Guest Post by Matthew Barton – Hide
You’re lucky you don’t feel you have to hide.
I wrote those words in a song called ‘Hide’ a few years ago. I don’t know exactly who I was singing them to, but the sentiment was clear to me: there are just some things that we feel we have to keep hidden. What we think, what we feel, what we do. Who we are. And who from? And why?
Why do we feel that some things, some parts of ourselves, maybe some of the most important parts of ourselves, have to be reduced or altered or locked away? For some of us, it’s to avoid judgement or embarrassment, to try and make sure people think a certain way about us. Or maybe it’s to try and succeed, in whatever context, because we feel that only a modified version of ourselves can do that. And for some people, it’s simply to survive in a world conditioned against the things you feel you have to keep hidden.
We have all been affected by the events of this year in some way. Some of us have had to hide, of sorts, in quarantine, shielding from the global pandemic. But many people have to hide every single day, and I don’t just mean physically, for their own safety and as a way of life, pandemic or not. And the silence of those who don’t have to hide in the same way is now something that cannot be accepted.
2020 is an opportunity. We have an opportunity to stop hiding, to add our voices to the rousing chorus that is forming. What we are seeing right now — solidarity with a movement committed to change — is energizing. People are thinking, people are learning, people are acting.
‘Hide,’ a little song that I hid away myself on an EP I quietly made, has been back in my mind lately — a song that was maybe about my own personal experiences has started to take on different meanings for me… I’m thinking about the people whose voices are now being heard, the change people are determined to enact, the opportunity we have to use the voices and the power of privilege for good.
The reasons that people have felt they need to hide can become a catalyst. I’m feeling that. I know how easy it is to stay hidden, stay quiet. How the quiet you may have been forced into can even become a comfort, your own safe place.
But now is a time we must put our own comfort aside and use this opportunity — use it to learn, to educate, to act — so that no one, yourself included, feels they have to hide anymore.
Based in the UK, Matthew Barton describes his music as ‘where 60s girl groups and DIY cassettes meet, on a fuzzy four-track with guitars and synths and autoharps and harmoniums.’ Today’s track is Matthew’s third song of the day; we previously featured ‘Orchid’ and ‘Fag,’ both released earlier this year. Like today’s post, our post about ‘Fag’ was written by Matthew. ‘Hide’ appears on his 2017 EP, Kittenskins.