"You're thin ice, I should be on solid ground
And oh, so quiet vice, I can hear the cracking sound"
Duran Duran started a fire in me when I was a young girl living in my hometown Buenos Aires in the early 1990s. Their music was always played in my dancing classes and inspired me to speak the English language, I used to find their accents so badass. Duran and Prince were my introduction to the language - most of my skills are self-taught. But my love affair with their music really began with the ‘Astronaut’ years. They were such a highlight in my life, I remember listening to ‘(Reach Up for the) Sunrise’ as a teenager and it was the song that began everything.
Their music saved my life from a lot of personal demons. But there was a demon that kept testing me until one particular song made a click in my brain and the rest is history.
‘You Kill Me With Silence’ became an instant favourite when I first heard it back in 2015, although I didn’t fully connect with the lyrics at the time. People nowadays are looking for something to ‘relate to’ even if it’s the dark side of relationships and singing about misfortunes can lead an artist to success. Being a feminist, I knew it was about an abusive relationship. I was okay with not relating to it until this song truly happened to me in real life.
‘You Kill Me With Silence’ is not your ‘’I can’t live without my significant other/ my luck is shit’’ type of song, it’s much darker than that. I refuse to call it ‘love’ because love does not hurt or rely in the pleasure of other people’s miseries. Duran are known for writing about the good, bad and ugly of love & sex - whether it’s getting lost in lust, falling deeply in love for the first time, or letting go and acknowledging a toxic relationship that has reached its breaking point. Simon delivered an outstanding vocal performance with this one. I could hear his voice asking for help and it struck a nerve in me. It was one of the few times a song by any artist made me get my shit together and get out of situations I never asked for in the first place.
It wasn’t until 2016, 16 months after getting in a relationship, that the lyrics really started to sink in. Everything Simon sang in this became vivid to me. I was happily taken to a man who was my longest relationship after a traumatic experience, yet he became the one who nearly ‘killed me with silence’. I felt unappreciated, lonely and it was the lowest point of my anxiety and depression.
The chorus became a call for help, I didn’t know how much I needed Duran’s music to get me out of this living hell:
“You kill me with silence, that's your style girl you're letting me know
This deafening silence the only reason that you're in control
It's emotional violence I can't breathe now but I can't let go
You kill me with silence’’
The acknowledgement you are under this person’s spell, how this silence cuts you like a knife and you know this shit is toxic yet you can’t let go, is what happens to every person regardless of gender in toxic relationships. It all starts sweet until the perpetrator shows their true colours, and it's not pretty. I was uncertain about the future and what other options were out there.
These folks are what I call, in Duran fashion, an ‘immaculate dream’, like this person is truly the real deal. I fell in love for the first time in my adulthood but said person was really an abusive asshole. On the other side of the spectrum I had people near to me and my family experiencing significant life trauma. I was truly on my way to a downward spiral. Thank God I didn’t, Music once again saved my life.
How do you get rid of everything that no longer serves a purpose in your life? How do you deal with the everyday shit happening in this Ordinary World when you are subjected to oppression that could cost you your life? Music is my escapism. It’s my favourite art form and I always turn to many artists whose art have a special significance in my life: Prince, Janet Jackson and my beloved English lads Duran. I guess they taught me a thing or two about survival and making this world not so ordinary, although there is beauty in the ordinary. I aspire to extraordinary changes though my vision. I am truly in a better place right now, following my dreams, becoming the ‘Butterfly Girl’, not so much thinking about the next ten years when the present is bright, nothing like getting lost in the music, living every day as your last.
And it’s true - you don’t need anybody… all you need is now.
If you have been affected by the subjects covered in this article, you can find out more and gain support from WomensAid.org