Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing.
Lines of Flight’s Moth Eaten Heart begins as rising, glowing synths climb up over the pulsating, hollow beat and Helen Whale’s voice is warm and caressing, cutting clearly through the throbbing beat and bass. The song is imbued with a slightly floating, ethereal feeling as the delicate vocal melody is supported by piano chords and the beat.
Helen Whale’s voice has a wistful ache to it that matches the lyrics and all the time the beat keeps on pushing forward. The piano reverberates out into open space as the hollow weight of the drums moves. The music has a gauzy quality, something a little distant as the beat throbs and the glow permeates.
This is a song about escaping one life to find another in a new place and with a new relationship. The song’s opening line might refer both to the new place and the new relationship in the words, “You gave me a place to hide from the noise of a downtown life.”
This relocation was an escape from the “wrestling, spiralling” inside the narrator’s mind. They found, on this new island, a place and a person that “cradled (them) in space and time.” These elements were brought together as the partners began to “tie them fast, to weave and dart together” in the hopes that the relationship would be “bound to last.”
Inevitably time took its toll and “the fabric of us began to fade.” They remained “moth eaten” as the place where they stood “fell into the sea.” Their differences or as the lyrics put it, “your change in tone, my change of tack” ended up as one partner was “not sorry enough” and the other partner wouldn’t take it back.
The narrator was ripped away and “couldn’t cease the collapse.” They insist that, “I won’t be tied, I’d rather be anchor-less, an indolent craft.” The narrator wants to “drift detached and depart our shared heart.”
In a dream, their partner is there in “time’s unstitched seams” as they call to mind “moth eaten memories, incomplete.” There’s something wistful in the thoughts of how different it could have been. The wistful but not sad memories continue in “A place in time, still a part of me. A life apart, held fast in our shared heart. In our moth-eaten heart.”