E.G. Phillips has been making some waves for the past few years, and as a non-stopping force he’s returning with another gem in the form of “Your Inexorable Pull,” a track that showcases the most raw and intimate side of the artist as he pours his heart, armed only with his guitar.
As Phillips comments, When I play “Your Inexorable Pull” for an audience, one of the inevitable responses I get is “that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that word used in a song” which tickles my mischievous side but also saddens me a bit.There are so many lovely words out there in the world and to think that they haven’t gotten a chance to be featured prominently in a song seems rather unfortunate.Not that I set out to write it explicitly for that purpose — though once I hit upon the idea of using “inexorable” in combination with “pull” (the close proximity of the ‘b’ and ‘p’ at times makes me feel a bit like Roger Rabbit — P-p-p-please Eddy!) as well as “travel” and “circle” — well, it felt a bit hard to resist.How exactly I came up with that specific word is a bit lost to the mists of time at this point, but I’ll assume my misspent youth as a Latin scholar had something to do with it.
Like many such songs, it was written with a specific person in mind, though I won’t embarrass them beyond saying they’re a fellow singer-songwriter and part of “the joke,” as it were, is that I initially cribbed part of the chord progression from one of her songs (then sped it up, reversed it and let it fly off it a completely different direction).She was one of these people I knew by proxy through social media — enough friends of mine knew her such that she’d pop up in my feed every now and then even though we never encountered each other IRL (as the kids say).So from time to time one gets these glimpses, these brief little sightings, and the fact that one can become intrigued, even slightly infatuated with this person one’s never actually met, just have this single degree of separation from, was in of itself a bit fascinating and the genesis for the song.The notion that we were both sort of in the same or similar “orbits” social circle-wise came to mind and the piece sort of wrote itself at that point as I played with the notions gravity and space travel and the like.
Alas, as an attempt to serenade and woo a potential object of my affections, the song did not lead to the great things I might have imagined, but one of the barista’s at Bazaar Cafe (where I frequent the open mic) really liked this one when I first played it, so I kept playing it.That it’s nice and short makes it a perfect one to break out when time is limited.Moreover, I’ve found it to be a good closer for live sets where I’m playing for tips — with the alternating thumb pattern for the bass line its got a fun bounce to it and there’s room for vocal improvisation and variation— in particular at the end where I can stretch out that last chorus to “I feel your inexorable pull… you towards the tip jar” — which, while not always terribly effective remuneratively speaking, it’s worth the laughs it gets.Likewise on the album, where the song plays a similar role, I feel like it nicely complements one of the opening songs which uses the phrase “push you away” giving them both a sweet bookending quality within the context of overall set.
At Home At Sea features some of Phillips’ most compellingly original, slyly humorous, and sneakily affecting work to date. Blending influences ranging from The Decemberists and Bob Dylan to Miles Davis and Tom Lehrer, Phillips’ brand of indie-folk is delightfully off-kilter, fleshed-out with atypical instrumentation and his agile lyricism.