Dan Kaplan/Magnolia

Dan Kaplan/Magnolia

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Rock - Modern | Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Total Song Plays: 139   
Member Since: 2013
   Last Login: over 30 days ago
   Sounds Like: Ryan Adams, Coldplay

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Plays: 38
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Song Description

No fancy metaphors, no clever wordplay - just a simple reminder of what the song is all about: the idea that sometimes the only way to face up to our own worst fears is to stare them in the face and jump straight in, without looking back. Sometimes, it's the only way to get by.

Story Behind the Song

It was my first time in Nashville, let alone my first time recording there with one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Matthew Perryman Jones, and there was only one day of studio time booked for the following morning, so I was definitely feeling the pressure. I had no idea who my bandmates for the day would be, what seasoned Nashville musicians Matthew had put together, but I knew I was in good hands. The first hour Matthew and I worked out a few kinks in the bridge section, while Cason, a local producer, flipped on his racks of compressors and preamps and set up a few mics. By the second hour, we were up and running, laying down the foundation tracks - a simple kick and snare beat to work from, and scratch guitars and vocals before the drummer, Nashville all star Billy Brimblecom was scheduled to come in at noon. A few hours later, with the drum tracks nailed in a handful of takes, Tyler Burkam, a session guitarist fresh off touring with Mat Kearney, came and set up his array of pedals and vintage Orange amp and layered on about 10 tracks worth - ambient shimmering sounds more reminiscent of a synth, chords big enough to fill an arena, and a few notes that rang out in just the right way. By 6:00 pm, Cason was adding in his own layers - hammering piano chords, and ornamental notes meticulously placed every here and there, and started fine tuning things before I could track the last part, my vocals. But I still didn't have the last few words. With my nerves rattling, I put my headphones on, closed my eyes, listened to the click of the snare, and started singing. And just like that, as though they were there all along, the words finally showed up, exactly what I needed them to be. No fancy metaphors, no clever wordplay - just a simple reminder of what the song is all about: the idea that sometimes the only way to face up to our own worst fears is to stare them in the face and jump straight in, without looking back. Sometimes, I suppose it's the only way to get by.

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Lyrics

"Sink or Swim"

How will I know, will I know where to draw the line?
Between letting go, letting go, and holding on too tight
It's damned if I do, damned if I don't
It's damned if I do, damned if I don't


Oh, but if I jump straight in
Take a chance on it
No telling where this ends
If I keep standing on the edge, it's sink or swim

How will I know, will I know when the time is right?
If it comes and goes, comes and goes, will it pass me by?
It's damned if I do, damned if I don't
It's damned if I do, damned if I don't

Oh, but if I jump straight in
Take a chance on it
No telling where this ends
If I keep standing on the edge

Won't you take my hand, when I jump in?
No turning back, on all we left
Cause all we have is one more step
From where we stand, it's one last breath, it's sink or swim

Oh oh oh, oh oh, Oh oh oh, oh oh

Ready or not, there's a fear in letting go
But I can't stop now, I've never been this close

Oh, but if I jump straight in
Take a chance on it
No telling where this ends
If I keep standing on the edge

Won't you take my hand, when I jump in?
No turning back, on all we left
Cause all we have is one more step
From where we stand, it's one last breath, it's sink or swim

Oh oh oh, oh oh, it's sink or swim
Oh oh oh, oh oh, it's sink or swim
Oh oh oh, oh oh, we'll jump straight in

Song Length
4:09
Genres
Pop - Rock, Rock - Modern
Tempo / Feel
Medium (111 - 130)
Lead Vocal
Male Vocal

Subject Matter
Courage
Similar Artists
Coldplay, U2
Language
English
Era
2000 and later

Lyric Credits Dan Kaplan
Music Credits Dan Kaplan
Producer Credits Dan Kaplan
Publisher Credits Dan Kaplan Music
Performance Credits Dan Kaplan
Label Credits Folkus Records