I'll Kiss You Through the Central AC
My "Hey Jude" moment finally arrives...
All my life I have been trying to write a “Hey Jude” outro. One that loops and soars and grows, the inhibition-losing kind of everlasting-moment outro. You know the type. No one knows when the song will end and no one wants it to end. The holy grail of live music. Well…I’m pleased to announce I’ve officially done it. My “Hey Jude” moment will officially arrive next Friday, April 28, when “EDITH FROM THE THIRD FLOOR” comes out everywhere.
Here’s the story of “Edith from the Third Floor”
2021 and I were living in New York City and both of us were excited to be there. A ton of my best friends were living in my neighborhood either permanently or part-time not least among them, in a brightly-walled AirBnB, the one and only Arlo Sims. When he moved into the Lafayette St. apartment, the first person he met was his host…who was also his neighbor…who was also a model…named Edith. Oh, and if you haven’t guessed, she lived on the third floor. This was about the greatest setup for a song I had ever heard, so one day after getting iced lattes at Porto Rico on Bleeker St.—my favorite coffee in NY not on a bagel cart—we walked up the three flights of stairs to Arlo’s spot, and, separated only by blue-painted drywall from the song’s inspiration, we got to work.
Quickly, we had a solid riff and melody, and the next hour or so was a total blur until we had the full song: verse, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, verse, pre-chorus, chorus. Here’s the first time we played it all the way through:
Then we tracked a demo:
(The fun fact about this demo is that Edith was at home next door when we tracked it out loud. I made sure to sing the salient parts as loudly as possible.)
And that’s where the song sat for a while. But something was missing…the CENTRAL AC. The “Hey Jude” moment of promise and renown.
A few days after writing “Edith…” with Arlo, I was sitting in the bedroom studio of another dear friend in the neighborhood, a certain Blaketheman1000, writer of “Goth” among many other true classics, and we started riffing on funny lyrics for the song. It was here that we changed “I can hear her watching movies all night” to the way funnier “I can hear her watching pornos all night” and also here that Blake suggested the now-infamous “I’ll kiss you through the central AC.” At first it was “blow a kiss…” (which stayed in the in-song backing part), but I simplified it for the outro to clean the scan. To be honest, I don’t remember how I actually wrote the music for the outro. I don’t have any voice memos or scribbled notes for it and I don’t think it even really coalesced into something consistent and replicable until halfway through the first tour we played “Edith…”. What I can tell you is that I was listening to a ton of Velvet Underground at the time and that we quickly realized the sheer power of “I’ll kiss you through the Central AC.”
Here’s the outro from the final recording, much abbreviated from its live state:
In the year and months since that first tour, the thing most often said after shows was “WHEN ARE YOU RELEASING CENTRAL AC??”
Well I’m proud to say: next Friday, April 28…with the whole EP :)
Love you all,