“Intangible,” a track off of Too Percent Milk’s EP ‘November Dog,’ provides an honest look into a mind warped by the bitter sting of a break-up.
Stream: “Intangible” – Too Percent Milk
The bitter ramblings of an ex-lover’s intrusive thoughts have never sounded so compelling as they do on “Intangible.”
“Intangible” sits as the penultimate track off of November Dog, a 2023 EP created by Edgar of solo music project Too Percent Milk. The entire EP centers around the singular theme of a man feeling like an abandoned dog still crying out for his owner after a break-up, but the track marks a sharp tonal shift. The opening track, “Burning Eyes,” features despair-filled lyrics, including:
You showed me how it felt, filled my heart with joy
Now its dead and gone, was I just some toy
However, that track marches at a fast pace and a warm enough feel to fit in on the soundtrack of a coming of age indie film played during a party scene. The next track, “Twisted Guts/Shattered Bone” continues the dreary lyrics content, but comes off as a dark pirate shanty, still catchy and lively.
Then, “Twisted Guts” finishes on an eerie, droning lo-fi synth that bleeds into the introduction of “Intangible.” The bouncy vitality cuts out.
“Intangible” feels cold. The drum consists almost entirely of the “tss” of a symbol, like an auditory form of frost nipping at the ears. A melodica sounds off indistinct chords that permeate the track, like gusts of wind. The bassline provides a consistent throughline for traversing the songs’ bitter landscape, never changing from a repeated four bar structure for the duration of the five minute track.
Repetition serves the song well, as the mantra “I miss you” repeated over and over again in a whisper at the end acts as an unwelcome thought that won’t go away.
The track follows in the footsteps of tracks off of early Car Seat Headrest albums like Teens of Style, with its spoken word sections, stylishly muted vocals, themes of complicated love and immense build-up. However, whereas Will Toledo often pines for relationships he feels he doesn’t deserve, Edgar takes a more pointed approach.
“Maud Gone” off of Teens of Style features the lyrics,
Sweetheart, please love me too long
My heart’s too strong
Love me too long
On “Intangible,” Edgar says,
Why did you throw me away?
Why did you say those things that you say?
Cause I am a ghost in your mind
Cause I am a ghost I can tell
Will saw himself in poet William Butler Yeats who unsuccessfully sought the affection of Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne. Meanwhile, Edgar compares himself to a dog one buys because they are cute then neglects.
This metaphor adds a sense of accusatory responsibility to the heartbreak. Whether or not this is justified is hard to say. Have we not all had thoughts we would struggle to endorse if said out loud? When Edgar sees his ex with another man, he ponders what will happen once they are left as an abandoned dog as well.
“Will you do the same to them eventually?
Or am I just some special f*ed up case
that deserves this special kind of hell?”
We have no way of knowing if such an accusation is true, but it feels true, or at least true to the haunted mindscape of someone going through this. In the words of the Rites of Spring on “All Through a Life,” it hurts to hear, and so it must be true.
Subtle writing choices really twist the knife here. In the second spoken-word monologue of the track, Edgar asks:
“Why would I give anything for you to just talk to me again?”
The understated nature of the request displays a keen eye for detail in songwriting. “I would give my life for you” hysterics would threaten to knock the song off balance. Giving anything to merely be acknowledged again feels so much more cruel, and shows insight for the kind of thought patterns anyone can fall into after a wounding break-up with someone you know, rationally, you should never want back again.
You shouldn’t miss this person. They treated you like trash, then threw you away and abandoned you. A thought plays on repeat, “I miss you,” with no coherent counter argument to your well reasoned trepidation and regret for having ever loved someone capable of hurting you this way. So you walk alone in the cold, hoping the thought will eventually succumb to the cold winds.
Stream: “Intangible” – Too Percent Milk
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