Somewhere Only We Know

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

"Somewhere Only We Know"
Single by Keane
from the album Hopes and Fears
Released16 February 2004
(See Release history)
Format7" vinyl, Enhanced CD single, 3" pocket
RecordedHeliocentric Studios, Rye, East Sussex, England
Les Essarts, Normandy, France
GenreAlternative rock, piano rock
Length3:57
LabelIsland
Writer(s)Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes
ProducerAndy Green, James Sanger, Keane
Keane singles chronology
"This Is the Last Time"
(2003)
"Somewhere Only We Know"
(2004)
"Everybody's Changing"
(2004)
Promo cover
Cover for the promo version release. The image appears on the back of the official release's cover.
 
Jump to: navigation, search
"Somewhere Only We Know"
Single by Keane
from the album Hopes and Fears
Released16 February 2004
(See Release history)
Format7" vinyl, Enhanced CD single, 3" pocket
RecordedHeliocentric Studios, Rye, East Sussex, England
Les Essarts, Normandy, France
GenreAlternative rock, piano rock
Length3:57
LabelIsland
Writer(s)Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes
ProducerAndy Green, James Sanger, Keane
Keane singles chronology
"This Is the Last Time"
(2003)
"Somewhere Only We Know"
(2004)
"Everybody's Changing"
(2004)
Promo cover
Cover for the promo version release. The image appears on the back of the official release's cover.

"Somewhere Only We Know" is a song performed and composed by English alternative rock band Keane, officially released as their third commercial single, and appearing as the opening track of their debut studio album, Hopes and Fears (2004) as the first single. It is considered also Keane's first major commercial release, becoming one of the greatest hits of 2004 worldwide and peaking on the UK charts at number three during its first week of sale. Also, it was Keane's best selling single until "Is It Any Wonder?" in 2006.

Composition and recording[edit]

The first demo was composed by Tim Rice-Oxley circa 2001. Rice-Oxley composed this song out of hammering with the piano and based on David Bowie's song "'Heroes'".[1] It was first played on the guitar just before Dominic Scott left the band, and recorded as a demo the same year with a Yamaha CP70 instead of the guitar. Keane recorded the final version in 2003 at the Helioscentric Studios, Rye, East Sussex for the album. Keane also played this song at the historic concert Live 8 in London, along with the single "Bedshaped".

A demo version of "Somewhere Only We Know" was leaked into the Internet in 2004. This version features a different length (4:24) and an extra bridge. Chaplin's shout at the outro is removed.

"Somewhere Only We Know" is a clear example of the piano rock characteristics. The main piano riff is written in quavers. It features an 87bpm tempo, a 4/4 time signature and is in the Key of A major. The song can be divided in three main parts. The first one is the 24 seconds main piano riff; the second the verses, changing to minor chords later and the third one, the chorus, which features a Bm7 chord. The piano is also the only instrument that never stops playing. The bass is also played by Rice-Oxley, previously recorded, to be played during live performances by his Apple PowerBook G4. The rhythm shows a 16-beat made by Hughes' tambourine attached to the drums, as can be seen on the music video. The synthesizer is a fundamental instrument on Keane music. In this song, it makes a harmony with the piano and vocals from the second verse, when Chaplin sings "Oh simple thing, where have you gone?". Finally, the main vocals from Chaplin top in the A5 note when he sings "And if you have a minute why don't we go?" and on the semi-bridge shout at the outro.

Information about song[edit]

The song was mixed by Mark "Spike" Stent. 3" pocket CDs were released as a limited edition of 1000, containing the B-side "Snowed Under" as well as links to receive a polyphonic ringtone via SMS. These copies are now valued at £20 due to their rarity. This song was the first Keane item released on vinyl format. The records were numbered and limited to 5000 copies, only sold in the United Kingdom. The B-side "Walnut Tree" was recorded during the James Sanger sessions at Normandy, France.

The real meaning of the song's video and lyrics remain unknown; however, several[who?] have accepted that the meaning refers to "Manser's Shaw", a place in Battle where Keane members used to visit in their childhood days and the site of the Battle of Hastings, fought on 14 October 1066.

Richard Hughes, Keane's drummer, offered the following explanation of the song on Chris Flynn's fansite:

We've been asked whether "Somewhere Only We Know" is about a specific place, and Tim has been saying that, for him, or us as individuals, it might be about a geographical space, or a feeling; it can mean something individual to each person, and they can interpret it to a memory of theirs... It's perhaps more of a theme rather than a specific message... Feelings that may be universal, without necessarily being totally specific to us, or a place, or a time..."[2]

In the trailer for Winnie the Pooh, the song "Somewhere Only We Know" was used. The song is not included on the soundtrack.

B-sides[edit]

Snowed Under

The song talks about a place called "Manser's Shaw" in Battle, East Sussex where the band used to spend their childhood days. It was inspired by a poem[3] "Snowed Under" was the only B-side played live during 2004, 2005 and early 2006, because of its appearance on the CD+DVD version of Hopes and Fears, as well as in the Japanese version of it. Like "Walnut Tree", this song was mixed by Andy Green. "Snowed Under" also titles the band's debut album, with the line "someone who understands your hopes and fears".

Walnut Tree

The lyrics talk about waiting for someone under a walnut tree but Rice-Oxley hasn't given a real meaning to this. It appeared on the Music from the OC: Mix 2 soundtrack. James Sanger is credited on this song for his contributions at his studios in France. This song was mixed by Andy Green.

Technical information on songs[edit]

SongLengthTempoKeyTime signatureGenre
"Somewhere Only We Know"3:5787bpmA (La major)4/4 on 16 beatsPiano rock
"Snowed Under"3:50130bpmF (Fa major)4/4 on 8 beatsPiano rock
"Walnut Tree"3:42110bpmF# (Fa sharp major)4/4 on 16 beatsAlternative ballad
"Somewhere Only We Know" (Demo not included)4:2487bpmA (La major)4/4 on 8 beatsAlternative

Music videos[edit]

There are three music videos for this song:

International version

Keane appear coming out of a studio and taking a taxi. Then they come across a forest where live the "simple thing" aliens (called "Roxleys" by some fans.)[1][2]. Each Roxley represents the spirit of a tree.

This international video was directed by Corin Hardy, produced by Kit Hawkins for White House Pictures and shot between 22–23 November 2003. Hardy was influenced by the movie Princess Mononoke and created the "simple thing" aliens, based on the "kodamas" appearing on that film.

The video saga starts with an image of a backstage door shortly before Keane gets through it with Tom holding a snare. They get into a British taxi cab. A little spirit (a "simple thing" alien) is inside the taxi. Then they arrive in a wooded area (in East Sussex, owned by an acquaintance of Corin Hardy). The "simple thing" alien remains in the cab. They began walking through the forest, "an empty land", across a "fallen tree" and finally arrive to a stream. They are now playing the song in the stream. Near the end of the song, the little spirits, Roxleys, appear again and get closer to Keane. Finally lights representing their hearts shine.

United States version 1

The video is the same without the "simple thing" aliens.

United States version 2 and other countries

This video was shot in 29 May 2004 in Hollywood, California and directed by The Saline Project. The song kicks off and Keane are playing a gig on the stage with a photography of a forest behind them. Soon, the photography becomes real and Keane are actually playing in the forest it represents. After the chorus, the forest becomes a city, and buildings start to grow. On the last chorus, it starts raining before converting into a forest again. The forest disappears and then Keane are playing again on the stage.

Cover art[edit]

The cover art was designed by Madefire and Alex Lake, and represents maple leaves falling as on the music video. It also relates to the themes of the B sides, "Walnut Tree" and "Snowed Under". Although neither of the B-sides appear on the Hopes and Fears album, they are relatively well known due to live performances and soundtracks. The letters reading "KEANE" are also in the background, featuring the red leaves.

Track listings[edit]

Enhanced CD single

Catalogue number: CID849
The CD included two different wallpapers for the PC and the official UK release music video.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know" – 3:58
  2. "Snowed Under" – 3:51
  3. "Walnut Tree" – 3:40
  4. "Somewhere Only We Know" (CD-ROM video) – 3:56
UK 7" vinyl

Catalogue number: IS849

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Snowed Under"
UK 3" pocket CD

Released 19 July 2004. It included links for download polyphonic and real ringtones.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Snowed Under"

Alternative versions[edit]

German Enhanced CD single

Released 26 March 2004.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Snowed Under"
Spanish Enhanced CD single

Released 16 April 2004.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Walnut Tree"
  3. "Somewhere Only We Know" (video)
Promo version

The font depicted was used only during the Fierce Panda era.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004–2005)Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4]43
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[5]6
Denmark (Tracklisten)[6]9
Germany (Media Control AG)[7]55
Ireland (IRMA)[8]30
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9]15
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10]19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11]3
US Billboard Hot 10050
US Billboard Adult Top 4011
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks28
Chart (2010–2012)Peak
position
France (SNEP) Download Chart[12]21
France (SNEP)[13]42
Chart (2013)Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA)[14]34
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15]26

Release history[edit]

CountryDate
United Kingdom16 February 2004
Europe26 March 2004
Australia17 May 2004

Lily Allen version[edit]

"Somewhere Only We Know"
Single by Lily Allen
Released10 November 2013
FormatDigital download
GenrePop
Length3:28
LabelWarner
ProducerPaul Beard
Lily Allen singles chronology
"True Love"
(2013)
"Somewhere Only We Know"
(2013)
"Hard Out Here"
(2013)

In 2013, English recording artist Lily Allen released a cover version of the song. It was released on 10 November 2013 in the United Kingdom as a digital download. The song was selected as the soundtrack to the John Lewis 2013 Christmas advertisement. The song reached number one in the UK singles chart on 24 November 2013, her third official UK number one single following "Smile" in 2006 and "The Fear" in 2008.[16]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No.TitleLength
1."Somewhere Only We Know"  3:28

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2013)Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA)[17]1
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[18]3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15]1

Release history[edit]

RegionDateFormatLabel
United Kingdom10 November 2013[19]Digital downloadWarner Music

Other cover versions[edit]

The song is the most covered of Keane's songs, with cover versions by several artists:

References[edit]

External links[edit]