Roundtable Talk: “Ricochet”

This is the first installment of whatever this is. One part song of the week, one part writing outlet. We’ll see how it goes.

“I’ll send out my soul
To worlds more beautiful
But they won’t, they won’t know my heart
It’s the darkest part”

Artist: Starset
Album: Vessels
Year: 2017

Song Meaning

A profound love is recklessly destroyed.

A Love Song that Properly Calibrates the Pain

Given the ubiquity of love songs, they exist in almost every form. Tales of bubbly friendship, explicit lust, unhealthy admiration, tragic loss and so on. It’s 90 percent of music. That’s why it’s nice to have one that can turn your head every once in a while.

I gushed about Starset after their first album, and album number two pushes that space rock to new frontiers. “Ricochet” stands out because of its emotional force, despite all the bells and whistles hammering this failed relationship into your chest.

The song bums me out. To have something so beautiful – in this case, a rock-solid relationship – and to squander it on both ends. How can anyone allow that to happen? But it does. The worst part about love is that you have to fail over and over before you can get it right. And you don’t need to write a ballad to deliver such disappointment.

Though the first half of the song has a ballad-esqe feel, you can hear electrical pulses ready blow at any moment. And they eventually do. That’s why I love this song so much: It goes through multiple stages of heartbreak before hitting that devastating bridge. Nobody else can know you like they did. Yet here you stand alone.

I think of the times I ruined something perfectly good. If I could have written music in those days, it would carry the weight of what I wasn’t strong enough to hold. It would sound something like “Ricochet.”

It’s a scary lesson to learn: Let people in. Give off your light, but also let them see the darkness. If they want to leave, let them go. If they stick around, let them stay. Thank goodness I found someone who did.

Random Notes

  • The chorus escalates quite quickly once we hit hooks two and three. It goes from sadness to anguish, which is appropriate for the narrative.
  • The bridge is fantastic. The build (“They don’t know my heart”) to the incinerator (“It’s the darkest part!”). That one line ties the whole song together.
  • I won’t be revisiting the same artist twice in these posts, so if this is the last chance I get to praise Starset, let my love be known. The future of rock sounds like this album. Listen close.
  • As hard as it is to replicate this sound live, you can’t knock the band for trying. Their “demonstrations” feature space suits, dual microphones and more. That’s how you put on a show.
  • UPDATE: I embedded the official video above in place of the lyric video. Fair warning: It’s heartbreaking.

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