Welcome to the first part of what will be a long running series where I attempt to not only review, but analyze every song yet written by Grace that she’s shared with the public. It’s a daunting task, but I will attempt to release one every Sunday morning. I will not discuss the songs in sequence, but will randomly select a track from her catalog to keep it fresh for me, and hopefully for our readers as well. Guess I better stop procrastinating…

INSANE SOMETIMES
“Tap ​your ​foot
​and ​watch ​the ​clock
I ​tried ​to ​look ​excited ​when ​you ​walked ​inside ​the ​door.
But ​it ​was ​all ​for ​show
I ​need ​to ​get ​it ​all ​out ​of ​my ​mind
Just ​blast ​some ​music ​and ​close ​my ​eyes,
​ohhhh I’ll ​be ​singing ​like ​ohhhhh
Turn ​it ​up ​and ​sing ​it ​loud ​
and ​just ​shut ​the ​world ​out
See ​the ​colors ​feel ​it ​in ​my ​bones
it ​goes ​hohhhhhh
Spin ​the ​record ​darling, ​
inside ​of ​my ​mind
And ​we ​just ​go ​go ​go ​and​ ​lose ​track ​of ​time
Here ​we ​go ​on ​this ​crazy ​ride
Here ​we ​go ​in ​this ​crazy ​life
Oh ​cuz ​cuz, ​don’t ​you ​know
We’re ​all ​a ​little ​insane ​sometimes
Louder ​and ​louder ​with ​every ​thought
Shaking ​the ​floors ​until ​the ​pictures ​fall ​off ​the ​walls
The ​walls
So we turn ​it ​up ​and ​sing ​it ​loud ​and ​just ​shut ​the ​world ​out
See the colors ​feel ​it ​in ​my ​bones
​It goes ​ohhh
Spin the record darling inside of my mind
And ​we ​just ​go ​go ​go ​and ​lose ​track ​of ​time
Here we go on this crazy ride
Here we go in this crazy life
Ohhhhhh cuz ​cuz ​don’t ​you ​know
We’re ​all ​a ​little ​insane ​sometimes
Don’t ​you ​know
We’re ​all ​a ​little ​insane ​sometimes
Spin ​the ​record ​darling ​inside ​of ​my ​mind
And ​we ​just ​go ​go ​go ​and ​lose ​track ​of ​time
Here ​we ​go ​on ​this ​crazy ​ride
Here ​we ​go ​in ​this ​crazy ​life Ohhhhhh ​
Cuz ​cuz ​don’t ​you ​know
We’re ​all ​a ​little ​insane ​sometimes
ohhhh
We’re ​all ​a ​little ​insane ​sometimes.”

Grace isn’t given enough credit for her lyrics; for the depth and precision of them. While her songs can be taken as straightforward/earnest and free of irony, if one looks just a little deeper there are different levels of meaning often at play. Sometimes, as is the case with the bonus track “Lungs” off of the Target only version of “Just The Beginning”, Grace indulges in abstract impressionist lyricism.

Such was the case for the song that would eventually become “Insane Sometimes”. The song I’m referring was never titled. Though I wasn’t fortunate enough to have witnessed it, Grace wrote the following lyrics while livestreaming with fans. Though I absolutely love “Insane Sometimes”, I would be less than honest if I didn’t say I wish Grace had finished the song below as I believe it’s her most sophisticated writing yet. Here are the lyrics as best I could understand them…

“Open your window, find your favourite vinyl
This time I mean it, it might be final
I had a white rose and I truly believed it
Grabbed in the thorns, made me bleed I see it
Nothing is what it seems
I thought you were on my team
Spin the record darlin’ inside of my head
so I can dance around until the shadows are dead
close your eyes and let the darkness take you until the turntable spins no more
but it will still be with me of course”

Wow.

I’m cognizant that she perhaps felt the song was too dark for the otherwise positive vibes of the album and so she took just the chorus and turned into something more easily digestible by the public at large, but the unreleased version is made of pure magic. That she wrote this on the fly in front of her fans is absolutely mind boggling.

You can feel the desperation of someone going through an incredibly dark time in the unreleased version; feeling not only isolated, but betrayed, lost in darkness, feeling pain and just wanting to escape through the music playing off her favourite record, but recognizing that once the song ends that darkness will prove to have never left her. Oh, yeah, she was TWELVE when she wrote those lyrics. For anyone doubting Grace is a pure genius, read those lyrics and try to say it with a straight face.

All that said, “Insane Sometimes”, as released, is still very good, still has the core imagery of the unreleased song, but with much of the sharp edges removed. I do, however, love the visuals in the following lines…

“I ​tried ​to ​look ​excited ​when ​you ​walked ​inside ​the ​door.
But ​it ​was ​all ​for ​show”

and…

“Louder ​and ​louder ​with ​every ​thought
Shaking ​the ​floors ​until ​the ​pictures ​fall ​off ​the ​walls
The ​walls”

Here again, we get a hint of that desperate need for escape, far more so than in the much lighter “Escape My Mind” where she uses music as a form of losing herself and running from her problems and obsessively recurring thoughts; here she has to turn up the volume ever louder until the pictures fall off the walls. Great imagery.

I also like the hint of synesthesia in the line…
“See the colors ​feel ​it ​in ​my ​bones”

Lorde, whom Grace greatly admires (and for good reason), has stated that she has the condition synesthesia, which is a neurological “disorder” that causes her sensory perceptions to bleed into one another, giving her the impression that she sees different colours when hearing certain sounds and feels different emotions; she even perceives different days of the week in various hues of colour. I’m wondering if Grace has the same condition or was merely inspired by recounts of others with it?

The musicality of this song is also quite sophisticated, and I’m wondering how much influence her co-writers had on the sound. Obviously they have far more experience and likely a formal education in music theory in many cases, so they are certainly fleshing out the sound of those songs on Just the Beginning where Grace doesn’t have full writing credit (she is the sole writer of “Just a Crush” and “Better Life”). Regardless of the level of input she had on the sound, I love the complexity of the arrangement and the dreaminess of it. The use of piano and strings works very nicely here, and Grace’s bass playing is a nice driving force through the song.

This track has the closest sound on the standard release to my favourite numbers (Darkness Keeps Chasing Me notwithstanding) “Hope For Change” and “Lungs”. All of those songs have a very different sound from each other, but they all share a level of maturity that bodes well for future releases from Grace. I would go crazy if Sony/Columbia decided to release a deluxe edition of Just the Beginning following her summer tour with Imagine Dragons that would feature a few more bonus tracks of other songs that didn’t make it onto the standard edition if “Hope for Change” and “Lungs” are any indication of the quality of tracks that we’re missing out on.

All that said, “Insane Sometimes” is easily in my top 3 off of the standard version of the album and rests comfortably at number four on the Target edition with “Darkness” at number one followed by “Lungs” and “Hope For Change”.

How about you? What are your thoughts on “Insane Sometimes”?

This article was first posted on VanderVault’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XydnaaaaSnE&lc=UgxbpgrlpI0G4hMSgql4AaABAg