Editors’ Notes As a teenager, Another Sky frontwoman Catrin Vincent suffered from an anxiety disorder that brought on nausea so intense she would bed down on bathroom floors to get a peaceful night’s sleep. Sadly, the title of her band’s debut album has another, even darker connotation. And Vincent isn’t ready to share this other meaning, other than to suggest it involves “women sleeping on floors to get away from people.” The feminist undercurrent of these 12 post-rock tracks, awash with Vincent’s extraordinary androgynous croon—and with their allusions to toxic relationships, oppression, and identity—hold the answers to any questions listeners will have. “Our lives are just stories and we control the narratives,” she tells Apple Music. Here she tells the stories and narratives behind each song on I Slept on the Floor.

How Long?
Bluets by Maggie Nelson is a book I read last year [2019]—so a fairly recent inspiration for the album. I have this feeling that what I’m doing, lyrically, is so much better summed up by other people’s books. The quote in the song is ‘As if we can scrape the color off the iris and still see.’ The original passage in the book is Maggie Nelson talking about other books she’d read about being depressed as a woman and how they all say, ‘That’s my depression talking, not me.’ But what she tries to convey, and I also believe, is that we’re products of or environment, so maybe our depression is telling us something about the world we’re living in. It’s not our depression talking—our depression is still us. I identified with that line and wanted to put it as the album opener. I also wanted to start the album with a question, too.”

Fell in Love With the City
“This was the second song we ever wrote as a band, and it sounds like teenage naivety to me, but also teenage passion. There’s that idea that you’re going to move to a massive city and be someone and prove everyone wrong, but then you move to London where coffee costs £11 and you can’t afford rent. It’s a funny song for me because when I hear it I think: ‘Poor Catrin. You really didn’t know what was coming.’”

Brave Face
“When we started writing songs for a band, the lyrics were always written for someone else because I wasn’t ready to talk about myself yet. I realized more recently, though, that when you write about other people, you’re often doing it about people you see yourself in. I completely saw myself, and what had happened to me, in the friend I wrote this song about. We were going to play Bestival and didn’t have any upbeat songs, so Max [Doohan, the band’s drummer] got his dance kick going. I wasn’t used to writing uplifting lyrics, but luckily the music could inform the lyrics and transform this fairly depressing poem into something full of hope.”

Riverbed
“Jack [Gilbert], our guitarist, had this riff for ages. I feel like our songs were really informed by the spaces they were recorded in. This one was recorded in a studio in Dalston that was incredibly hot, and I feel you get a sense of that stifling heat. This is a song that’s heavily steeped in metaphor around nature. It’s about cyclical currents and how anger becomes a cycle. People want to escape where they come from, but until they fully understand why they act the way they do, they’ll be trapped by the hate they’ve experienced and it will become part of their identity. It’s a coming-of-age song where you realize you’re just as susceptible to the society you’re in as your oppressors and abusers and bullies.”

The Cracks
“The line ‘The cracks let the light in’ is directly inspired by Leonard Cohen and his song ‘Anthem,’ where he sings, ‘There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.’ I found an interview where he explains what it’s about, though I think it had more of a spiritual meaning than the one I’ve repurposed it for. As a teenager, being a woman, I was so scared of there being any cracks in my identity and persona. I take the song to mean that to overcome things we first have to identify the cracks and shine light through them.”

I Slept on the Floor
“This started out as a short piece of music we wrote for an interlude during a show, yet somehow it’s ended up as the title track of our album. This song originally had a second verse that got cut because it didn’t feel right, which is a shame because there’s a particular lyric that encapsulates the meaning of the whole album: ‘In the ground lies the most honest view/Death in the roots of a world built for you.’ When the event that the song is about happened, it was a very low point in my life, so being able to look at it years later, retrospectively, I can see it was a turning point. Once these horrible things happen, we’re gifted a lot more empathy. It’s changing moments of shame into moments of power.”

Life Was Coming In Through the Blinds
“The songs on this album seem to come in pairs—and this one is, lyrically, paired with ‘The Cracks’ given their focus on light getting through small spaces. This is about the part of my anxiety that manifests itself as agoraphobia, which means I sometimes don’t leave the house. The title of the song is actually based on something Jack, our guitarist and a very warm soul, said to me. It’s both a negative and positive feeling to think that everyone’s lives are moving forward without me. The positive side is that all these things can happen and yet life continues. It’s grappling with the good and bad sides.”

Tree
“‘Tree’ was written around the same time as ‘How Long?’, when we were leaving university. This is me wailing into a microphone saying, ‘I’m not going to shut up,’ which is something the rest of the band matched so brilliantly with the music. I think the dynamics in this song are so important—saving everything until that last part. There’s a point in the song that Jack plays one note repetitively, which is evidence of the fact we were playing around with the dynamics throughout.”

Avalanche
“This was written about victim blaming—whether that’s after 10 years of austerity and blaming people for not being able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or victims of sexual assault. This song was a result of me playing with an acoustic guitar trying to be Tracy Chapman, because I love her so much. It was inspired by a video I saw on Reddit of a nurse being arrested for refusing to let the police take blood from someone who was unconscious, which is against the law. It’s me starting to understand the system of police violence. It’s a very political song.”

Let Us Be Broken
“This song refers directly back to ‘The Cracks.’ I think that allowing people to be ‘cracked’ is the most empowering thing possible. In previous generations, we’ve operated with this facade of perfection and striving for perfection. This is me begging for us to be allowed to talk about financial struggle and mental health issues as otherwise there’s stigma around them. It’s me asking for change.”

All Ends
“This was written when I was feeling very low and is about coming to terms with everything being bigger than you. You are at the mercy of your gender, and where you live, but I’m saying there’s got to be more. My dad was a scientist, so I grew up with concerns about climate change. It’s weird being at school or university and realizing it’s a topic that’s not as at the forefront of other people’s minds as it is yours.”

Only Rain
“I think it’s about self-healing and making you able to confront what hurts so much, as lyrically I’m talking about growing up with a mind that’s obsessed with thinking about doom and how it’s affected me. We’d just finished recording some other stuff and we had some time left in the studio, so we decided to write a song. That meant I had to come up with lyrics quickly. Someone mentioned that their dad who was in India had experienced a cloudburst, which is like a flash flood that people shouldn’t be out in. I found the idea of it so fascinating that it made its way into the song.”

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3:22
 
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3:42
 
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3:28
 
4
4:29
 
5
3:48
 
6
2:01
 
7
3:50
 
8
4:04
 
9
3:52
 
10
4:02
 
11
3:37
 
12
4:31
 

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