Sometimes I just sit down and try to write a pop song. I’ve done it throughout my life and it’s an interesting thing to do, to try to make something catchy. This one starts off, ‘I’ve got too much on my plate.’ The way I write, I just follow that thought and think, ‘What did I mean by that? Explain yourself.’ After I’d got the verse this idea of my past, my Ever Present Past, came about. There’s no deep meaning in it. I think what happens with me is that I just write something and people read into it. I like that, because often you do things in a subliminal way and don’t realise what you’re doing. So I might think a statement is quite simple, but somebody else might say, ‘Yeah, but it means this…’ I like multiple meanings. However, I often just start off with a phrase that’s really just to help me write the song and get me to the next bit.
‘Ever Present Past’ was first recorded during the Chaos And Creation In The Backyard sessions with Nigel Godrich producing. At that time it had the working title ‘Perfect Lover’.
The Memory Almost Full version was recorded at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio in March 2006.
He showed it to me on piano, and then we started recording with electric guitar, recorded to a drum loop, and then he put down a work vocal and then he recorded his drums.
Mix Online, 12 May 2008
‘Ever Present Past’ was the first US single from Memory Almost Full. It was released on 15 May 2007, two weeks before the album.
The single debuted at 27 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and climbed to 16.
It was issued in the United Kingdom on 5 November as the album’s second single. It was not a commercial success, spending one week in the charts at number 85.
The 7″ vinyl edition had ‘House Of Wax’ (Live) on the b-side, recorded at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles on 27 June 2007. It was also included in the 2022 box set The 7″ Singles Box.
There was also an iTunes digital single, which included ‘Ever Present Past’, ‘Only Mama Knows’ (Live), and ‘That Was Me’ (Live).
The video for ‘Ever Present Past’ was directed by Phil Griffin, and featured McCartney and a doppelganger in a ballroom scene.
It was really me just sort of writing a pop song. I was just trying to keep it real simple and do something very basic, and when I got to the sort of ‘Ever Present Past’ idea it kind of took on a little more significance than I intended because I guess I do have an ever-present past. So it started to be about that and things I did when I was a kid and stuff. Then I got into a video, which I enjoyed doing very much; me dancing around with these girls who learned all my moves. It was very fun, actually.
Billboard, 21 November 2007