Singled Out is a feature focusing on the stories behind a song, as told by the artists who made it. In this edition, Lily DeTaeye discusses “Hive Mind,” the title track from her latest release, detailing the patterns in her life that surrounded the creation of the song and how they relate to a broader search for meaning and certainty amid highly uncertain times.
I wrote the song “Hive Mind” in 2020 during my #NewSongNovember challenge. Working in news during the election made me so intimately aware of the dangers of conspiracy theories, misinformation, and in turn, how easy it is for people to be harmed by these things.
After I recorded it with Bryan at Golden Bear about a year and a half later, I started noticing bees everywhere: In the books I read, in the objects I was gifted, tattooed onto the people I met. I was even assigned to profile a Des Moines apiarist in the middle of my revelation. The occurrences were never anything fantastical, just small moments that continued to build until I could no longer deny that bees were on my mind. So naturally, I rationalized every one I saw as a sign.
And while I still like to revel in the magic of that bee-filled year and a half, looking back, I realize this is what “Hive Mind” has been about all along. It doesn’t take much for us to seek confirmation bias. We like magic and we like to be right.
Once we get an idea inside of our heads, we cling to any proof that it’s true, even if it goes against our common sense. We become part of our own little hive mind.
Today, bees remind me to look up, smell a flower or two, and remember that my world is just a fraction of what’s out there. I don’t know anything but I can learn.
It felt right to name the album “Hive Mind” because, although the songs were written years apart, they all seemed to come together to form a part of this process. Some are songs inspired by fear and sadness. But many are songs inspired by new places, new experiences, and times I was put outside of my comfort zone.
Ultimately, I hope “Hive Mind” lands in the hands of folks who recognize the scary state of the world and decide to seek magic anyway.