Been at war with myself
More lyrically unfinished but musically brilliant Lifeblood b-sides.
This is a somewhat more grounded cousin of Empty Souls, the parent song of the single. Both songs feature a similar piano motif endlessly repeating in the verses. That’s where the similarities end as Litany takes a whole different ground musically in all the other ways. It’s one of the “elegiac pop” tracks of the Lifeblood era with a heavier guitar emphasis than usually – multiple layered guitars throughout the song and increasing as the song marches forward. The pounding tom drums and their primal groove turns into a poppier, more uplifting chorus.
Litany was originally one of the songs that was namedropped in the big list of songs that the band were writing and recording during the Lifeblood sessions – at one point the album was supposed to be titled Litany as well (or the idea of the name was thrown about, rather). It’s sorta weird to see a track of such importance at one point released as a b-side after this long from the album’s release, one would have thought it would’ve made an entrance on the first single. Why it’s not on the album is pretty simple as it stylistically stands out quite a bit. Sure, it’s got the same vibe going on as most of the Lifeblood era tracks, including the ones on the album, but as the instrumentation and production sound far more natural than the perfectionistically produced Lifeblood – not to mention the guitar-heaviness of the song as opposed to the subtle use of the six-stringer on the album – would have left it an odd man out. As it is now it’s a bit of a gap point between Lifeblood’s instrumental approach and the return to guitar on the subsequent releases.