“Human Being” by Arkells & Lights

There’s a lot going on in this song (“Human Being”), especially when you combine what’s being put forth lyrically with the explanations that Arkells and Lights have offered. Indeed, as implied by its title, “Human Being” is very much existential in nature. And what’s being put forth is twofold. 

Or rather let’s say, as has been previously noted in this blog, the music industry is such that macrocosmic ideas are often confined into the context of romance, presumably to make such ideas more presentable to listeners at large.

“Human Being”

Well actually in this case yes, in one particular instance it is implied that the addressee is a romantic interest. But beyond that, the relationship said individual has with the vocalist is never really specified. 

Instead, premise-wise what this piece is based on is the universal human desire for, most simply put, something new in our lives. In other words, we human beings have a tendency to sometimes get stuck in a position – for an indefinite amount of time – where our existence feels unfulfilling. And again, this is a more common sentiment than some of us may realize.

Or phrased differently, people like genuine excitement and tend to long for true fulfillment. In fact it can be argued that perpetual search for such is what compels us to for example constantly watch TV, engage in incessant materialism or, as put forth in this song, perpetually browse the web. 

But in the grand scheme of things, those are, may we say, more stationary thrills. You can watch something dope on TV, shop to your heart’s content or browse until your fingers fall off but still find yourself feeling unfulfilled shortly (or even immediately) thereafter. So what the vocalist is looking for is a catalyst which is more trajectory-defining.

The Addressee

This brings us back to the aforementioned addressee. The vocalist idealizes him or her as someone who can bring about the desired change. In fact all things considered, it may well be that the addressee, outside of that seemingly romantic reference, isn’t an actual person. The addressee may well be more along the lines of a personification, if you will. 

For instance, going back to how Lights has described this piece, she mentioned the concept of being “stuck in a rut”, i.e. feeling as if the progression of your life has stalled. So what it is the vocalists are actually looking for, as characterized by the addressee, is some type of unspecified impetus that will cause, in a manner of speaking, edifying progression to commence.

Or phrased differently, usually when someone finds him or herself feeling jammed, logically they’ll simultaneously be under the impression that they lack the wherewithal to readily rectify the situation. So the addressee, outside of being an implied lover at one point in the song, more generally represents the aforenoted impetus that will bring about such rectification.

Arkells & Lights, "Human Being" Lyrics
Max Kerman explains the meaning of "Human Being"

Arkells and Lights

Arkells is a rock band from Canada that has been around since the mid-aughts. Lights is a solo musician who is likewise from Ontario, and her discography dates back to the same era. 

“Human Being” may be the first official collaboration between these acts. However, they have been connected throughout the years. 

Arkells is a band which consists of the following members:

  • Max Kerman
  • Mike DeAngelis
  • Anthony Carone
  • Tim Oxford
  • Nick Dika

All members of the band are credited, as a unit, with writing “Human Being”. They wrote this song with Lights.

When was “Human Being” released?

“Human Being” was released on the 28th of July 2022. It is a song found on an album titled “Blink Twice”. “Blink Twice” is a 2022 studio album by Arkells. The whole project is backed by Universal Music Canada and its subsidiary, Virgin Records.

This album is a follow-up to “Blink Once” (which came out in 2021).

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