To Here Knows When – The Sonic Tapestry of Desire Explained


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for My Bloody Valentine's To Here Knows When at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Decoding The Soundscape: More Than Just a Wall of Noise
  5. The Intimacy of Lyrics: Whispers Lost in the Sonic Wind
  6. Touching the Untouchable: A Journey Through Memory and Desire
  7. Unraveling the Mystery: The Song’s Hidden Meaning
  8. Memorable Lines that Echo Endlessly

Lyrics

Kiss
Your fear
Your red button
Falls from my mouth

Slip
Your dress
Over your head
It’s been so long

Move
On top
Because that way
You touch her too

Turn
Your head
Come back again
To here knows when

Full Lyrics

Amidst the swirling haze of guitar tremolos and ethereal vocals, My Bloody Valentine’s ‘To Here Knows When’ stands as a monument within their seminal album ‘Loveless.’ The track is an enigma, shrouded in a gossamer veil of sound that blurs the lines between auditory hallucination and the very real pangs of desire. To decipher its meaning is to dance with the intangible — to grasp at the smoky threads of Kevin Shields’ deliberate, yet elusive sonic architecture.

The lyrics appear simple, almost sparse, yet they echo with a profundity that belies their brevity. Paired with the band’s pioneering shoegaze sound, the words are elevated, transformed into a mantra that resonates with the universal human experience of yearning, memory, and the evanescent nature of time itself. Breaking through the nebulous wall of sound, we seek the core of the song’s cryptic heart.

Decoding The Soundscape: More Than Just a Wall of Noise

To understand ‘To Here Knows When,’ one must first become engulfed by its sonorous landscape. My Bloody Valentine is known for the sheer density of their sound, a technique that defines their shoegaze credentials. But within this veil of noise exists a meticulous order, an intentionally constructed chaos where every reverb, every distortion is a brushstroke on a larger canvass. It is in this bravado of production that the sentiment of the song is painted—loud, relentless, yet tender.

The track’s aural aesthetics are less a backdrop and more a character in their own right—a narrator that doesn’t use words but evokes emotion through oscillating guitar effects, muffled percussions, and the even-more-muffled murmurs of vocal melody. The resulting experience is less about listening and more about feeling, creating an intimate space where words serve as waypoints in an ocean of sentiment.

The Intimacy of Lyrics: Whispers Lost in the Sonic Wind

The actual words in ‘To Here Knows When’ are deceptively straightforward, posing a stark contrast to the immersive complexity of the music. Lyrics like ‘Kiss your fear’ and ‘Your red button falls from my mouth’ teeter on the edge of psychosexual allusion. There is a deliberate bluntness here—an invitation, or perhaps a command to confront one’s own vulnerabilities and desires.

Shields’ lyrics often play second fiddle to his guitar work, but in this track, they achieve a remarkable synergy. They emerge from the soundscape sporadically, like a thought that fleetingly crosses the mind amid a rush of emotion. This dynamic creates a feeling of ephemerality, as if the song’s narrative is constantly slipping from the listener’s grasp, inviting them to come back again to find something they may have missed—a pursuit as elusive as the meaning itself.

Touching the Untouchable: A Journey Through Memory and Desire

One striking aspect of the song is how it leverages sensory crossover. The lines ‘Move on top/Because that way/You touch her too’ transcend mere physicality, becoming a metaphor for a shared experience that is intimate and indescribable. In doing so, the song speaks to the universality of human connection—how a single action, reflected through memory, can carry the weight of countless emotions and unseen bonds.

This sensory blending is echoed in the track’s ability to make the listener feel like they are touching, or even becoming, the layers of noise. It creates a synaptic short-circuit, a conflation of the physical act of listening with the deeper act of feeling, evoking in the listener a nostalgia for moments they can’t quite place, a longing for a sensation they can’t precisely define. It’s this exploration of the liminal spaces between us that elevates the track into something hauntingly beautiful.

Unraveling the Mystery: The Song’s Hidden Meaning

The title itself ‘To Here Knows When’ speaks of an indefinable temporal destination—a moment outside of time, a place that promises a return to some ineffable state of being. The song invites listeners to re-examine their perceptions of linear time, suggesting that the most poignant moments in life are cyclical, recurring in the ebb and flow of consciousness rather than unfolding in a strict chronological order.

When Kevin Shields repeats ‘To here knows when,’ it’s as though he’s chanting a mantra, beckoning us to join him in this transcendental state where past, present, and future converge. Hidden within this refrain is a profound sense of longing, a desperate clinging to a moment that cannot be preserved but only re-experienced in the form of echoes and impressions. It’s these echoes that listeners chase after, deepening their own understanding of the song each time they return to its elusive embrace.

Memorable Lines that Echo Endlessly

‘Slip your dress/Over your head/It’s been so long’—these lines strike at the core of ‘To Here Knows When,’ encapsulating the sweet sorrow of distance and the bittersweet tangle of reconnection. They highlight the passage of time not just as a measure of absence, but as a canvas for rekindling, where the loneliness of the interlude is eclipsed by the intensity of return.

These words, veiled in the song’s trademark ambience, act like ghostly whispers from the past, surfacing amidst the roar of Shields’ reverberated strings to evoke an intimate history shared between the protagonists of the song—or perhaps between the song and the listener themselves. Each time the track is played, these phrases linger in the air, pressing upon the consciousness, begging to be understood—or perhaps simply felt, in the purest, most visceral sense.

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