BackStory: The Soft Hills’ “The Great Undiscovered”


Today we’re kicking off a new, weekly series in which up-and-coming bands share with us the lyrics and stories to their songs. This week’s entry comes from Seattle’s The Soft Hills, telling us the story behind their song “The Great Undiscovered.”

The Great Undiscovered is about play, innocence, and gaining a new vision of wonder. The first verse: “gotta race car gonna go far you’ll see” conveys the pure enthusiasm of a child who is eager to begin his day’s adventure. When I was a kid I loved spending my time in the woods in northeastern Louisiana, exploring, dreaming, climbing trees, and just stumbling upon whatever came one’s way!

Verse two, “in a moment you’ll be growing leaves”, hints at the magic of nature and a child’s ability to get lost in the whirl of his own imagination. In another sense, we all return to the soil after we die and transform into something new, like a tree. 

The next few phrases, “trade in your comfort/ for the great undiscovered/ and a bright glowing seed”, state the fact that humans pay a dear price for their desire for comfort and security which hypnotizes the modern world. We are afraid to embrace freedom and the unknown. Yet we don’t have to live the way we do. A transformation is possible. And when we give up our comfort and let go of our fear, then a new growth begins to blossom inside us. 

The final two verses of the song: “a brand new day is drawing near/ the golden age is calling here” is an invitation to rediscover the joy in life and enter again into a state of child-like innocence. There is another world that we can inhabit. We don’t have to accept the one we’ve made for ourselves, with all its greed, violence, conditioning, and social prejudice. 

At the end of the final phrase “the golden age is calling here” the music changes and flows into a completely new direction, signaling a sudden transformation in consciousness. The idea is that our enlightenment is not a gradual process that we work on over time bit by bit, but rather it is through one’s direct awareness which brings about a new sensitivity in our brains and allows us to experience timeless beauty. The vocals during the end of the song are mostly wordless melodies. A couple words however can be deciphered: “today” and “play”. Do we want to put off our own bliss or can we experience it now today? It seems that by bringing a sense of play into everything we do we would be happier because we wouldn’t be taking things so seriously.

Lyrics for The Great Undiscovered:

gotta race car gonna go far you’ll see
in a moment you’ll be growing leaves
trade in your comfort 
for the great undiscovered
and a bright glowing seed
a brand new day is drawing near
the golden age is calling here

today play
play today