85 (song)

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85 is an indie rock song from the band Rilo Kiley. The song was first heard in the film Desert Blue which was release on 1998-09-12, and was later published on the film's official soundtrack on 1999-06-04. The song was published by the band on their self-titled EP, Rilo Kiley in 1999 where it is track 2.

The song was composed by Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennet. There are no official personnel credits for the album recording, but Lewis sings vocals, and most likely Sennet plays guitar, Pierre de Reeder plays bass, and Dave Rock plays drums.

The song is about a person with anxiety who is constantly wondering why they can't sleep at night without fixating on their issues the way everyone seems to be able to do. The music is mostly mellow with Western guitar influences.

Personal

After my friend Gavin introduced me to Rilo Kiley, and I showed interest in the band, he sent me a copy of the hard-to-find EP, and I was able to listen to this song. I remember thinking at first that it had a great mellow sound, but was a bit too repetitive. However, over time, the song has grown on me a lot. I like the intro with the garbled noise and basic notes expanding into a smooth guitar riff. Lewis's voice is nice and pathetic sounding which fits the theme well. I also like the end of the chorus with the break followed by the guitar continuing the song, the instrumental break before the final verse is very enjoyable, and the outro.

The lyrics are a bit difficult to follow. The first verse has the line, "'85 was our best year," which makes it harder to think of this song being autobiographical to Lewis since she would been only 9-years-old at the time. The lyrics that stand out to me include, "My only plus you say 'they're gettin' bigger everyday,'" which sounds to me like a man commenting on the woman's breasts, implying they're the only thing he likes about her body. In the next verse, I love the line, "'You wanna fool around?' I ask. I get a sour reply from the other wheel that always rises to the occasion." While listening to this song with a woman I was sort-of seeing at the time, I asked her along with the song, "You wanna fool around?" and she gave me a stern look, to which I replied, again with the song, "I get a sour reply," and we both had a good laugh. In the lyric, I think the "other wheel" is the proverbial third-wheel in the relationship, basically the singer's asking the side-piece she can always count on (who "always rises to the occasion"), but now even he's not interested in her. In the final verse, there is the lyric, "For someone who leaves behind a, life I can't do better," which I think is meant to be the singer comparing her life to someone who committed suicide and realizing that her life is even worse, which is a depressing observation.

I have heard Rilo Kiley play this song live.

Lyrics

I'm just of real sad folk and,
'85 was our best year and,
She says, "It gets much worse 'fore,
It gets any better."

So I take it with a grain of salt.
For the other means I,
Wonder why it doesn't keep her,
Up at night night,
Like it does me.

We talk the way you do and,
I have a sweet or two for,
My only plus you say they're,
"Gettin' bigger everyday."

So I take it with a grain of salt.
For the other means I,
Wonder why it doesn't keep him,
Up at night night,
Like it does me.

I'll be in your car.
I locked the keys in your car.
I'll be in your car,
For now.

"You wanna fool around?" I ask.
I get a sour reply,
From the other wheel that always,
Rises to the occasion.

So I take it with a grain of salt.
For the other means I,
Wonder why it doesn't keep you,
Up at night night.

I'll be in your car.
I locked the keys in your car.
I'll be in your car,
For now.

I've been a mess for some time.
Now I get what I deserve.
For someone who leaves behind a,
Life I can't do better.

So I take it with a grain of salt.
For the other means I,
Wonder why it doesn't keep you,
Up at night,
Up at night,
Up at night,
Up at night,
Like it does me.

Videos

Album version.
Live - Montreal QUE 2005-05-20.

Links

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