Today’s Song: Jeff Tweedy Reflects on Those He Loves on “Half-Asleep”

jeff tweedy © Sammy Tweedy
jeff tweedy © Sammy Tweedy
Like much of Jeff Tweedy’s recent solo output, “Half-Asleep” exists in the empty expanse we often find when life gets hard, and the solace we find in those around us.
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Stream: “Half-Asleep” – Jeff Tweedy


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Jeff Tweedy exists in the same arena of his idol Alex Chilton of Big Star: revered in the inner circles rock to the point his influence bleeds into the sphere of popular music. With no original solo output prior to 2018, WARMER (2018), WARM (2018), and the recently released Love Is The King show the more personal side of one of the most prolific songwriters of the 21st Century. While it clearly hangs to the vibe of his output with Wilco, as well as his other solo work, the album feels more like an exploration of Tweedy’s inner thoughts than anything.

Love Is The King - Jeff Tweedy
Love Is The King – Jeff Tweedy
Half asleep
All your dreams
Come alive
You’re all I need
Come to me
Close your eyes
There’s no other
There’s no one
No one
But you

Half-Asleep,” the album’s closer, is the highlight of the project. Acoustic guitars keep you latched to Tweedy’s psyche up to this point in the project, but “Half-Asleep”’s electric guitars sound like a beacon into a hole in the middle of the song. If anything, you feel more connected to Tweedy because of this. Wilco’s last album, Ode to Joy (2019), had this vibe, but none of those songs had the exclamation point, the emphasis of “Half-Asleep”. They had the echoing guitars, but not the acoustic vibe and lyrics to keep it grounded in our muddied reality.

The song begins with guitars harmonizing through choppy strums, with drums lagging behind them. Much of Love Is The King finds Tweedy addressing characters in his life, real or those who took creative license with. “Half-Asleep”, by contrast, is the most conflicted lullaby you could hear: “Half asleep / All your dreams come alive / You’re all I need / Come to me.” A vast majority of the song is instrumental, but the few words heard make all the difference. Accompanying this Tweedy solo project is a book titled “How to Write One Song”. In an interview with Uproxx for the book, Tweedy said, “Beauty and artwork that creates introspection and meaning and all kinds of ways to think about the world and have our perceptions changed, that’s all incredibly important.” In his work with Uncle Tupelo, Golden Smog, Wilco, and now as a solo musician, Tweedy has shown he excels at doing this.

Half of me
Still believes
We never die
Won’t you lay
Next to me
Close your eyes
There’s no other
There’s no one
No one
But you
When you need me
I’ll be there
Jeff Tweedy © 2020
Jeff Tweedy © 2020


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The best songwriters place the reader at the center of the song. Songs like “Half-Asleep” make you think on those you love, those who you’ll wait for until they need you. I am often guilty of zoning out and having to rewind a song multiple times to fully appreciate it. “Half-Asleep” and all of the beautiful instrumentation that accompanies it, lulls you (pardon my very intentional pun) into a half-sleep. It does what at all great album-closers do: it creates a space for reflection on what you have heard and what it made you feel. “Half-Asleep” shows a newer side of Tweedy, even if it isn’t much different from the one we already knew. However, it does show why he’s been a staple of the music scene for so long, and that he will follow in the steps of Chilton, pushing the genre into realms otherwise unseen for years to come.

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Stream: “Half-Asleep” – Jeff Tweedy


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Love Is The King - Jeff Tweedy

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📸 © Sammy Tweedy

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