Even though they don’t sound much alike, I consistently get “Shady Acres” mixed up with “Overlong,” and that’s because they are both demos released on a previous Fluid Ounces website. They don’t sound that much alike, except that neither of them employ much piano, and both include Seth Timbs singing with whispery vocals, but the fact that I got both of them at the same time and never really listened closely to either of them has me perpetually getting the two confused. I believe this one was co-written by Mac Burrus, and I always imagined the collaboration happening while Seth lived in Los Angeles.
The song focuses on a journey to a place called Shady Acres. This place can be reached by relaxing for the journey on a bus or plane, mentioned twice in the song’s structure of playing through two nearly identical segments, but we are not hearing about a place where one will go to stay permanently (as referenced by telling the neighbors that the invitee will be coming back). On the one hand, there are inviting aspects to this place, talking of greener pastures and diamonds on horizons, but on the other hand seeing a sinking ship coming up one last time to say good-bye before it sinks for good. The second segment provides little more light to the situation, saying that one must slip away when leaving, and then saying that once the invitee is there, he or she will experience both feelings of regret and contentedness.
This place referred in this song, obviously not a physical place, is a bit of a mystery for me. I presume, as always, it is being addressed to a lover, but its mixed message about its destination make it a little less stellar than the other big romantic invitations, “Come On Out,” and “Burning Daylight.” It was suggested to me that the rest-home-like title of the song could make it about being in a nursing home and possibly even euthanasia, which I guess is possible, though I don’t see how all the pieces of this little riddle of a song fit together for that one.
Here’s the mp3 of this one so you can decide for yourself.