Music' Page of this site, iTunes, and CD Baby. Argir, has also released a new music video ...find it by clicking on 'Videos' here on the site, or at Fred's You Tube Channel.
- Mark Strand