Throwback Thursday: Duncan Sheik – On a High

Throughout 2020, any song that could give you some good feeling through the endless bleakness was gold. I spent much of the year going backwards, rediscovering old songs from my youth or beyond to get that little bit of nostalgia to fuzz out the dark vibes of the world.

Sometimes I didn’t have to go back that far. Following his massively successful first album containing the single “Barely Breathing”, pop rock songwriter Duncan Sheik released his follow-up Daylight in 2002, preceded by the blissfully upbeat single “On a High”.

For some reason I will never understand, the track never quite gained traction at radio, but it is certainly a song that has aged perfectly. While certain lyrics imply it’s a love song (“You’re the sea and the sky, And the blue that runs through it, yeah”), and an apology (“Said I was yours, you were mine, but I didn’t really mean it/And I lied, and I lied, wish you hadn’t seen it”) but the parts that have felt most relevant recently have been about finding a positive outlook through hard times (“And there are so many reasons I could give you why I should be down/There’s not enough money, or time and my love you’re not…/Around, Around, Around”).

Whether the track ever finds the second life it deserves is yet to be seen, but if you need some music to brighten your day, it’s certainly worth a throwback. Take a listen to it here.

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