Solange has already talked about the creation of “Cranes In The Sky” — a standout track from one of last year’s best albums — in an interview with her megastar sister. But Sol-angel goes into even more detail on the latest episode of Song Exploder, diving deep into the nuts and bolts of the song and revealing how it all came together.
On her episode of the track-deconstructing podcast, Solange reveals that the pieces of “Cranes” have been floating around for quite a while. The scratch track that would become the backbone of the song came from sessions that Solange did with Raphael Saadiq while working on Hadley St. Dreams in 2008.
“He gave me a CD with some instrumentals and it was clear they weren’t going to make it for that record,” Solange said. “I immediately had this really strong reaction. I went to my hotel room and wrote the lyrics and the melody, immediately coming up with the first four lines and the ‘I tried to’ structure.”
Solange said the song was inspired by a transitional period in her life. She was a new mother and had just moved back home to Houston from Idaho, where she’d been living while her partner attended college there. She signed a songwriter deal and began traveling to Miami frequently as a place to get writing done. The title of the song comes from that time in Miami, which has seen a development boom along with the rest of the U.S.
“Miami was going through a surge just like a lot of America,” she said. “More developers were just creating all of these high-rises and there was just so much real-estate development at that time. And literally everywhere I looked around had a crane in the sky. And you could not look at a street without dozens and dozens of them. And it just felt really heavy.”
“The heaviness and the weightiness and the eyesore-ness of seeing all these cranes be so disruptive in the space that I found peace in really kind of affected me,” she added.
Check out the whole interview up top.