“The guy sh*ts music,” Jon Fishman once said about his longtime friend and Phish bandmate, Trey Anastasio. “It’s never been anything other than that.”
Anastasio has been on a roll during this ongoing period of self-isolation. Over the last 10(ish) days, Anastasio has released a string of new songs from the confines of his self-quarantine at home in New York City. On Saturday evening, Anastasio released a video of him performing yet another new track penned by him, Tom Marshall, and Scott Herman, “I Never Left Home”.
The song continues the apparent thematic trend of these new releases: our ongoing spell of isolation. Beyond the obvious nod in the title/running lyrical refrain, the lyrics take a more metaphorical look at the phrase as a means to explore false memories, or metaphysical apathy, or the places your imagination can take you even when your body is sitting still (is anyone ever fully sure what Anastasio/Marshall/Herman lyrics mean from the get-go?).
For this entry—which feels notably similar to the material Anastasio wrote for Ghosts of the Forest—the guitarist performs the song in his now-familiar rehearsal room, where the “production” has been noticeably upgraded since he started his string of lockdown releases. Anastasio performs the delay- and reverb-heavy song over a pre-recorded backing track, offering solos on top of his canned playing and singing. Gotta hand it to Trey here—he could have just released the audio with a quirky video like he did for “Lotus” the other day, but this song is a rocker and he wanted us to hear it “live.” Check it out below:
Trey Anastasio – “I Never Left Home”
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For those keeping score, “I Never Left Home” marks the seventh installation of this Trey Anastasio quarantine series (following “Lotus”, “When The Words Go Away”, “Timeless”, “I Never Needed You Like This Before”, “The Greater Good”, and “Lost In The Pack”). I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, it’s been inspiring to watch these songs pour in. This isolation can be a gift if you treat it the right way. It may give you the time to break through some new creative barriers—or, you know, just give you more time to appreciate your cat (see adorable gallery below via Trey’s Instagram story).
Trey’s output during this time has been relentless, even by his own lofty standards. This is a man who typically tours the nation year-round with an ever-growing number of projects (Phish, TAB, solo acoustic, Ghosts of the Forest, Oysterhead, orchestral shows, etc.) and still manages to write more music in a year than many artists put out in an entire career. Now that live shows are on hold for the foreseeable future, we’re seeing Trey’s prolific songwriting come to the forefront at an unprecedented rate. It seems that Trey Anastasio has found his quarantine silver lining. Here’s hoping you’re working on finding yours.