Today’s Song: Dust in the Sunlight Shine with “Former Lives,” an Anchor of Escape & Rediscovery

Dust In The Sunlight © Rob Humm
Dust In The Sunlight © Rob Humm
A warm, lilting salve for the pressures to conform, Dust in the Sunlight’s “Former Lives” is a tenderly hypnotic song of escape and rediscovery.
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Stream: “Former Lives” – Dust in the Sunlight




For me, this song is about having a conversation with the person you used to be.

If every day feels like a push and pull between being your true self and being the person others want you to be, then Dust in the Sunlight’s new single is for you: A warm, lilting salve for the pressures to conform, “Former Lives” is a tenderly hypnotic song of escape and rediscovery. It’s a welcome anchor for when we find ourselves dwelling in that dark space, losing our sense of self and in dire need of a way back home.

Former Lives - Dust In The Sunlight
Former Lives – Dust In The Sunlight
Sat in the back seat…
Feeling like a wrecked car…
Head full of strange thoughts…
Night full of strangers…
Split divide
I’m pulled in every direction at the same time
Former lives
Disappearing under the tension caught in my mind
Caught in my mind
Will you help me let go
If I help you let go?

Released February 9, 2022, “Former Lives” arrives as Dust in the Sunlight’s first single of the year, and their latest release since putting out the standalone “Blueprints” last October. The London, UK-based duo of Annie Rew Shaw and Billy Wright, Dust in the Sunlight debuted quite unfortunately in late March 2020, yet despite the obstacles that timely introduction provided, the group have steadily built a local following thanks to their genre-blurring, alternative-meets-indie-folk sound. Akin to (yet nevertheless distinct from) artists like The xx, CLAVVS, and Of Monsters and Men, Dust in the Sunlight’s releases – including their self-titled 2020 EP and a cover of The Strokes’ “Hard to Explain” – embrace a hazy, enchantingly intimate kind of minimalist magic. Their art breathes with a radiant light and a mystifying tenderness; every track feels full, yet weightless – and nowhere do we see this compelling duality better expressed, than on “Former Lives.”




Born out of considerable stress and inner turmoil, Dust in the Sunlight’s latest song is lowercase-c “cinematic”: A softly roaring reverie longing for catharsis and aching for release. The pair harmonize their gentle vocals over a sweet storm of guitars and atmospheric synths:

Hole in your memory…
Days that I’ve never known…
I heard it’s ending…
Why are you holding on?
Split divide
I’m pulled in every direction at the same time
Former lives
Disappearing under the tension caught in my mind
Caught in my mind
Will you help me let go
If I help you let go?

“For me, I think ‘Former Lives’ is about the pressure and immediacy of modern life making you feel like you have to be a million things at once… but actually what you really need to do is let go of that ideology and find your own pace and sense of self,” Dust in the Sunlight’s Annie Shaw tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s very easy to forget where you’ve come from and everything you’ve been to get to where you are now… I think the lyrics are about helping each other find that again. We’d both just returned from an Ayahuasca ceremony so were feeling incredibly reflective and tuned into the effects of everything going on around us.”

“For me, this song is about having a conversation with the person you used to be,” Billy Wright adds. “There is a vague memory of a night some time ago, but its almost as if it’s the memory of another person.”

Dust In The Sunlight © Rob Humm
Dust In The Sunlight © Rob Humm



Society’s expectations can be damaging inside and out, twisting our psyche as we try to be everything everyone wants us to be and more. It’s unsustainable, restrictive, and a burden no one deserves to bear – even though we all bear it, to varying degrees. “Former Lives” doesn’t necessarily have any answers to our plight, but it’s the perfect aid to “help you let go” (as the pair so emotionally sing) – and perhaps, in turn, to get back to who you want to be and who you really are, sans-external pressures. “I’m pulled in every direction at the same time,” we hear. “Disappearing under the tension caught in my mind… Will you help me let go, if I help you let go?” Sit back, relax, and turn the outside off as Dust in the Sunlight whisk us into a daydream.

Help you let go (Split divide)
Help you let go (I’m pulled in every direction at the same time)
Help you let go
Help you let go
Help you let go (Former lives)
Help you let go (Disappearing under the tension caught in my mind)
Help you let go
Help you let go
Will you help me let go (Help you let go)
If I help you let go? (Help you let go)
Help you let go
Help you let go

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:: stream/purchase “Former Lives” here ::
Stream: “Former Lives” – Dust in the Sunlight



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Former Lives - Dust In The Sunlight

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📸 © Rob Humm


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