On October 19, Lewis Capaldi announced his sophomore album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent. This title made us realize he always had a halo lingering around his head, despite what his debut might’ve suggested, playing on the terms of both ethereal forms. He also dropped the artwork! With a pinkish tinge melting into its blue clouds, Lewis watches on all sad and stuff as his feet dangle, sitting on the midway point of spiral stairs. Accompanying the photos are lyric visualizer videos. First came the acoustic version of ‘Forget Me,’ standing this time with a guitar. Then ‘Pointless’ with its birds-eye-angle, all with that same nirvana background. Now, another, taking in his side profile, a goldish hue replacing the pink as water tumbles down behind him, crooning ‘Wish You The Best.’
Obviously, ‘Wish You The Best,’ co-written by JP Saxe and Malay, takes on the form of pure melancholy, telling his previous lover everything he wished he had when he last saw them. However, the music video, written and directed by Phil Beastall, paints the song’s narrative differently, playing into its platonic nature. It’s still the same sentiment, but there’s an older owner (David Bradley), a younger boy (Tom Lewis), and a dog (Winnie)… Basically, we’ll get into it! But we want to, because isn’t that true of music overall? Sure, the lyrics don’t change, but like with all art, all sorts of people view it differently depending on their life’s circumstances, and we think it’s pretty brilliant that Lewis has once again played into this!
To: Ex-Lover From: Ex-Lover
‘Wish You The Best’ came from the idea of a person you used to be with, telling you all this amazing stuff about their life, without you in it. It’s a song about what we don’t say to those people. I was fascinated by the things left unsaid, whether that be in a relationship or a friendship.
‘Wish You The Best’ starts with this sigh from Lewis. Of course, any singer knows it’s to aid his breathwork. Still, from a listener’s perspective, it’s almost as if it’s the pause one takes before one reads out the letter one wrote from a free-flowing conscience. It’s littered with pet names (“Do you think you can tell me everything, darling?” and “But, oh, my love”), bargaining (“And when I said we could be friends, guess I lied”) and resentment. You know that time causes change, even of the sour kind (“But leave out every part about him”).
In the end, that breath usually gets swallowed up, replaced with a cough, and frozen, and then, “I wanna say, “I wish that you never left,” turns into, “Oh, but instead, “I only wish you the best,” because we never actually reveal everything, do we? Just turn that letter into a song, hoping the muse catches on.
“It’s like Glasgow gets further from LA.”
The pacing of ‘Wish You The Best’ also adds to this effect. It starts quietly, emphasizing the lyrics that puncture pain, like “It’s like Glasgow gets further from LA.” Honestly, it’s one of those lines that we’ll see embroidered on a sweatshirt in an Etsy store because it’s just that good. Then, by the time the first chorus hits, we’re in the belting territory, and it’s as if he’s now mustered up enough courage to have this deceleration only to fall onto that last line and sink back into himself.
There’s even this pause after the line in the second chorus, stripped of any instruments, just this echo, as it stretches out into an elongated “But, oh, my love,” and yup, pretty sure, our jokester has the best lungs in the business! His vocal flexes aren’t even the best part because once he’s done showing off, it goes back to the quietness, like he’s still shy, coming to the realization, “But I want you happy whether or not it’s with me.”
To: Old BFF From: New BFF
‘Wish You The Best’ in its music video form is slightly different, though. For one, we know it’s not about two romantic lovers who may as well fall into the “one who got away” category. It’s about this dog and his older owner; the laughter lines around his eyes are too distinct. The dog’s name, engraved on his collar, is Willow, by the way. According to The Bump, a site for parents, Willow “is a feminine name of Old English origin meaning “willow tree.” …These graceful trees are known for their elegant, “willowy” structure and ability to grow and prosper despite unfavorable conditions.” So, do with that information what you will!
Or if you’re as intuitive as we are, you’ll know that an unfavorable circumstance is coming, with the owner inevitably dying and the dog continuing to visit his grave. It seems to turn around when there’s a rebirth—a younger boy spotting Willow and bringing him home—but that anguish never entirely disappears. Therefore, from our perspective, this version of ‘Wish you the Best’ is from a third party, and knowing the transitional period isn’t easy.
“Right now you’re probably by the ocean / While I’m still out here in the rain.”
The music video is like one of those YouTube videos where the creative rewrites the lyrics from someone else’s perspective. However, we don’t think anyone needs to re-write the lyrics of ‘Wish You The Best’ to take in the understanding from the new companion. That doesn’t mean there’s any sort of malice. It’s simply the truth that a whole chapter unfolded in the past. Even though it’s over, quite literally here with the passing over of the dog, or relationship, when we’re back to thinking of the song form, some lingerings still create the transitional period and the overall hope of ‘Wish You The Best.’
It’s symbolic of who they chose to cast in the music video: an older man and a younger boy. What was old becomes new. It shows the circle of life and could offer the potential of it repeating itself, as the younger boy could also represent the times that the dog had with the older owner as there’s a resemblance between them. The younger boy acknowledges the older man’s friendship with the dog in the final scene, where he places the dog’s collar on top of his gravestone.
Capaldi Blues Therapy (CBT), Anyone?
Promise, we’ll only let you make a toughie Lewis decision on this occasion, but is there a particular form of ‘Wish You The Best’ you most relate to? Is it in the lyrics as Lewis mourns a relationship, or is it in the familial sense of having to let go of another kind of connection, hence, using YouTube’s loop feature? Let us know through our Twitter @thehoneypop.
While we may not be able to pass the tissues, we can link you to either Lewis’ touring roster, where you can belt out ‘Wish You The Best’ in the comfort of other fans, or our Facebook and Instagram pages. Take a scroll, and perhaps you’ll find another article on our favorite Scottish singer/comedian/Ed Sheeran cutout snuggler!