I’ve seen the couple dance in the night,
I've seen the couple dance
When one of them's not home
In an interview about his song "Butcher," Jeff describes the above lines as painting a picture of a married couple unwinding together at the end of a long day – but something is lying beneath the surface. The narrative changes when one of the partners pursues another romantic relationship, hidden from their spouse, he says, ". . .[T]o me it’s that they invited the person that they really love, or currently love, or are infatuated with because they don’t have to think about real life. So they invite them over when the wife or husband isn’t home."
Although the track touches on unfaithfulness, the scenario is not one drawn from Jeff's life – at least not from direct experience. "Yeah, I think that song came out of infidelity," he says, "And it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my partner – it was just things I’ve seen and people I’ve seen go through it."
The lyrics can be imagined from multiple perspectives, and that's exactly the point. By casting an objective fog over the idea of infidelity and leaving room for interpretation, the result is a narrative web of overlapping stories and characters that the listener must sift through in order to pull their own meaning.
We met Jeff at an old, empty loft in Indianapolis for an acoustic performance of the track. Watch him perform "Butcher" live at The Neidhammer below.
Read more about the song and Jeff's perspective on the blog in "A Conversation with Jeff Kelly". You can find Jeff's music on his website and YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram. Catch him on tour through New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in late December, and look out for a new album release set for April 28, 2018.
The Catalyst Sessions is a media collective devoted to capturing the power of music in its simplest form. We feature musicians playing completely unplugged and raw in beautiful and unconventional locations, creating a tangible artist-viewer experience unlike any other.