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(Each month I send a free secret demo like this to my subscribers — you also get access to all the past songs I’ve sent out!)
(keep reading for more info on the song)
How can I explain this song? Whereas many of my songs are confessional, this one leans more toward speculative fiction — a fitting choice for this spoooooooky month. I’ll leave some of the lyrics for you to interpret for yourself, but I’ll give you the gist of the story (from my perspective, anyway).
I structured this song around ideas and imaginings from Delta Ponds, the wetlands I used to ride my bike to every day. I remember propping my notebook on the railing overlooking one pond, and thinking about what would happen if the notebook fell down into the lupine below. The notebook claimed to consist of 100% post-consumer waste — a phrase which set dystopian visions dancing in my head.
The protagonist, if you will, is some sort of paper product. In the song, the paper — perhaps a message in an envelope? — falls into the lupine.
The lupine — perhaps to help the paper get retrieved — uses its seeds to attract an Oregon Junco. The Junco can thus catch the eye of a birder who can recycle the paper. But the paper questions whether being recycled is a noble way to go.
This demo has piano, a synth bell voice called Splatter Tables, a crunchy synth bass, a piccolo, and multiple vocal tracks. Mostly there are three layers of vocals, but if you listen closely towards the end you can hear some vocal ahs in the background. I tried adding synth percussion and the whole thing got way out of hand, so I dialed it back (for now).
There are actually a couple of VINYL RECORDS of me playing this song, recorded in Brooklyn at Leesta Vall Studios in July 2018. Each record captures a unique performance, lathe-cut directly to vinyl as I played it. The song was very new then — I don’t have a record player, so I don’t know what they sound like, but it could be interesting to hear whether the song has changed any.
October 23 - McMenamins White Eagle Saloon, Portland, OR
November 8 - Sofar Sounds, Boise, ID
November 25 - Yotsuya Tenmado Comfort, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
November 26 - K.D. Hapon, Nagoya, Japan
November 28 - PEPPERLAND, Okayama, Japan
November 29 - LIVE rise SHUNAN, Shunan, Japan
December 2 - Graf, Fukuoka, Japan
December 4 - Risin’, Saga, Japan
December 5 or 6 - TBA, Ibusuki, Japan
December 9 - HOME, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
PS Do you want me to come to your city? Tell me and I’ll try to make it happen! (I don’t always know where people want me to go…) Also, if you’re curious about hosting a concert, it’s easier than you might think! Especially if you're in the US or Canada. Piece of cake.