My roommate Ben Burton often plays guitar in the living room in the early afternoon. Due to my lack-of-sleep schedule, the early afternoon is usually when I’m waking up, and his music provides a beautiful backdrop to the start of the day. His voice is beautiful, and I’m envious of his guitar-playing ability. Today I woke to a rousing rendition of Common People, by Pulp (and previously I’d only heard the William Shatner cover). I’m convinced the music I’m surrounded by (on purpose and otherwise) will subconsciously alter my songwriting.
I have the name for the album already, and strangely I find I work best that way. I think there are songwriters who focus more on the individual songs, but I’m really best able to achieve a state of flow when I’m working towards a larger concept. Each track needs to be of a certain standalone quality in order for me to release it, but it also needs to add to the grander picture. I usually start with a name (this was true for “Nest Magic”, and also while working with Todd Schmid on “Jupiter”) and allow the feeling it evokes to come out in each track in its own way. I read a Bjork quote once about how she named her albums- that each name (“Volta”, “Homogenic”, “Vespertine”) had an energy about it that was why it was tied to the album. I can’t remember the quote, but something about it really clicked with me.
I started with “Most Anywhere” and the colour light blue. That was all I had, really. This gave way to “Most Anything”, then “Most anything” with the lowercase a (these details matter!) and then on a trip to Vancouver I realized that the light blue I was seeing was made up of glaciers. When I was younger, I enjoyed an Alaskan cruise with my family. The glaciers were majestic creatures; they were very much alive. Huge, slow-moving, lumbering beasts that roared every few minutes. And so, “Glaciers” it is. As my friend Garrett Petersen pointed out, I seem to have a biome theme.
Now, in my head, when I think about this album, I see a war of these large ice bodies, who are completely unaware of the plants and animals they gobble up along their paths. Maybe, I’m thinking, it’s best that I don’t research glaciers any more, so as not to disturb my delusions (and thus, disturb the artistic process).
There are going to be few tracks on this. It will be short and sweet, I think, and will do a better job of a lot of things than Nest Magic was ever going to. I hope. The tracklist I have so far is as follows:
- Pure Sine
- Beside Our Selves
- Early, Dew Collecting
- Let Fire Be Fire
- Within the Grassblades
Each track is fleshed out already. I have a good idea about what the whole is going to sound like, and what sorts of colours I’m going to synaesthetically provoke. The album cover is above. I now enter the studio to begin work. I will continue to post updates along the way!