In March, Canadian indie rock band Nap Eyes released their fourth album Snapshot of a Beginner. Today, they have shared two B-sides from the album: “Snake Oil” and “Child’s Romance,” both with accompanying visuals.
“‘Snake oil’ is a well-known idiom of course, for which everyone will have their own associations, and no doubt anyone listening today will be able to find some apropos uses for it,” says vocalist Nigel Chapman. “At the same time, the song is kind of a contradiction or riddle, because whatever this ‘snake oil’ literally represents, the singer is apparently brewing and stewing it as some kind of sustenance. Who knows what that might mean…it’s a riddle even to me, but I wonder, could it have something to do with the dangers at the opposite extreme of the gullibility spectrum—those of hyper-skepticism…?”
Chapman also speaks to “Child’s Romance:”
“To me, it’s child-like in that it’s expressing admiration and affection for another person, but without any romantic-relationship-oriented ulterior motives. After writing it I was thinking it’s maybe a bit like the ‘courtly love’ attitude expressed in medieval literature (the early/original ‘Romances’), which is a slightly outlandish combination of aesthetics, idealism, and passion. On another level, I think the song is about learning, as we grow up, to differentiate between feelings of romantic love and more friendly admiration and warmth that we feel towards others. The following should go without saying of course, but it’s definitely necessary to make room for both kinds of feelings in our psychology—rather than expecting ourselves to feel only one or the other.”
Watch the visuals for “Snake Oil” and “Child’s Romance” from Snapshot of a Beginner below.