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Morrissey for Company

by buttercup

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“Morrissey for Company,” is the second single from Buttercup's "Grand Marais" album (July 2023). The song offers a ridiculous conceit: a stricken soul seeking relief by obsessively and incessantly listening only to Morrissey for the duration of a whole year. Pro tip: it doesn't help. “He’s not good company,” jokes Sanden.

Some questions and some answers by Erik Sanden:

1) What is the story behind this song? What made you want to write it?

I lived this song. After my father died I laid on the couch for a year or so, unable to write songs or do much besides the bare minimum to keep the lights on. But there was consolation in Morrissey and the Smiths: this music seemed the only thing I wanted to listen to. I consumed it like a teenager in love with a band for the first time. This new passion helped me feel alive and I was thankful that I could still summon that teenage feeling.

2) The song takes an interesting premise and asks the question: does listening to a lot of Morrissey music help or hurt someone going through a time of grief? Can you elaborate on this and explain how that idea of music being therapeutic (or not) fueled this song?

I’m certain that music has cathartic properties. In our modern age with so many technologies and digital distractions blunting our capacity for love, song is like Kafka’s axe to break the sea frozen inside us. I know that at times a certain mixture of chords and notes can bring me to weep, and I’m thankful for this. Others argue that sad movies and songs are just plain downers and should be avoided, and they are wrong.

3) Taking that a step further, many songwriters find the songwriting process to be a form of therapy, in that it helps explore and unpack things that might be weighing the writer down emotionally. Do you think this is true of your experience? Does creating music help you feel better?

Ultimately, yes. Although to be perfectly honest, sometimes the process is truly annoying—you have to tinker and sit still for quite some time—playing with something that often feels fundamentally lousy and boring. I believe that--at least in my case--is the trick to songwriting: patience and courage to wait for something interesting to emerge. But once something honest has taken form, I feel somewhat better, more in touch with my struggles.

4) Do you hope that this song and the album it comes from become your listeners' version of Morrissey, their go-to when they need to pull themselves out of a dark place?

That would be lovely.

5) Do you have a favorite Morrissey song?

"There is a Light That Never Goes Out” perfectly captures the teenage feeling of having your head out the window, speeding down the road with the night breeze in your hair, utterly in love.


Morrissey for Company 

the weatherman he’s not a fool
predicting what I’m gonna say
cold and bleak
i’d laugh if you called it free will
i’m so much less more like possessed

without you
i’ve got nothing but maudlin thoughts
without you i’ve got these shambles
i’m drinking
i’ve lost before i’ve even fought

it’s not making me better
oh sick to my heart
it’s not making me better
oh lost from the start

so what did you expect?
“so what?” you say

back at the ranch it’s a laugh
pour a tea have a good cry
there’s ten thousand things that are worse
but still i can’t i want to hide

without you i’ve got nothin' to say
without you all i’ve got is morrissey on tape
morrissey for company

it’s not making me better
oh sick to my heart
he’s not making me better
oh lost from the start
so what did you expect?


released May 19, 2023
From the album “Grand Marais” by Buttercup

Produced by Danny Reisch
Recorded in January 2014 in Austin, Texas
Mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago, Illinois in 2014
Massaged by Garrett Haines in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia in 2022
Photo by Ramin Samandari

Music and lyrics by E. Sanden


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