Owen Pallet, songwriter and arranger for Arcade Fire, has a solo album, In Conflict, coming out through Secret City this May 27.
The album opener "I Am Not Afraid," is the first of many instances where Pallett, who is in a longterm relationship with his boyfriend/manager, sings about children — sons and daughters, parenthood, even specific ages on "Song for Five and Six" turn up in his lyrics.
it is okay to make fun of these artistic ballerinas
"I'll never have children," Pallett sings mournfully, which is odd and sad to hear from a guy who has told me how much he appreciates seeing the occasional photo of my own child on Facebook.
"That song is meant to be a sad, tacit acknowledgement of the impossibility of me to have what you have with the tools that have been provided to me." Pallett says over the phone from Columbus, Ohio where his other gig, touring with Arcade Fire, has brought him for the day.
"It's not at all meant to suggest that an adoptive parenthood is any less loving, productive, or meaningful than a biological one. It came at a moment when I was frustrated that such an arrangement would have to begin with administration, as opposed to drinks, or whatever?" Pallett chuckles. "However you guys did it. So, there's a certain level of sadness but more of an acknowledgement of the biological imperative.
When asked if he himself has a longing for children of his own, Pallett pauses, protects himself, and proceeds to unpack the question.
"It's getting a little personal," he says with a nervous laugh in his throat, "There are some days too where, I can't lie, I might be feeling a little low and then just the thought of the children and husbands and wives who are my friends has really pulled me out of that low place."
“One of the things about this record is that I noticed when I was writing these semi-autobiographical or self-referential songs, was I wasn't necessarily agreeing or identifying with the person who was writing everything all of the time," Pallett explains. “I might write something one day and then come back to it a week later and neither recognize the person who I was writing about or the person who was writing it."
This song "is meant to be a statement of support and sympathy and compatriotism to other people who, by choice or for biological reasons, have decided upon a childless future."
Are you jealous of babies, gays and spinsters of ontd?