Minneapolis trio ON AN ON's sophomore album, And The Wave Has Two Sides, is out this Friday, September 18th. And despite currently being engaged in a large tour of North America they've shared with us a comprehensive track-by-track account of their recent album, giving us the inspiration and idea behind each song and picking out some key lines from their lyrics that help illustrate those ideas.

'Behind the Gun' is about humanity's migration into cyber space, and coming to terms with the reality that our chip bodies will outlive our chemical bodies.

Key lyrics:

  • "I need you behind the gun/
  • I'll be the one to come undone"

'Icon Love' is about refusing to settle for an adequate relationship when you know you need something more.

Key lyrics:

  • "It's good, that's why we hold so tight/
  • 'cause it could, but it don't feel right"

'Alright Alright' explores the dynamic between soul mates at odds, and the futility of warring with someone you love.

Key lyrics:

  • "Try to understand/
  • You think that you can do it/
  • but you just can't/
  • 'cause I'll take you down/
  • I'll pull you underwater but you won't drown"

'I Can't Escape It' is about a nightmare.

Key lyrics:

  • "Criminalized when we fell asleep/
  • Dream in the night giving us the creeps/
  • Waking you up but you can't come back/
  • I tried waking you up but you can't come back"

'It's Not Over' is about young love grown, and weathering the difficult seasons that are inherent in committed relationships. It's about remembering where you started from and what you've gone through to contextualize how strong the love you have really is.

Key lyrics:

  • "I've loved you so long, for better or worse/
  • and I know that we've been through it/
  • But we know that we got tonight/
  • We know we got the rest of our lives"

'Drifting' was inspired by falling asleep behind the wheel (a little dangerous) and trying to forget unforgettable things.

Key lyrics:

  • "When I turned to look at where you should've been I started drifting/
  • I tried to stare into your eyes and realized that there was something missing"

'Wait For The Kill' is about running from something that's faster than you.

Key lyrics:

  • "Try to find another way out/
  • Wide eyes watching you freaking out/
  • You're so blind that you can't see it now/
  • Wait for the kill, it's coming after you"

'Stay the Same' was inspired by a camping trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. We took mushrooms and swam in waterfalls. Nate wrote the whole song on the drive home without any instruments.

Key lyrics:

  • "In pictures of pictures, and waves of waves/
  • they stay the same, and all things change/
  • We stay the same 'til something takes us away"

'You Were So Scared' is about the determination and tenacity it takes to get through the extreme highs and lows that are a natural part of deep love.

Key lyrics:

  • "You begged me to run and I said fuck you/
  • I'll love you 'til I die if it kills me honey"

'Secret Drone' is about modern warfare and complacency - how governments would rather have people be mindless without opinion in order for their own agendas to succeed. It's also about the fear of a young person being drafted into a war they know nothing about.

Key lyrics:

  • "Manually, Automatically you'll see/
  • It's the push you need to feel the defeat/
  • But aren't we winning?"

'Waves (Synth Interlude)' is a sonic space that alludes to sound waves and the constant intermingling of our vibrational and electric age.

'All at Once' was inspired by flashbacks, dreams, and body language.

Key lyrics:

  • "All at once in the dark/
  • You asked me what we were here for"