quinta-feira, 5 de julho de 2018

June Dreaming, "Abandon The Mothership" - Track by Track

A terceira viagem do casal Bruce e Jamie, ou para os iniciados, June Dreaming, nasceu há pouco menos de uma semana.

Como de costume, o duo, não se apega a gêneros, o segredo do June Dreaming é navegar por águas onde o prog, shoegaze e e viagens espaciais encontram-se em uma tênue linha.

Partindo do conceito do wall of sound, "Abandon The Mothership" foi concebido. Extremo destaque para a deliciosa "The Unknown Show", onde Jamie mostra toda a beleza de sua voz, e claro, para as partes I e II de Zephyr, mas o disco reserva delírios por entre suas treze odisseias sonoras.

E são exatamente esses delírios, que Bruce e Jamie revelam os segredos mais secretos de "Abandon The Mothership".

Boa viagem.

***** June Dreaming, "Abandon The Mothership" - Track by Track ***** 

Bruce: The first three tracks on this album are literally the first three songs Jamie and I ever wrote together. We knew from the start that the music we would be creating would probably not be what most people were expecting from us, and this song was sort of created to not only convey that point to listeners, but also to encourage them to 'open up' their minds, not only in regards to the music that we were creating, but also to the world around them. It is a bit of a challenge to the world to re-examine its viewpoints and try to see the world around us through a clearer set of eyes. To see the world from the angle of truth and love, rather than through the eyes of fear or indoctrination. We wanted the first song on the album to set that tone, to let the listener know that this would not be familiar territory, and I think it serves that purpose well.

Jamie: When Bruce first played this song for me, we wanted it to be the opening song for this album. Not only was it the opener for the album, it was the introduction to me joining June Dreaming.

Bruce: This was, I think, the second song written for this album, and probably the easiest. The process of creating the song structure and recording the music took me just 2 days. It started with the harmonics at the start and the rest of the parts came very organically and easily. It is one of those wonderful songs that wrote itself.

Jamie: I've Been Sleeping is a poetic, fairytale letter written to myself and others to wake up. I wanted the vocals to be soft spoken and somewhat mirror the harmonics Bruce plays on the guitar. I also wanted the desperation of feeling like I had lost things because I’ve been sleeping. This is emphasized in the latter part of the song. The realization that closing our eyes to real issues or just plain selfishness had lulled us to sleep.

Bruce: The thing that most people grab onto when they first hear this song is the double-tracked vocals. The original idea was to use a single vocal track, but Jamie had a couple different vocal interpretations she brought to the table. My job was to mix and match from them and find the best combination, which I struggled with because I liked all of it. So in the end I just mixed both parts together. The two different takes really harmonize well throughout the song.

Jamie: This was the first song Bruce sent me to work on. I was not quite myself when I was working on this song. I was in some turmoil and emotionally drained. The 1st lyrics I wrote were not interpreted correctly. They were dark and angry. I also wanted to title the song “Repunzel Is Too Classy For Tattoos”, which came from a statement I had heard between a mother and daughter. The little girl asked her mother if Repunzel had tattoos and the religious mother shared that statement with her daughter. This was a manipulative way to brainwash a child into making judgements against others. In my anger, I chose that phrase to be the title. I remember when I submitted my part to Bruce his comment was “I just feel like this is more of a happy song.” I ended up agreeing with him. I am generally very optimistic, I was just in a bad place at the time. I told Bruce, “You’re right...I hear this song telling me to come home or I’m on my way home.” He said “How about Lights On The Way Home?” This was a reference to a song idea he had in a previous band and when he told me the story behind that phrase I erased all that I had worked on and allowed the song to share my pain of struggling to be heard, yet with the hope of knowing I am heard by those who feel the same way and can connect. That is when the song became what it is now.

Bruce: From a musical standpoint, most of this song is just a very, very compressed and distorted guitar grinding out one chord and being very subtly modulated to get snippets of feedback and allow certain notes to sort of bleed through the mix at the right time. It is a very chaotic song. The verse sections were designed to instill a sense of desperation via this giant wall of guitar noise. The chorus parts kick the song into a different gear, and bring a sense of defiance into the face of the storm, so to speak. The music owes a lot to guitarists like Billy Corgan and Kevin Shields, it is almost like a tribute to the tones they became famous for. In a moment of complete guitar overindulgence, I included a riff right at the end of the chorus where the lead guitar lick was run through a comb filter device, then fed back through again over and over. In essence what you hear there is a guitar being run through four or five flange pedals at the same time, which produced a horrible sounding mess, but it is a mess that fits perfectly in this specific song.

Jamie: I absolutely love the guitar sounds to this song. I could sing this song over and over. I shout it out but the music tries to drown my words. It’s a beautiful frustration of what this album is all about to me - screaming and shouting for people to change their perspective about the world, to realize that we are called. Do something. Don’t let this world drown you out! A lot of listeners complained that the vocals were low in this song, but there is an art to that. Imagine being on a ship at sea. The waves crashing all around, the storm rising. You try to be heard yet the waves are too loud. You’re trying to listen to those around you, but the chaos drowns it out. That is Zephyr Part 1.

Bruce: The Unknown Show is definitely the most light-hearted song on the album. It was created from a very old demo of music I had recorded years ago. It is a very upbeat, dream pop song, very vibrantly colored by the guitar tones. On the surface it appears to be a somewhat one-dimensional piece of music, but as always there is a lot going on beneath the surface. It is sort of an anti-anthem, it kind of pokes fun at the band itself. While we have managed to carve a bit of a niche for ourselves in far corners of the world, we remain relatively unknown in our hometown. Its about the idea of us playing a show here where most people would never even notice, hence 'the unknown show', two artists laying out their hearts to an empty room. But it is also about facing and exploring the unknown, which is an idea that also carries over into the next song.

Jamie: This song was a fun way to introduce ourselves to the world. I wanted the vocals to have a “vintage” feel. What I like about this song is an 1980’s flare with the instruments and hook. But I wanted to also have vocal harmonies inspired by 1940’s women’s trios as well. The lyrics mention seeing our unknown show located at the corner of Sells Road and East Main. This is the birthplace of June Dreaming, an actual location right next door to where Bruce lives to this day. We are an unknown show whether by choice or ignorance celebrating good times and receiving therapy while creating our music.

Bruce: In a lot of ways Through The Black is a continuation of The Unknown Show. It is sort of a galactic road trip song, encompassing the excitement and intrigue of experiencing something you've never experienced before. It is an empowering song. It isn't easy to stare into the dark void of the unknown and find the courage to step into it. Being afraid of the unknown is easy, being afraid of change, of the mysterious. But this song is for those who have the courage to face those fears and in the end, we hope, overcome them.

Jamie: This song started as a different concept and then Bruce changed up the tempo and a few other things. So, I went back to the drawing board and decided to write about time travel, heroism, teaming up to save those in need.

Bruce: Godspeed is another song that was written and fleshed out very quickly. I remember sitting down to tune a guitar and I was messing around moving some chord shapes around the neck and combining them with open strings, something I use a lot in our music. I hit on the verse parts first and it created an emotional feedback in my mind. Within an hour I had written the remaining guitar parts and built up the structure of the song. I think it was another few months before we recorded it but the song was designed literally overnight. It is a message the light-workers of this world, those whose mission is to build up the broken things and inspire hope in the hopeless. It is our tribute to those who lead with their heart.

Jamie: Following the song Through The Black, Godspeed is about reaching our destination to bring light to those who are broken. When I heard this song I immediately heard the words “faster than the speed of light” and the guitar sounds played at that particular moment sound like lights to me. That is the best way for me to explain it. Very beautiful and eye opening.

Bruce: Probably my favorite song on the album. Where Part 1 is about the struggle and despair, Part 2 is about the overcoming.

Jamie: Zephyr (Part 1) shows the struggle of sharing inspiration and Zephyr (Part 2) shows the reward of accomplishment. Finally being heard and teaching, inspiring those around to join in a world where we are more than conquerors. Altogether rise and lift up your eyes. The fight was a struggle but even when we felt defeated, we woke up and received victory. Everyday we fight just to get out of bed. We fight negative co-workers, family members, friends that have turned against us, and even our own guilty consciences. We battle our own minds to survive each and every day. So many people put others down to cover up their own flaws yet behind those covers they are just as naked and ugly as the perople that they expose. I want us to cover each other with love, kindness, and hope. Personally, I know that I have become a monster at times in my life. When I look back at choices I’ve made that were wrong, I see that my decisions were influenced by negative things spoken over me. When I was awakened to this and saw that God loves me no matter what people say, I no longer cared what others had to say anymore. In the end people are going to conjure up whatever they want to. No joke, I have been called a witch, a blasphemer, and a whore. Many false rumors have been spread me but the truth is I’ve only kissed two men in my life! It happens when your daily life is on display to the world. Stories are conjured up out of a thought or a perception. Lies. Close minded people. I’ve been guilty myself of making a judgement, but I strive to change. I hope that we all do. I’ve witnessed idle talk and accusations so many times tear a good person apart. This song is part of a plan to create the antidote to this disease.

Bruce: I wanted this song to have a vibe of urgency and worry as it is a song about doubt, about facing off against overwhelming odds. From a musical standpoint it is a bit of a return to the electronic roots of June Dreaming. During the mixing for this song I came to a point where I saw things going two different directions and decided to pursue both. This is obviously the version that ultimately made it onto the album, but there is also another version, we call it the 'Cloudy Mix', which used all of the same recorded parts but has a completely different feel, a very soft and almost ambient atmosphere. In the end we felt that the version on the album was a better fit but the Cloudy Mix can be found floating around the internet.

Jamie: This is the thought process that follows us after we begin a mission, whether it is a new project, job, relationship...we all question if we are making the right choices. It’s the battle our minds go through. The struggles of trying to move on or if we are doing the right thing. I ask myself all the time, “am I headed in the right direction?” Confidence sets in and I start out but then one setback makes me begn to question the entire mission. Sometimes it takes months for me to get back on track. Sometimes I dismiss the questions that arise. It’s a struggle.

Bruce: Mothership is another song that came about from an old demo I had recorded years ago. In fact, for the most part what you hear at the start of the song is the actual demo. As the song progresses the original recording slowly fades out, and the newer version of the song materializes. I really liked the idea of doing that, sort of like a piece of music shedding its skin and revealing something new beneath the surface or a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Many of our songs function on both a direct level as well as a metaphorical level, and Mothership is probably the best example of that.

Jamie: This song inspired the title of our album. It sums up the story of Abandon The Mothership - everyone marching along, eyes closed, boarding a ship as clones. Watching so many climb aboard to reach a destination of nothingness...never creating, never bringing hope or love...just walking in a line with eyes focused only on theirselves and what they can obtain, creating debt to build a fading kingdom of suburbia, utopia, escapism, whatever the case may be. Money is spent on fast food, digital games, television and/or fashion, and Mothership is a call to abandon all of these things that enslave us. It won’t be easy but in continuing this route we will face the gallows. I hope for a world where people are content with who they are and are happy for those around them. Jealousy, competition and negativity are causing us to march along to the mothership.

Bruce: To me Glimmer is a song that embodies hope. It is the song that comes after the storm has passed and left you with nothing but fragments.

Jamie: This is my love song. Calling out from far away I try to reach him. I need his strong arms to hold me. I need encouraged that I’m doing the right thing. I stepped out and began to wonder if it was the right thing. The only one I can put my confidence in I need at my side but it feel as though he’s so far. This song is how intimate love will make you know everything’s okay. Sometimes relationships struggle to get to a point of intimacy. Circumstances and struggles make us fall away from those that we love. In this song I’m speaking about going far away and how I realize I’ve walked too far and need to draw back to my first love to feel alive again.

Bruce: This is a song about longing for the moments of your past that for whatever reason cannot be recovered or re-lived in any way other than through the always-fading light of human memory. The word 'Hiraeth' is of Welsh origin, and loosely means 'to long for a place to which you cannot return'. At face value it is a song about homesickness, but applied more to people and emotions than an actual physical location. I think everyone can relate to that feeling.

Jamie: This love song is again showing the battle in my mind. Constantly struggling with my past and future, then coming to the realization that I should live in the moment. Take one day at a time and live unafraid. Don’t focus on past mistakes and don’t focus on the past being the best we ever had which in a way would make our future a failure. Instead, live today. I mention the names of songs in the lyrics as well – they were inspirations to focus on the 'now'. The constant harmonies in the vocals layered in different directions and sounds are also focus words. If I remind myself over and over of who I am and whom my soul loves then all those past hurts can be washed away.

Bruce: This song was originally created to be on the first June Dreaming album “The Dark Symphony”, which was a collection of instrumental music that I made before Jamie and I had ever met. The song didn't make it onto the album, but after Jamie joined the team she discovered it while going through some of my unused music. She added some vocals to it and here it is. It is a companion song in many ways to the first song on the album, “Open Up”. Where Open Up serves the function of setting the table for the rest of the album, Open Spaces closes out the album and sets the stage for whatever may come next for us.

Jamie: This song somewhat mirrors Hiraeth. The story is about trying to escape this world and its negativity, trying to escape my past and the thought that there is no hope for me. I begin to remind myself that I have a love searching for me as I search for him. With that knowledge I have a desire to share it with others. My humanity and my weakness at times interferes yet I do not give up.