This is such a special song to us because it was the first song we ever wrote. Thu wrote the main guitar part along with the verse and chorus on the porch of a bed and breakfast in Ashland, Oregon. We had just reached our final destination on our Pacific Coast Highway road trip and Thu was trying to write a duet to sing with Rachel (we weren’t officially a band yet). The resulting song ended up being a dialogue between two people - a kind of call and response, where one person asks a question and the other answers it in the next line. It was cute. So we recorded this original version (as Ampersand) as a demo in 2009. But as we kept playing together and developing our writing style, the cute duet nature of the song stopped ringing true for us, so we shelved the tune.
Years later, our dear friend, John, was remarking on our first album, saying that he really loved it, but he wished that “We’ll Get By” was on it, since he loved that song from our demo (John’s been a long-time fan). So we played through it again, and Rachel said, “The cuteness undercuts the melancholy that’s very present in this song.” So we reworked it into the voice of a single narrator, and though we kept most of the words and sentiments the same, this shift into a single narrative voice revealed the song’s duality and ambivalence, resulting in a more thoughtful reflection on the myth of pursuing your dream, the romantic notion of “love conquers all,” and the frank reality of being in a committed partnership.
We had the privilege of working with the super talented Liz Manashil and Nick Luecking on this lyric video. Let us know what you think!