Hannah Sexton — the sole mastermind behind Yellow Cellophane — doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the meaning of her song “Learn To Let Go.”
“It’s about FOMO,” Sexton explained. “We’ve all experienced it in one way or another — you want to stay in but all of your friends are going out or doing something, and that little voice in your head is telling you, ‘If you don’t go, you’ll miss out on something or everyone is going to forget you or you go, you have a good time, but you feel like you’ve given a piece of yourself away. You feel emptier after going out than you would have if you’d just stayed at home. So this song is about telling yourself it’s OK to stay home, give yourself permission to do what you want to do, and let those FOMO feelings go. You won’t be forgotten. There will be another show or another cool thing happening. Take care of yourself first, and do what you want to do.”
To highlight the ephemerality of time, Sexton has drenched the spirit of “Learn To Let Go” in a ghostly wash of graceful acoustic guitar that quietly fades into the ether before you can wrap your head around it. Sexton’s vocals are also much the same, an airy croon that is nothing if not thoroughly haunting.
“Musically, I always try to come from the heart and bare my soul in every song I write,” Sexton said. “My music has always come from my own experiences, I’ve always used it as like a journal. I even started Yellow Cellophane from some entries I wrote when I was going through a bad breakup. But it’s always been comforting when I can relate to a song, like I’m not alone, and my goal is for people to feel like that with my music. I’m also really inspired by Stevie Nicks’ songwriting style, the way she conveys her message in metaphors, and I use that a lot in my own process.”
Sexton also said that “Learn To Let Go” was created with a dear friend of hers, which makes the song particularly endearing to her regardless of what anyone else takes from it.
“My best friend at the time, who was in school for music therapy, had to write a song for her class and asked if I would help her,” Sexton said. “So she came over to my teeny-tiny studio apartment, and we crowded around my makeshift coffee table in my living room and got to it. Unfortunately, life happens, though. People drift apart, and even though we aren’t as close as we were when we wrote this song, it’s a memory I’ll hold close forever. Every time I play this song, I’m thinking about her and all the memories we shared together.”
So it would seem that some things, perhaps, shouldn’t be let go.
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