Stealing Glances

from by Goldstein

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James #2:
Unlike the other songs on this EP, which are all relatively recent, Stealing Glances was originally written 3 years ago. It was intended to be a solo acoustic song, but there was always the temptation to see how it would fare as a Goldstein song, and I feel like that has given it a very specific vibe now.

Obviously the lyrics aren't entirely contemporary, but the main question posed is one that is certainly still relevant today, even if some of the specifics are not. Essentially, this song was written not long after I had been dumped, when I found myself constantly wanting the attention of various girls. Now this won't seem like an unfamiliar situation or indeed out of the ordinary for most people, but after a while I couldn't help but question my intentions. The cynical among you will presumably be thinking that I obviously was just looking to get laid, but I was sexually abstinent at the time, and proud of it. When I had been in relationships it had been non-sexual, so that wasn't a valid explanation for my yearning for a relationship. You may then move on to say that I was looking for companionship, but I don't remember actively feeling like I needed a girlfriend. And yet whenever I was anywhere with females, I would find myself drawn to one of them, thinking "Should I talk to her? What do I do?" I knew that I wanted her attention, but I really didn't know why. Hence this song questioning the possible motives. The conclusion I came to years later (The backing vocals at the end were written recently) was that it's perhaps a conditioning thing. I, like most, am conditioned to want the rewards of starting a relationship with someone; self-affirmation, confidence, etc. I know it may seem somewhat cold to reduce romantic feelings between humans to psychological conditioning, but hey, we're animals.


Once again I've got a target lined up in my sights,
As indeed has been the case on countless other nights.
From the amount of people who've a chance to catch my eye,
You'd think that I'd been pitching it into the sky.
But there's some apprehension here keeping me on my seat,
'Cause I don't understand this urge to compete
For a free female's attention and affection
And I know it's not the time or place to sit in introspection,
But my eyes tell my mouth that it should say “Hi”
And I agree with the plan without ever asking why.
My mind's a mad conductor. “All aboard!
Leaving Solitude Station to alight next to that broad!”
That's what I'm expected to do,
But it seems a lot more foggy when I've thought it through.
So now I wanna call it out, yeah I want to denounce
The instinct that's got me ready to pounce.

Am I doomed to live a perpetual hunt?
Am I just automated? Looking for a soulmate like the program dictates.
Excuse me if this gets me feeling less than nonchalant,
But what do I want?

Now try not to be surprised. I've got the prize.
I've achieved some sense of gratification.
So I'll play to my strengths and I will go to lengths
To assure I get a repeat subscription.
But why must I obsess over making slow progress?
I'm not trying to get an award.
The question comes back though still answers I lack.
What end am I striving towards?

Am I doomed to live a perpetual hunt?
Am I just an animal? Forgetting all that's rational, after satisfaction tangible.
Excuse me if this gets me feeling less than nonchalant,
But what do I want?

You might think that you can claim that I should place the blame
On a certain wild instinct that I haven't learned to tame.
My desire should be the same as the others in the game
And you might think that it's a shame but getting laid is not my aim.
If you're not a friend of mine, you won't have heard my logic.
The point is that my motivation isn't biologic.
No I haven't undergone chemical castration
But trust me when I say my motive isn't procreation.
Evolution's volition hasn't sent me on this mission
So why do I cast my reel in this strange kinda fishing?
I'm always on the lookout for girls with whom I'm alike,
Sometimes dropping the threshold lower than I'd like.
I'm a kleptomaniac when it comes to stealing glances
Trying to get noticed like so many peacock dances.
Romances have come and gone, still the pursuits go on and on.
Why would I want anyone?

Maybe I'm about the journey not the endzone.
(Maybe I only do it for the dopamine.)
Maybe it's for company or physical intimacy or knowing someone's into me.
(Maybe I'm conditioned to crave confirmation)
I wish my neurons understood that it's fine to be alone.
(Maybe I'm addicted to this self-affirmation.)


from The Hard Art of Living, released March 18, 2016
Lyrics and music by James #2.



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Goldstein Leicester, UK

Goldstein were brought together by a unifying love of modern punk music. From their covers to their originals, you'll find the power-chords and speed endemic to old school punk, mixed with more melodic vocals and skilful playing present in modern punk. Of course, variety is the spice of life, and Goldstein aren't afraid to mix some ska, rap or Muse into their set to keep things interesting. ... more

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