Falling in love is one of the hardest things to do. Within every human there lies a fragile soul, tender and vulnerable. When we fall in love, we relinquish full control over that part of ourselves; we break down the barrier between our intimate, individual world and the surrounding universe.
That barrier doesn’t fall easily. Through delicate music and stirring lyrics, Echos’ “Take” captures the pain of unrequited love.
If I saw you I would suffocate
My words would just evaporate
And I would run into a dark room
So very far away from you
I know that I would feel defeated
If I looked into your eyes
You’re just a character I’ve painted
Into a script I over analyze
Listen: “Take” – Echos
How many text messages have you scrutinized again and again, picking apart the subtleties like they’re an encrypted code? How many nights have you spent replaying an earlier encounter in your head, wishing you had said or done something different? How many times has romance hurt you… again, and again, and again? You want your feelings reciprocated when you give that deep part of yourself to another; you want to know that you are as special to that person, as that person is to you. Eros and Anteros; love given, and love returned.
But there is no certainty in the beginning of a relationship. Often, one person feels stronger about the other than the other does about that person. This leaves a person feeling naked and completely insecure. What can one do, other than to wait, sitting with those feelings and hoping they are eventually returned? In the meantime, you build a wall to protect yourself from being hurt by a let down. “If I saw you I would suffocate,” sings Lexi Norton in Echos’ first verse. “My words would just evaporate, and I would run into a dark room so very far away from you.” Her lyrics encapsulate fear, and she goes on to admit feelings of defeat, and examples of over-analysis. “You’re just a character I’ve painted,” a figment of my hope, my imagination… Is this the real life? Maybe it’s just fantasy.
The chorus solidifies the narrator’s pain:
You take what you want
Her relationship, it seems, is not a two-way street; the feelings are not mutual. The narrator feels helpless, exposed and undone… Yet she lingers. She longs for requited love, the anteros, but “Take” is not about getting anything in return; in the second verse, she expands on her internal emotion, opening up to herself in a way that one only does to one’s diary.
I hate the hue of the dark sun
Reminds me that tomorrow will come
And that I’m nothing but an outline
Searching for fragments of your outline
When you left me on the outside
Thinking I could deal
Your silence held me under
It was impossible to heal
How many times have you waited for the text or call that never came? Silence bears a heavy weight; not knowing is so much worse than knowing, even if what you know hurts you. Echos’ narrator feels lost at sea; her melancholy is fully realized in the line, “I’m nothing but an outline, searching for fragments of your outline.”
No matter what, loving someone hurts – a lot. Echos relay that truth well; it’s often the most fragile music that evokes the most powerful emotion(s), and Echos’ minimalist approach on “Take” creates an intimate, sonically sensitive environment in which their lyrics’ depth flourishes. Light, bright keys shimmer over a warm, atmospheric bed. A dark, deep bass pad pushes the song forward with percussive bursts. In between the highs and the lows is Lexi Norton’s haunting voice, itself a vessel of meaning as much as it is the glue that keeps the surrounding instrumentation together.
Echos is the Portland, Oregon-based indie/electronic musical project of Tal Richards and Lexi Norton. The duo met and began writing music together about four years ago, and their journey has involved work with such artists as Crywolf and Illenium. However, their greatest achievement to-date is also their most recent: The duo released their self-titled debut EP Echos only two weeks ago on October 14, 2016, via Seeking Blue Records. The powerful eight-song collection includes “Take” and other singles the band had previously released via SoundCloud, establishing their delicate electronic-pop sound that relies as much on lyrical strength as it does on musical subtlety.
Before diving into Echos’ world, try “Take” on for size. Echos’ approach to falling in love will knock the wind out of you, engulfing you in those dark and stormy feelings experienced by the narrator. Her pain is our pain; her desolation is our desolation; her unrequited love is our unrequited love.