Nov 16 • 3M

Trace It Back

A song about the power of little ripples, filmed live from the metaverse.

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Jake Morley
The aural accompaniment to the newsletter of UK singer-songwriter Jake Morley: https://emails.jakemorley.com
Episode details
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One night at a sleepover at my best friends house, I think I was about 10, my friend has this great idea “how about we sneak back downstairs after bedtime and watch Fatal Attraction?” Yeh! That is a great idea. What’s Fatal Attraction? Oh.

During one of the many desperately confusing explicit sex scenes that followed, my friend commented “she’s really got the hump with him”. Clearly he’d heard of the concept of humping as a sex word, and also the phrase “she’s really got the hump with him” and mistakenly assumed the two were connected. For years afterwards I felt a momentary panic whenever I heard those words, wondering how the situation in question involved frantic sex on a kitchen countertop. It was all very regrettable and my advice to present-day 10 year olds would be to delay the watching of violent erotic thrillers for at least several more years. Enjoy Jumanji, or the Mockingbird trilogy. These are films for you.

I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this, except that it’s quite funny in hindsight and tangentially shows how often we build experiences one on top of the next, creating a chain of causation through our lives, which is the idea behind this month’s live song Trace It Back.

Words are said, emotions are felt, thoughts are thunk, each creates a tiny ripple of consequence that cuts from moment to moment. Over the years I’ve found myself tuning in more and more to this whole crazy system. Not only because it’s interesting but also because it helps me feel marginally less incomprehensible to myself. Why am I feeling slightly panicky right now? Ah yes I ran an apocalyptic thought experiment about 5 minutes ago. Why am I feeling kind of gloopy and demotivated? Ah yes I started scrolling on my phone right when I was about to do something important and productive. An unsaid word here, a lack of fresh air there. This kind of data is constantly changing who I am even if I don’t realise it.

It might all sound overly sensitive, but what can I say? I’m a singer-songwriter, we’re a sensitive breed.

Tracing back my mood has become a habit for me. Usually I do it more with ones of a negative flavour, but the joyous ones get a look in too, like the example in this song. Let’s talk about the live video for it.

The video

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when someone is talking about some apparently mainstream technology and you have absolutely no idea what’s going on.

For me it occurred around midday on 6th April 2022 when I was invited to perform a concert in the metaverse.

Allow me to explain1.

There’s a virtual world called Decentraland. The finite, traversable, 3D virtual space within Decentraland is called LAND, a non-fungible digital asset maintained in an Ethereum smart contract. Land is divided into parcels that are identified by cartesian coordinates (x,y). These parcels are permanently owned by members of the community and are purchased using MANA, Decentraland’s cryptocurrency token.

One area of Land developed into the Festival District. Imagine it like a virtual Glastonbury. Players there spent Mana to experience virtual live music events. One stage in this festival district is run by The Harrison, which is a real venue in real London. The Harrison were inviting me to play a filmed show, to be broadcast in their metaverse venue. With me so far?

Apparently it ended up looking a bit like this, which is to say slightly less well attended than my usual shows but with much bolder fashion choices on display.

The short story is that I played a gig, it was recorded with nice mics and fancy cameras, and I wanted to share one of the songs with you. It’s the 9th video in my live video series of songs from Some Things Are Like Other Things.

You can click on the image above, click this link to YouTube, listen with the audio player further up, or download the MP3 here.

Watch the video here

Live Videos:

9 down, 3 to go.

  1. So I Had This Dream

  2. Hands

  3. Other Ideas

  4. Asking For A Friend

  5. Keep Me Around

  6. Captured

  7. Childish Thoughts

  8. Trace It Back

  9. The Everything Goes Back To Normal Button

  10. Some Things are Like Other Things

  11. Knots

  12. No Drama

There’s also a video playlist here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4Z0AIn26cVAsafDmGO87vQctd9wLty6Y

Some Things Are Like Other Things

Thank you to everyone who has bought the Lyric Book / CD, listened online and shared their messages about the new record. It’s had a couple of nice reviews:

“Jake Morley is going underappreciated in his life time and that is a crying shame. I honestly can’t recommend this album enough” Listen With Monger

“Dreamy...infectious... it’s all rather wonderful” Fatea Magazine

Huge thanks to all the stations playing it, including BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Leicester, BBC Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Wiltshire, Amazing Radio, Shoreditch Radio, Brum Radio, Night of the Artisans and loads more.

Listen here

Live dates

I’ve got a bunch more tour dates almost ready to announce. They’ll be added below as soon as I have them.

Thursday 23rd February 2023 - London Green Note. *SOLD OUT*
Thursday 19th April 2023 - Suffolk Riverside Theatre. Tickets.
Sunday 23rd April 2023 - Winchester Railway Inn. Tickets.

See all dates on a map here: https://share.jakemorley.com/livemap

Lyrics

Today I feel unusually well
Suspiciously so
I should try and trace it back
It might be useful to know
Why I burn a fraction more bright
Maybe it’s nothing
Or that a butterfly flapped its wings
But much like a temporarily mislaid actor’s name
Oh I think I’ll have to

Trace it back
Trace it back
Trace it back to the source
I feel uncommonly alive
And I need to know why
Gonna trace it back to the source

I start to riffle through my records of the day
With my mind’s fingertips
But there's not one entry out of place
I should let it go
Was my step always this light?
It's right under my nose
On the tip of my tongue
It’s there and then it’s gone
Almost like I’m hiding some good news from myself
Oh I think I’ll have to

Trace it back
Trace it back
Trace it back to the source
I feel uncommonly alive
And I need to know why
Gonna trace it back to the source

You paused in love
You paused in love
You paused in love

Trace it back
Trace it back
Trace it back to the source
I feel uncommonly alive
And I need to know why
Gonna trace it back to the source

Trace it back
Trace it back
Trace it back to the source
I feel uncommonly alive
And I need to know why
Gonna trace it back to the source

Credits

Written by Jake Morley
Recorded at The Harrison, London by New Roots as part of the Decentraland project.

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1

Copy and paste some words from Decentraland’s website.