Music & Lyrics: Ashley S. Beroukhim
Production: Jacob Feldman (Plot Twist)
Mastering: Noah James
*All the blacked out parts in the description are blacked out because they are referring to the music video that got cancelled due to COVID-19. A video will still be made, but timing is indefinite.
"Everybody Knows" is the second single to be released off Better Mess - LP . It's a serious take on the story also told in the first single, "My Boyfriend." "My Boyfriend" is all about flaunting your confidence and self-worth in front of someone who thought they could belittle and take advantage of you. "Everybody Knows" reaches beneath that confidence to reveal a deep level of disappointment, having to ask for the apology you think you deserve but were never given.
I was so hurt by the way things ended with a "friend" of mine. By the betrayal, the negativity - and of course - my lack of closure. So while sitting in a coffee shop on Hunington Avenue, I started writing down the apology note in his voice that I felt I deserved. The note was finished that night in my apartment as the song, "Everybody Knows."
After the falling out of any relationship, the people directly involved are not the only ones affected. A whole COMMUNITY can get involved. The circles of friends you shared, the people you met through one another, the acquaintances you now recognize on the street - word gets to them when the word is shocking enough. Wherever I went it seemed like people were approaching me, shaking their heads baffled by the stories, and without fail would say something along the lines of "He thinks that nobody knows. Everybody knows." And the message was starting to make its way to his brain that he couldn't say hi to my friends anymore.
"And when I walk into the room I'm seeing pictures of you
Painted on the faces of your friends that I knew.
And when I walk into the party -
their eyes are allows firing me down.
Everybody knows who I am
Everybody knows what I've done
And it's clear nobody here
Wants an explanation."
The (video and) song follows our apology note in his perspective 90% of the time - everything I wish he said and wish he'd admit to. the camera follows him and I both entering the same party, all eyes on us in different ways and for different reasons. But knowing that this guy would never own up to his actions, the perspective shifts in the end - attention turns on him in the end, and our party of gazing individuals becomes an ARMY versus one (on the dancefloor *haay*). The video is to reveal who is really telling the story; his own scapegoat.
The perspective shift in the song is a symbol of dominance; that truth dominates fiction. 90% of the song is a lie because there was no apology, and there never would be - therefore it is imaginary. But the scenes this fake apology refers to are all 100% true.
The last section of "Everybody Knows" shows someone flipping the switch and embracing reality. That I know, along with everybody else, what really happened - I don't need an apology. And the music production emulates all that - it's harsh with an angry low end, it's loud, wide, and active which completely defeats the meager, imaginary ballad that came before it.
I finally had the courage to admit the truth; not to others - that was easy, but to myself. I knew this guy for 2 years - it was hard to think of him in a bad light, but I had to because that was his preferred lighting. Because defending his reputation was crushing my truth and inhibiting my closure.
I finally refused to be blamed/scapegoated by someone who cannot take responsibility for their life, no matter what relationship we had. This song also taught me that placing blame is not a negative thing - it's a constructive thing, and maybe we just need to rewire and think of it as placing responsibility.
I was not responsible for ridiculing people, I wasn't responsible for damaging public property, I wasn't responsible for so much - and yet - I made excuses that it also wasn't his fault. But if no one can be held accountable, what are we learning from? How do we value truth? How do we grow? You don't - you just keep lying.
This song (and video) is about fact vs. fiction, and knowing that truth and authenticity have the support of thousands while deceit limply holds the support of one.