Woody Guthrie: Dead Or Alive [restored Wire Recording]
Little out of the normal post scope here, but this is super interesting, and I simply love reading about arcane forgotten audio formats. There’s something magical about how audio was recorded on to things like wax cylinders pre tapes and records, and even more magical still when these ancient recordings can be played back a century later.
So did you know recordings were made to steel wire? And invented in 1898 with limited continued use all the way in to the 1970s and it is currently the longest used recording format? Super low fidelity, but you could make hour long recordings way before tapes and records caught up…you just needed about a mile long spool of wire to do it. Good thing that wire was slightly finer than human hair, so a mile spool could be squeezed on to a spool slightly less than 3 inches wide.
So regarding the Woody Guthrie song today: “This is how wire ended up as the audio format used for the only live recordings of the legendary protest singer Woody Guthrie, the Dylan of his day, whose 1949 performance at Rutgers University’s Fuld Hall was captured on wire by one Paul Braverman.”
A group of sound engineers and mathematicians restored the damaged wire recording, and ended up winning a Grammy for the album of recordings they released. Just listen to this before and after restoration clip I found, freakin brilliant.
I donated immediately after listening to the first track of this awesome indie music mixtape project put together by James Smith of Fox Food Records. Already some great tracks on this 40+ song compilation raising money for some excellent organizations. It is important to support these in our strange, strange times we live in. Join me and do your #GivingTuesday right here!
Friends For Equality is an epic compilation of over 40 previously unreleased tracks by artists and bands from all over the globe
Featuring brilliant songs by Good Good Blood, Hand Habits, John Andrews & The Yawns, Henoheno, The Prids, Spartan Jet-Plex, Chris Harford & The Band of Changes, Henry Demos, G Lucas Crane, The Blank Tapes, Fair Mothers, The Sunken Lanes and many, many more!
/ The system is just below us. Friendship is music. I’ve blogged about Tim Krause’s work before. Here’s what he wrote to me about his new project which, as the title may hint to, touches on the deeper self.
This is Tim, for context, since I know you get a buttload of emails I directed the video for The Pen Test. Hope you’re doing good dude! Hey so I have a project called, Material, with my longtime bud Sam Molstad, he is the mastermind behind Orchard Thief. Anyways we just self-released our self-titled album, Material, and we are very proud of it!
Short story for this. Sam and I have known each other for ten years. We met playing beer pong in the dorms at the University of Minnesota, classic story I know. That night we decided we shouldn’t wear pants when we played, by doing such it would separate us from the other teams, and it definitely did that. I think we got more amusement out of this than anyone else, probably too much still to this day. That sealed our friendship, as though things usually do.
Sam is one of those rare people, that come into your life and you know you will be friends forever. Your paths will always be intertwining. I also realized quickly what an amazing musician and artist he was. Lucky for me, we share a lot of the same musical tastes. Thus, we have played in various projects over the last ten years some successful, some not so much haha.
Last year, around this time, the band we were in took an indefinite hiatus, much to our disappointment. That band had become too complicated and what had started as a simple idea, had grown too quickly, become convoluted, and the band collapsed on itself. Sam and I decided that for our next project we would stick to a simple idea and really ride that out to see where we end up. The idea was to continually jam with an intricate yet concise setup of a few synths, drum machines and fx pedals, and with that, Material would be born.
Since the formation, we maintained that one consistent setup of electronic gear for the entirety of the year, recording every practice and show in the process. What happened is it allowed us to talk and have conversations through our instruments. I know that sounds corny, but it is crazy what that approach accomplishes! In every other musical thing we have done we have grown restless and added components without ever really learning what we DID have. By the end of this year we had really learned OUR setup and the album works as a conduit for an intimate conversation between Sam and me, and, that, is what I most proud of.
We have delved into a style that has been incredibly strong in Minneapolis in recent years (The Pen Test, Food Pyramid, Dreamweapon, to name a few) and we have added our own unique experience and voice to that scene. If we could go back in time and tell our younger-selves, as they giggled on box wine in their boxers, “This is the album you two will make together in ten years time.” I think they would be excited as to what the next ten years would bring them. Here is to those ten years, and many more! Haha sorry that wasn’t that short!
I’m stoked to present an intimate live performance with rising LA outfit DYAN at Green Engine Coffee Co. They will be playing at the hippest spot in my neck of the woods, just down the Main Line west of West Philly. There will be excellent things to eat and drink, and of course, the music will be breathtaking.
Don’t miss this performance and pick up a fresh copy of their gorgeous, limited edition vinyl!
For more information, check the event on Facebook.
/ My friend Peter English produced this beautiful video this past summer, and while my posting the backstory is not specifically a Letter to YVYNYL I figured it’d be appropriate to share what he wrote about making it in his new newsletter:
In July, Tamar Dart and I had the idea to shoot a music video at a carnival in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Tamar is an immigrant to the US, so I wanted to put her in a quintessentially American environment and document her experience. I thought her perspective might illuminate something interesting. Over the course of 2 nights we explored the Our Lady of Mt Carmel Italian Festival: the lights, the rides, and most importantly the people.
To be more specific, Tamar is from the Middle East, and honestly, I was concerned about heading out into a rural area–with cameras no less. It’s really hard to get a beat on the world these days, and I couldn’t tell if we were heading for trouble. But my gut said it could be a special idea, so my crew put their trust in me and we packed up our gear and drove an hour out to Hammonton, NJ.
The gamble paid off. We found ourselves in a tremendously diverse place, full of incredibly generous people. All of whom were excited for us; all of whom wanted to share some part of their stories with us. We spent our time talking to people and taking their portraits–Carnival workers, Mexican and Haitian families, Italian grandmas, white teens & and black college students. So many amazing, fascinating characters.
I found it to be a really uplifting experience. One that reminds me to reach out to people personally when I’m feeling disheartened by the world. That strangers are still capable of kindness and warmth. That people still like art, and are honored to be involved. I won’t soon forget it.
I am thrilled to be hosting such fantastic artists in one of my favorite venues in Philadelphia. We are raising money and awareness for an organization that helps young people through their cancer journey by bringing them on life-changing adventures, and building community in the process.
Also, the show happens to land on the eve of my 40th birthday, so if you can come to Fishtown, Philadelphia, I’d love to see you and celebrate! We’ll have great music, a sweet raffle, rad merch, and super positive vibes all around.
If you’ve got any questions about the organization or the show, don’t hesitate to contact me! If you don’t live nearby, you can always send along a donation and love.
/ When you build music with your scene that clearly is inspired from early Neutral Milk Hotel you’ve got something going to catch my ear. This single pops up as a simple perfect little nugget of joy. He told me a bit more about how this song comes together:
My name is Mateo. I live in Los Angeles and play music with my friends under various names. We are all pretty much terrible at the business side of music, so even though the stuff we do probably deserves a wider audience, we don’t have one. I am the least bad at business, so I run a little record label called Miedlena.
I recorded this album, “Fourteen Weeks” while living at one of the co-op houses in my community. There is a big front room where underground shows happen. It has great acoustics, so when I was living there I started my “song-a-week” project. Basically I wrote and recorded a new song every week and published each one as I went on Bandcamp. I play most instruments ok, and I know how to engineer recordings ok, and I write songs ok, and I had a lot of free time on my hands at the time, so it seemed like a reasonable project to undertake. When it got to the point that I had made 14 songs I figured I should call that an album, and I named it Fourteen Weeks. (I kept going until week 23, so another album is forthcoming.)
The album is mostly acoustic guitar, electric bass, and drums. I recorded it all on a 4-track cassette machine. The songs are mostly about living in a big weird artist community, being in a new relationship, and watching that relationship fall apart. Some of the songs aren’t really about anything at all. Not on purpose, at least.
Once I was done with that I moved on to other things. As I hinted at above, I play in a lot of projects in addition to my solo work. One day I happened to do a little research on how albums get released. The boring back-end stuff like ISRC codes, performance rights organizations, copyright, etc. So I took everything off-line and started releasing stuff more proper-like. That is going ok. I’m not really great at the promotion-side of things, which is why you are probably one of the few to have read this far. I’m almost up to the present day recordings, which is exciting because we’re all getting so much better at making great music.
/ Music is, as many of us know, a true medicine, healing some of the most difficult problems life sends our way. I know a lot about this from personal experience myself, but it makes me happy to receive letters from folks who know the immediate value of music. Create it, listen to it, share it. Those vibrations are the ones that make the most challenging moments palpable, if not downright medicinal.
I have always known music. It has been my comfort. My peace. Sitting in the bathtub as a toddler, I would laugh with happiness, as my dad would sing The Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye” on repeat. And I would request it every time. He would later inspire me to pick up a guitar myself at the age of twelve. It quickly became apart of my life. But I never realized how much it meant to me until it was taken away.
I’ve found that as you get older, it’s easier to let the world get inside your head. Having graduated high school, I figured I ought to put myself on a more “serious” path. I put music at the back of my mind for a while and decided to pursue an academic life at university, thinking that sooner or later I would find a suitable career.
But on February 14, 2011, everything changed. Late that night, I had a seizure and was hospitalized until morning. Six months later I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I decided to move back home and transferred to a local university in order to receive treatment closer to home.
In December of that same year, shortly after having been diagnosed, I suffered a paralyzing relapse that debilitated my motor skills. Much of the strength and coordination in my hands, legs and feet was lost. I experienced problems with my speech, and I soon felt completely defeated. One day, my dad had asked me to pick up the guitar and play something for him. I’ll never forget the feeling I had as I strummed hopelessly and realized with agony, that I couldn’t play anymore. It was at that point that I discovered how important my relationship with music is.
I think that having experiences like these can either make or break you. Or both. After my diagnosis, I found myself in a really dark place, and I felt every minute of it. But my MS has given me much more than it can ever take away. It brought me exactly to where I need to be, where I’ve always needed to be—where my heart’s always been. I picked up the guitar, and I taught myself how to play, all over again. It was frustrating beyond words. And more than once I wanted to give up. But once in remission, I had a new perspective on what mattered in my life.
And a new determination. So I began to write. After I wrote my first album HIS·STORY, I left Canada to travel around Europe for a year. While I lived in France, it was difficult to communicate with people due to the language barrier. In these moments, I turned to songwriting to express myself. I took the Mumford and Sons approach to writing music. I wrote as many songs as I could, then from sixty or so songs, I chose my best six. When I came home, I recorded these songs at Splintered Wood Records. We were just two people for one big project, and I can’t thank him enough for the work he did.
Through endless re-recordings and re-writes, the final product came to be. I feel as if I’m always trying to get what I feel inside, out through music … it’s an impossible task, but I try to get as close as possible. I’m driven by that need to be truly venerable with myself and with my music.
Been going through tons of iPhone photos I’ve taken over the years. I realize I forgot to share this snap I took a couple months ago at a show of one of my favorite artists. I’m trying to dig up any that I took when Angel Olsen played to a few folks in a tiny yoga studio in West Philly in 2012.
/ Poetry has always played an important part of coming to terms with the idea of failure in music songwriting. Philadelphia-based duo Rachel Haines and Benjamin James do some meditation on this, and wanted to send me their thoughts on their first ever single release. Balancing the poser of words, the places they fall in between the cracks, the way they crawl into your skin without you understanding their impact until years later; this is what good songwriting is all about.
we are going to attempt to write about “fail better” our debut song from our musical collaboration - we call The News. The collaboration started early 2016, and most of our songs were recorded during the summer, and we are finally starting to put them out into the world. We will be releasing them all as singles, and we fear that in the playlist culture we live in currently, the idea of taking an entire body of songs and throw them into the world, may simply be too much and fall on deaf ears. Like the Beckett quote we based our song from, distilling down the end piece to a manageable chunk, may be easier on the audience, but may in the long term, misconstrue the intent of the author.
When dealing within the pop milieu, there are so many cliches and pitfalls to songwriting, or at least that is how we feel it is, and frankly, any thoughts or feeling you are going to try and convey, undoubtedly have been illustrated by a poet far better than you could have ever hoped.
That said, we strive to apply context to our songs by anchoring them firmly within an ideology that we mutually could agree upon, as we feel it rings true to both our ears. It is with this in mind that we both agreed to firmly base our song “fail better” within the framework of Samuel Beckett’s 1983 work “worstward ho!.” Perhaps it reads as pretentious or silly to base your framework on a piece of prose that frankly was written as a parody of another work by Charles Kingsley a hundred years prior, but there is something about the quote “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better..” that has resonated with readers and interpreters since its writing nearly 35 years ago, and that seemed like a good enough reason to explore it.
The fact remains though, this quote is often grabbed out of context and is often seen as some sort of self help mantra, which honestly, we do not feel was the intent of the author, but it is easy to see how that meaning can be applied when you don’t read the rest of the prose and all the darkness that surrounds it.
For “fail better,” it is that cutting edge, just below the surface that we longed to embody. Upon first glance, perhaps this is just another “what have you done for me lately,” woman empowerment pop song, but honestly, that is not where we are coming from. It is that struggle between substance and headlines, and that drifting back and forth between people in our lives that we know are toxic, but we find ourselves returning to those places again and again, that drives this song.
This is our first song, and honestly, you never know if anyone is going to hear what you make, so that said, it most probably will be our most honest perspective we will have, as it is a song, simply not informed by an audience in any shape or form.
“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better..” is a case study in the idea of success and whether or not it is a concept that really exists in life, and although we can’t encapsulate that big philosophical idea in a pop song, it can certainly help inform the character within the song. This is not self help material for sure, but writing the song was.
/ The warm movements hold cold reverberations from the low hum permeating this track, a place that feels difficult to turn away from Lily Sheers’ work. And oh, that organ! Ultimately, I am transfixed to these works that use mixed media within outside elements of craft: dance, film, color. Join this incantation for the deeper we go into this autumn song.
Firstly, I admire what you do and the music you choose to feature on YVYNYL, and the letters from artists are brilliant. I’ve spent perhaps too many hours of life wondering why I write songs, why anyone should listen, and what good it does. As a classically trained choral singer and harpist, I’ve never been certain “pop” music is the place for me. Regardless, I’m putting my best efforts into this project, hoping that if I go about it genuinely, someone will connect with my work. Anyway, I love the Letters to YVYNYL because they make listening a more personal experience.
“Depth” was an intuitively-written song. I started with only a simple bass line and a vocal melody so that the space between the two could be an instrument in itself. Working with the musical representation of distance, the autobiographical lyrics are about the isolating effects of emotional independence. At the time I thought it easier to miss people than to maintain vulnerable relationships, despite a resultant battle between the emotional and logical self.
After fleshing out the song more, I recorded the track with Scott Schaus, and our mutual friend Hasan Mahmood came up with the video’s premise, which I think is a great reflection of the song’s sentiment. The one-shot video (truly one shot, no cheats!) features the improvised dancing of Juliette Nolan. While she represents the emotional aspect of “Depth,” I act as the inhuman, a-emotional counterpart ignoring her presence. We laid out the setting to echo feelings of isolation and duality, accented by Kayla Newell’s defiant paintings.
I remember the first time Hasan asked me about the meaning of the “Depth,” I blushed and gave the briefest answer possible. For someone who writes songs about fear of vulnerability, speaking about the meaning of lyrics is also utterly terrifying. The process of completing and putting out this music video has proven befitting, I suppose. Each step has challenged me to reveal more of my emotional self. Here I am now, writing you with more detail than I could not have comfortably imagined upon creating “Depth.” It still makes me a little nervous, but if it’s for the sake of giving a genuine account, so be it.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the video and this bit of backstory. Let me know if you have questions I left unanswered.
/ Somehow, there are two amazing bands named Blisss at the moment, both of whom have now appeared here on YVYNYL (albeit, with massively different sounds). Even though they’re clearly fans of Tame Impala, this single is exploding out trippy tracks like a bunch of hooligan shape shifters.
/ Everyone who puts their focus and energy into creating something bigger finds that the roads they chose change corse in ways they never imagined, and sometimes those roads lead right back to where they started. Chicago’s Nick Donlin wrote me about this experience with his collaborator San Diego’s Zach Vouga.
Good evening, Mark,
We hope this letter finds you and your readers well. It’s cold and rainy here. The seasons are changing. Something about this change effects me subconsciously for sure. It puts me in transition mode, gets me ready for the next thing, and gives me an opportunity to reflect on the past.
Zach and I met in high school. Sort of weird kids, and where we grew up the weird kids did drugs and made music. Not that abnormal really. We were each working on separate projects at the time and I think each of those projects and hit some sort of lull. I don’t know, it was just the right moment to try and work together on something. We called ourselves Glitter Bones. We experimented around for the next couple years, releasing a couple of EP’s and playing super hot and crowded house parties in Chicago and opening for some sweet people around the city. For whatever reason, as life tends to just happen, we parted ways. Zach moved across the country to San Diego and I moved back home. I think of these as sort of the soul searching years, doing a lot of growing up or whatever.
Around a year ago I was working on the rough draft of what would eventually become the song Time. It just sounded to me like Zach should play on it, so I emailed him the basic tracks I had recorded for it. I felt it was kind of an experiment. Like, could we write music together without being in the same room? We got pretty excited about the song, so we wrote another. It turned out to be a great formula. Rather than like writing a whole record and then going into the studio, the recording and writing processes went hand in hand. I’ve always loved records where you could tell the band sort of used the studio as an instrument. So we kept writing, and piece by piece it came together. It’s kind of cool to have the freedom to let the record evolve naturally in such a way.
We decided to call ourselves Midnight Garden. While it definitely felt like we were picking up where we left off with Glitter Bones in some ways, the time apart also made it feel like something new and fresh to us. Midnight Garden is sort of a feeling. Like the way night life makes you feel, or a chilling on a porch late on a summer night kind of thing. I don’t know, I hope other people hear it and think about their own thing.
I said before that the time Zach and I spent apart before sort of reconnecting was a time of growing up and soul searching. Our songs are definitely about that. Lots of self reflection, songs about love, and relationships. Big life stuff. There’s some storytelling mixed in there too. I think all that stuff is better left up to the listener to figure out for themselves though. I just know that for me, writing music helps me get things off my chest, so I think a lot of the songs are about working through something.
This past summer, Zach and I finished up our debut record Ruined and decided to put it up on our various social media outlets, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. It took nearly a year of this back and forth writing and recording to finish the record. It may not have gotten the exposure or attention we wanted, but in the grand scheme of things that doesn’t matter that much. Some people heard it and loved it and shared it with their friends and that’s really what we’re after. Connection through something pleasurable.
Since we don’t really have an opportunity to tour right now, we are always in writing mode. This can be a good and bad thing. Sometimes we write things without any sort of clear direction of where this material might end up. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been writing music together in some form or another for the past six years. YVYNYL even premiered a music video for us during the Glitter Bones days, so I can’t really tell you how many of these songs we’ve written that have gotten lost in the cracks of time. Songs that didn’t make it past the transition to something new.
As soon as we released Ruined, we were already writing new things. It’s sort of a trial and error process to find the sound that feels right. We decided this time it’d be interesting to share a couple of these songs rather than lose them forever. Something Blue is one of those songs. It’s one that we’re really excited about, but just don’t know if it’s the direction we’re looking for when feeling out the next record. So I hope people can listen to it and get excited about what’s coming next and hopefully we can share some information about that soon.
I think we just really love making music together and want to share our experience with as many people as possible.
/ I tend to drift away from remixes and I haven’t even really told myself why I don’t like them, but every so often I feel in the mood. Donald Eley and Tiger Smith reached out to some of their LA friends on this one, so they break off some of the electronics and enter into the computer-realm with a natural hum. But fear not, the balance that implies the woodseenness of the track only gets shaken off a moment in.
I’m writing this letter from a window seat on an Alaskan Airlines flight heading back to LA from Portland. I bought tickets to the Brian Wilson show up in Portland in January before he announced the Hollywood Bowl date. At least I got to experience some solid rain—it’s been too long.
Brian was surrounded by a talented crew, which included Al Jardine, and Al Jardin’s son, who took over any falsetto parts that Brian prefers not to reach for anymore. The sustain on the end of his notes are not what we are used to hearing from the recording of Pet Sounds, so the lyrics are more stark, not cloaked in the soaring melodies. This was most apparent in the song “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” where he states “Sometimes I feel very sad” in a spoken-word type way. It was still an amazing experience and he left us with a near perfect remembrance of “Love and Mercy” as the final encore song. Anyhow, I’m looking fwd to being home.
At the core of it all, we are extremely thankful to have an outlet (and excuse) to do something we love. The music is already there for us to discover and tap into. Like meditation or playing a game of basketball, it’s a way for us to focus on the breath and just live in the moment. Let’s stay in touch.
Thanks for posting about our new project, isle&fever. Super humbled to be on this blog. My music partner Donald and I have been in three different projects together (The Sea of Cortez and Blacks&) but this is the first one where it’s just the two of us doing everything.
A typical session starts with passing around various instruments in my basement studio until a groove becomes clear. The usual culprits are the Fender Pawn Shop Mustang Bass (¾ size), Roland Juno-106, MicroKorg, Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano, Rhodes, Strats, midi triggered drums samples, and (most importantly) a combination of random handheld percussive instruments. Mezcal or whiskey is our choice of late night fuel for the vocal chants that turn into trackable melodies, which are reworked with different lyrics until it feels right.
We are trying to put a live version of the project together, so we are relearning all the parts that we played. Most of those parts were only played once—at the time they were written and tracked. The live project currently consists of myself, Donald, Thomas Bowden (a new father who plays drums like Steely Dan’s Aja), MACK (amazing female vocalist/guitarist with her own EP coming out soon), and Anthony Polcino (who is in Beat Club and releasing his solo project Antoine Diligent this month).
/ After reading this piece from Cathy Wilcock and Chris Lyon from Manchester it made me wonder if they are working on a PhD in philosophy or psychology, and music lands in the region of ‘side project’. I don’t know if they are students or professors - it’s just my own wild guess - but their methodology clearly correlates to their song writing craft. Perhaps, like many of us, their professional life is merely a side project of their true passion in music.
We came across your blog and have been having a blast reading through the Letters to YVYNYL – great idea for a blog feature. We wanted to write you a little something about our recent single ‘Young Blood’ and the EP that it is from.
The EP has a central thread running through it: the concept of liminality. The ‘limen’ is a boundary or threshold and liminal moments refer to transitions through those boundaries. While the concept has been borrowed into all kinds of contexts, we are taking it in its original anthropological sense. Societies everywhere have been very consistent in developing rituals of transition. These mark (or even bring about) the transition from one category of identity to another. They can happen to selves within societies (for example, the Sinhalese-Buddhist exorcism-of-illness ritual), or to societies themselves (for example, during revolutionary epochs), or can reflect a society’s sense of the world they inhabit itself undergoing substantive change (as in the spring rituals of pagan Russia explored in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring).
These rituals are chaotic moments because they require disassociation from the ordering principles of the past followed by the establishment of different, new, ordering principles. In between the disassociation from and re-establishment of ordering principles, there is a space where experience is unstructured and unmediated by these principles of order – this is the liminal moment.
One of these rituals of transition is the coming of age ritual which formalises a subject’s transition from childhood to adulthood. This is the particular moment of liminality which informs our single ‘Young Blood’. Coming of age rituals let the subject loose from the authority of their parents, their tribe, their roots, and allow them to / invite them to establish their own principles of ordering. This sense of release can be liberating and enriching but also sorrowful and angst-ridden, as seen, for example, in Goethe’s Young Werther or Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko. This fretfulness and self-doubt often arises because the subject is being asked to prove that they are ready to go it alone. It is the anxiety accompanying liberation during coming of age liminality that our song ‘Young Blood’ explores.
There are multiple voices in the song which all take place in the subject’s head. This is because of the multiple selves (pre- and post-transition) which co-exist during liminal moments. There is fear about being set free from the authority of the parents and the homeland and perhaps losing contact with those ordering principles altogether. There is self-doubt about whether or not the subject will let down both themselves and those former authoritative voices. This apprehension accompanies the euphoria of liberation from those authorities. Throughout the song, the lyrics reference these pressures / freedoms. At the same time, the music embodies simultaneous apprehension and excitement in its fluid metric shifts between an angular pattern in the verse and bridge and a euphoric four-on-the-floor in the chorus.
/ Montreal-gone-LA electro artists Jeff Feldman picks some poignant collaborators. Darkness and blood get a moment to break down and reflect with his friend singer Dani Poppitt. Personally, I’m absolutely fascinated by the dreams of death and life and how the two will never be disassociated by the two elements of our experience. Songs, as meditations, on the afterlife have always had resonance with me and maybe you’ll share that emotion with us as you listen to their newest track here.
I don’t really know where to begin so I think I’ll begin by saying I think you have something special going on over here at yvynyl.
I just stumbled across it recently and once I landed on yvynyl and started digging, I quickly realized that it was more than just another generic blog. It breathes, has a pulse and feels alive. Thanks for creating a human, comfortable place to connect to new art!
My name’s Jeff. I go under the moniker Alone Architect. I make what I’d like to consider to be cinematic, electronic music. I often compare my music to a novel. Weird, right? Or a film. I like to think that in listening to my songs, they take you on somewhat of a journey. That they tell a story. That they’re visual.
I’ve always had a thing for love songs. Not in the sense that I like listening to love songs, but more in the sense that I fell that there are so many of them out there that the world doesn’t need another one. For example, listen to any pop tune out there and there is some form of love, lust, sex, heartbreak etc associated with them. Now, there’s obviously nothing wrong with love - the actual emotion. It’s amazing! It’s probably the best feeling out there. Loving and being in love and being loved. I love it! Ha! That being said; there are other things to write about as well. So I’ve never written a love song.
Faded is, in a way, that love song that I had yet to write. Myself and Dani Poppitt, my friend and the vocalist on the tune, penned the story from the perspective of someone who recently died & finds themselves unable / unwilling to leave our physical world behind for fear of losing their true love and never finding them again.
They’re trying to beckon their love to follow them to another plane of existence that they think is better. Closer to the source. So they can transcend together. They basically want their true love to kill themselves, so that they can be together.
Now from our human perspective that may seem pretty messed up. I often find myself wondering if what we think we know, is actually what we know. As a species, I mean.
So much of our beliefs are based upon “laws” that are only viewed as sensical because of our willingness to accept their validity. Even when it comes to science, all these values (numbers, equations etc.) that we use to obtain proof, through scientific equations and formulae, are only true based on our willingness to accept these values for what they’re inherently meant to be taken as. 1 being 1. 2 being 2. 1 + 1 = 2, for example.
Now, I’m not saying I’m anti-science. Far from it. I love science. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that we all have our own ideas of what happens to our consciousness energetically, once we die. If we retain it and move on to a more evolved and aware state. Or if it just goes back into the flow of it all and who we were, the thoughts we had, the energy we bottled for our briefest of moments in this particular life, explodes into a wave of everything and our individual “souls” or “spirits” cease to be. Or there is a huge possibility that there’s nothing. That’s it.
The truth is, is that no one really knows. We all want to believe that we go on. That there is another dimension where we are going to transcend to, once we depart this physical plane. We want to think that we’ll still hold strong bonds to those that we loved dearly and the fiercest in this life. That we’ll move on in another life, together as more enlightened beings. Beings working our way to the source of it all. To the light of enlightenment, where we’ll be able to rejoice forever and marvel at how ignorant and naive we were when trapped in our physical selves.
We want to live on, ‘cause, goddamned it, we’re important. We matter.
I wish I could believe that when I die, I’ll still be me, but version 2.0.
That I’ll be with those that I love most in their 2.0 forms.
This is kinda what this song is about.
I wish I could believe that I was important enough to live on after my body dies.
But I can’t. Because I know enough to know, that I know absolutely nothing at all. Like Jon Snow. Only not nearly as badass.
Enjoy the tune and please feel free to let me know if you need any more info!
I’ve been collecting new tracks for this project so that I can share them with you together in one bundle. I’m thrilled that this project is attracting wildly talented new and innovative artists from all over the globe. On this short mix, you’ll hear diverse elements: two songs from Japan (though one of them pretends to be Russian for shits and giggles), a poetic song from Australia, another from New Zealand (the one track here not a premiere, I just love it so much I can’t help but plug it again), yet another from England, and of course a smattering of new ideas from far corners in the United States. I love that part of doing the premiere mixtapes. Have a listen!
Photo by Jeffery Silverstein from Singles Club, used by permission.
Time passes. Or it doesn’t. Maybe it’s a trip that we all get fooled about experiencing together. In that vein, I decided to put together a group of songs for you, dear readers, that feel the essence of my elemental beings of music here in the late summer days of 2015.
Artwork by Colin Holloway, used with permission.
Time tangles some mighty webs, don’t it? You blink yr eye and all of a sudden you’re in a completely new world, new skin, new haircut, new seersucker suit. This weird journey we’re on, the surrealism of it all keeps yr mouth agape and full of wonder. And this, friends, is just a small soundtrack.
Tracklist + DL = http://bit.ly/catscradlemix
Don't give in to the A/C - roll those windows down! Crank up that stereo. Embrace it. Maybe these are a set of summer tunes for yr vacation roadtrips, or perhaps just yr backyard BBQs. Slow down and feel 'em.
Original artwork by o_lie. Used with permission.
Check out more yvynyl mixtapes here: http://bit.ly/yvynylmixtapes