100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #10: “I See You” by MISSIO

We’ve finally reached the final ten of my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s, and the song at #10 is “I See You” by MISSIO. It’s not often that I love an entire album at first listen, but that was the case with the spectacular The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man by the Austin, Texas-based duo. Comprised of singer-songwriter and producer Matthew Brue and songwriter/producer and instrumentalist David Butler, MISSIO’s unique, eclectic sound is a glorious mashup of alternative electronic rock, hip hop and dream pop. In 2017, they released their outstanding debut album Loner, which generated several singles, including “Middle Fingers” and the mesmerizing “Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea”, both of which received significant play on AltNation radio and made me a big fan of theirs.

“I See You” was the third single from The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man, and my favorite song of 2019. This was further confirmed by my Spotify Wrapped report, which identified it as my most-streamed song of 2019. And what a gorgeous song it is, at once sad yet hopeful, and brimming with emotional intensity. The lush, sweeping instrumentals, highlighted by beautiful piano, a deep bass groove, shimmery synths and crisp percussion create a stunning soundscape for Brue’s stirring falsetto vocals. I love his beautiful and distinctive singing voice that never fails to bring tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat as he sings the poignant lyrics that can be interpreted as being directed either to a loved one or to oneself, reassuring the intended that they are understood, supported and loved despite their shortcomings.

Brue and Butler are great guys who frequently engage with their fans and followers, sometimes sharing their deeply personal feelings and thoughts on social media. I reviewed The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man a few months after its release, and was blown away when they not only retweeted and thanked me for my review, adding that mine was the best they’d seen of their album, but also followed me on both Twitter and Instagram! Needless to say, it made me love them even more. That review is also the 7th most-viewed post of the more than 1,200 I’ve written.

I see you when you’re down and depressed, just a mess
I see you when you cry, when you’re shy, when you wanna die
I see you when you smile, it takes a while, least you’re here
I see you, yes, I see you

I’m alone with you, you’re alone with me

I see you when you hide, and when you lie it’s no surprise
I see you when you run from the lie within your eyes
I see you when you think that I don’t notice all those scars
I see you, yes, I see you

I’m alone with you, you’re alone with me
What a mess you made of everything
I’m alone with you, you’re alone with me
And I’m hoping that you will see yourself

Like I see you
Yes, I see you
I see you
Yes, I see you
(I’m alone with you, you’re alone with me)

I see you when you chase all the dreams inside your head
I see you when you laugh and when you love to the bitter end
(I see you) In the dark, at the dawn of something new
I see you, yes, I see you

I’m alone with you, you’re alone with me
And I’m hoping that you will see yourself

Like I see you
Yes, I see you
I see you
Yes, I see you

Even when you cry and even when you’re shy
You mean everything to me
Even when you lie and even when you hide
You mean everything to me
I see you
(I see you, I see you, I see you)
Yes, I see you
(I see you, I see you, I see you)
I see you
Even when you cry and even when you shine
Yes, I see you
(I see you, I see you, I see you)

I’m alone with you, you’re alone with me
And I’m hoping that you will see yourself

The poignant video, directed by Ben Fee, filmed by Kai Saul, and produced by Sascha Fix, shows a hairy creature, played by Veda Carmine-Ritchie, hidden by an oversize freaky mask, feeling alone and lost, alternately trying to either hide or be noticed by others, and fit in with a crowd of people who seem to be ignoring them. MISSIO is shown quietly standing in the background.

Here’s a stripped-down live performance that provides further proof of not only what a beautiful song this is, but also how wonderful they are:

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