Late (Lioness)
Kid Freud

A quick spring break breakdown of my favorite garage-pop song.

This is one of those songs that is obscure enough to not have anything written/annotated about it, and also obscure enough in lyrics that there is enough to dive into to figure out what is going on. 

Most of Kid Freud’s limited discography speaks to chance meetings, mistakes, and general navigation of naive and young relationships. During all of these songs, there seems to be a particular focus on the woman in the relationship (I’m thinking mostly of this song, Up All Night and The End, but a quick scan at the rest of their debut album shows a similar trend). This point of view always seems to come from a place of empathy and being on the woman’s side. All of these songs are coming from a group of young men, and makes the music sound like various retelling of different stories.

Lioness too young to be expecting all the love
You were just having fun
Now the fun’s done and you got no one

Could’ve happened to anyone

Bleeding out
Middle of the night, see another life panning out
Holding on
For a savior that you know won’t come

Oh, she’s late
Feeling all her years slipping away

She’s late
Her mother’s only telling you what you did wrong
I thought you had it all

But oh my god
Looks like life’s gonna change
I’ve been in school a long time
Won’t stay young and fun and plan it
Till you’re twenty-fucking-nine

The song itself isn’t incredibly dense, so it’s hard to pin down exactly what it might be about. On the surface, it seems like a vague sob story about a woman who had fun in her twenties, and now as she’s leaving them is having a hard time settling down. I have some gripes with the narrator considering twenty-nine “old” or “late”, but nonetheless it is a sentiment that exists.

But the repetition of “Could’ve happened to anyone” prompts the idea that something specific happened to this woman. And this is what I don’t have much evidence for, but I am going to defend that this is the story of a young, unmarried woman who had a difficult unplanned pregnancy. 

I think that the strongest defense for this comes from the line about the nurse. It implies that something medical is happening, and in my opinion parallels the “bleeding out” line from the middle of the song. But the “seeing another life panning out” implies a life-changing event that will deviate her from her previous one, while the following lines imply the difficulty of this change. 

The rest of the song affirms that perhaps the narrator is either the father, or someone who was romantically involved with this woman. It’s hard to tell, because I’m under the assumption that the “silly boy” is the man who got her pregnant, as she describes this as worse than the heartbreak she experienced. 

I think the desperate tone of this song alludes to this reality as well. There’s yelling, screaming, and crescendos that reflect the idea of unfairness that is spoken about in the song, where the foundations of hopelessness and solemness are laid in the beginning.

Wouldn’t compare to this
Oh, I bet that silly little boy probably won’t get missed

She’s late
Never met that nurse before
But she’s gotten you through hell’s door

Bleeding out
Middle of the night, see another life panning out
Holding on
Till the holding on is all you’ve done

Asking out again
Are we lovers, are we friends
Did we forget to draw the line

Couldn’t make it better if I tried
And I didn’t