Hide Away Folk Family
a song with fake backwards singing and haunting messages
Hide Away Folk Family is a haunting song. No way around it. In all honesty, it never was a favorite. I know all the words, I enjoy it very much and I’ll explain why in a second but it’s had its fair share of skips. It is an eerie song with ambiguous lyrics and scary undertones rather than sad or existential verses to the upbeat juxtaposition of the music which definitely scratches an audible itch for me. The song is not without some juxtaposition if that’s a thing you love (and also a word you have read twice in the same paragraph for the first time in your life).
To me, Hide Away is about rural families who are afraid of the news they see on TV or hear on the radio. There is always something “out there” lurking. You have to be careful and tip-toe around because the thing might “get you,” whatever the thing is. The mother must tip-toe to the front door (presumably to lock it) because on the other side of the door, is a guy with a long, long fuse. A stick of dynamite? An old-timey bomb? Maybe the description means it’s a kind of danger that sits patiently waiting for the perfect time to strike.
And the one thing you can’t hide
is all the fear you feel inside.
No matter where you hide or what you do while afraid, the fear is inside you. What is more terrifying than that?!
Placed toward the middle of this song (I guess it’s the bridge, I’m no music scholar), is a sudden change in tone. A heavy guitar strikes chords while a booming voice with the cadence and gravitas of a local news anchor reads an astrology report. The report warns Aquarius and Capricorns to basically beware and prepare for doom. When the chorus returns, the subtle and ominous sound of an accordion in reverse, followed up by spooky fake backward singing and ending sharply with the sound that always makes me think a spirit is trying to break through this haunting song into my realm to make me hide away.
You know what? I take it back. I LOVE this song. After writing some of this post and taking some time to listen to this song on repeat a few times with intentional ears, I found myself falling in love with the journey this song takes you on. The way this song itself gradually becomes this backwards sounding existential horror. Their harmonies are pure TMBG essence and its both beautiful and disturbing. If Ari Aster were to write and a direct a song instead of Hereditary or Beau Is Afraid, it would be Hide Away Folk Family.
What does this song mean to you? Is it a favorite of yours? Do you have any core memories associated with it? Let me know in the comments and we can all talk about it.
Who or What do you think is coming to GET the folk family?
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