Lady Lamb The Beekeeper: “Billions Of Eyes”
Roughly a month passed between my first and second listens of “Billions of Eyes,” the new single off the forthcoming album After from Aly Spaltro, aka Lady Lamb The Beekeeper. After initially hearing the song while watching its quirky and entertaining lyric video, I cried. Quite hard, actually. Not because the song was particularly melancholy. It is, in fact, rather wistful and joyous. No, it moved me by way of perfectly imperfect timing.
My friend David passed away in early December. He was a performer, an improvisational actor with a special gift for both endearing himself to and impressing audiences with a quick wit. I performed with David more than a hundred times, and he was always open and giving on stage — willing to accommodate your failings, maybe mock them a little, but so welcoming that he often made you look and feel better at comedy than you actually were. David could make you forget about how nervous you were so you could just play the game. He was there for you, laughs or no. But more often than not, being on stage with him meant the audience would be enjoying themselves.
It had been about 36 hours since I’d received news of David’s passing when I first listened to “Billions Of Eyes.” The song is full of Spaltro’s trademark stream-of-consciousness writing style. Her musings on the little things — rushing to make a train, growing vegetables on your windowsill, eating food off your car’s dashboard — make the everyday feel transcendent, but also connect the listener to a vague feeling of being lost. When, near the song’s end, she begins to repeat the song’s closing line — “It made me forget everything” — I felt this powerful wave wash over me. And I couldn’t hold it back.
There’s an inherent vulnerability in improvising on stage with someone. It forms a bond that’s truly unlike any I’ve ever experienced. I can’t claim to have been David’s best friend, or his trusted confidant. But we were damn sure connected. And when I first heard this song, I think its hope and its joy might have pushed me to some sort of emotional tipping point. I was so full — of sadness, of remembrance, of pain, of empathy — that I couldn’t handle how much I loved this song in that moment. So I let it out.
And today, when I listened again, it made me think of my friend David. It probably always will. But its joy made me joyful. And its happiness made me happy. Its longing made me smile. So maybe that’s some kind of healing.
After is out March 3 on Mom+Pop