Posts tagged: new
The God of War had two sons, each terrified of the world in their own way.
Satellite 2 is here
Or find it on itunes, spotify, or amazon (probably).
I’m super pumped for this release, it’s a lot different from my other stuff, I hope you enjoy!
God, guys…the new Frightened Rabbit album is really, really good.
Behind The Scenes - Selene
I initially planned for “Luna” to be the sole release for Satellite 1, being that Earth only has one moon, but I felt that I hadn’t completely mined to moon for its full essence, so I cam up with the idea to write a b-side, a “dark side of the moon” to accompany “Luna.” I wanted it to be spacious and open where “Luna” was big and broad. The guitar part came first. I wrote the whole guitar arrangement in one sitting, just playing around with progressions. The song is pretty evenly split into 3 distinct sections. The opening builds off of the note on which “Luna” ends (that open D drone), the middle brings in a variation of the pre-chorus riff from “Luna,” and the third is a kind of a noise-pop deconstruction of the whole thing.
I wanted the song to have a slightly Eastern sounding section, and that’s where the banjo comes in. There was actually an early demo of this song recorded outside, but the wind was too powerful and overtook the recording, plus I added a few measures in the second section so the arrangement no longer fit. I kept the guitar and banjo separated into the right and left channels to give the song a wide and open feeling (I wanted to emulate the feeling of being outside with a full moon—the strings have a lilting quality, like wind rustling through leaves).
I wrote the clarinet piece in pseudo-improvised pieces like I have with all of my horn arrangements, by looping the verse and hitting record. I really like the warmth it give to the track (though I plan to try my hand at some more deliberate composing during this project, so start getting pumped for that now).
One of the stories that stuck with me from Metamorphoses was that of Endymion. I looked through art depicting his love affair with Luna, the moon goddess, and was touched by it. I made “Selene” something of a conversation between these two lovers that were destined to live apart forever.
Behind The Scenes - Luna
The main reason that I actually decided to start the Gospels project at this point in time was because “Luna” came about so organically. Everything was built around the little synth line in the verses. I just started whistling that two note progression in the shower one day and decided to start building a rock song around it. Next came the guitar—I wrote that to counter the synth line—as the synth descends, the guitar ascends creating this little wave-like structure. It was once I had the verses mapped out that I thought, hey this could work as the moon track for that Solar System project I was thinking about (Gospels was always going to be my next project I just didn’t know when I would want to start it). Around this same time, I wrote the outro vocal melody (also in the shower…pretty much this entire song was written in the shower. No joke).
There are a couple of things of note instrumentally in this track. First, panned to the far left are some overdriven drums. They were much more noticeable in earlier mixes, but I lowered them to add just enough depth while keeping things subtle. (This same effect is used in “Selene”—just some of the connective tissue between those tracks). The banjo was added to give a little brightness to the song and it also ties into the more subdued half of “Satellite 1.” There’s also a track I have labeled “rocket fuel” low in the mix during the verses. It adds a nice rumbling quality to the song, giving it movement, almost like you’re blasting off into space. There is also a bowed guitar line hard left in the mix that gives a nice shimmering sound, almost fluid, round, sparkling. One of my favorite parts musically is when the first verse drops out and there’s this little riff that happens and, in a way, it stops momentum, but it shifts gears into the chorus nicely. The chorus is one of the highest things I’ve written to be sung in full voice.
I struggled a lot with tempo in this song. When I play it acoustically, I definitely have a tendency to speed it up but I decided on keeping it nice and driving at a mid-tempo, to really give the song some space.
Lyrically, the song is from the moon’s point of view. The opening line is a reference to the fact that the moon was once worshipped as a deity but science has taken away some of its wonder. Also, the moon’s light is derived entirely from the sun. The first verse is all about building that place of frustration with being forgotten and being a vehicle for someone else’s light. The chorus and bridge offers a resolution in that the moon refuses to shine anymore, and the second verse shows the moon turning around and giving in to the desire to continue shining (“well, who wouldn’t want to be the sun).
I think this song is a great introduction to the world of Gospels. The storytelling element is there; the song-structure is accessible but slightly unconventional. The sound is fuller and more developed and my production is starting to find a real voice. It got me excited enough to start this massive venture and hopefully it’s gotten you excited to come along with me.
“When you peer up into the night sky and look at the stars and the planets, what do you see? Do you see the concrete: the gaseous light breaking through space and time to your eyes, the frozen bits of rock and sediment? Or do you see the divine: an overwhelming vastness, too wide for us to ever see, too complex to ever truly know? I see us reflected up there. We are both concrete and divine. We are matter, but we are soul. This is the sound of me trying to reconcile the infinite with a finite mind.”
Apres Pompeii has just announced Gospels, massive project consisting of 7 EPs and a full length all to be released over the course of 2013. The first of these EPs, “Satellite 1,” is scheduled for release on January 29 and the subsequent EPs will be released approximately once a month.
The goal of Gospels is to provide a musical interpretation of our Solar System, with the EPs corresponding to the various sets of natural satellites and the full length containing all of the planets. Lyrically, the songs draw inspiration from Greek mythology, updating the allegories for a modern audience. Each release will be accompanied by corresponding artwork painted by Apres Pompeii.
Musically, Gospels will be eclectic and wide-reaching, dipping into many different genres. “Satellite 1,” the first release for this project, revolves around Earth’s moon. The songs included on this EP are slightly rough around the edges, yet spacious—evocative of the night sky. “Luna” is a jangling yet flowing rock song. “Selene” is a shifting folk ballad complete with banjo and clarinet.
Each EP is structured to stand independently, but when the entire project is complete, the songs will intersect in interesting ways, referencing one another, flowing together in unique patterns.
As with all of Apres Pompeii’s music, Gospels will be available for free at www.aprespompeii.com as well as at aprespompeii.bandcamp.com with a possible physical release after the project is complete.
Satellite 1 is here
Download and spread the word!
This album is going to be so good. This is a little more polished than I’m used to from them, but it’s catchy as hell so I’m not worried about quality. Those synths…so good.
The album is available now. Pick it up at all the usual digital spots, itunes, amazon, even spotify, or download below for free. All I ask is if you like it, spread the word. If you love it, throw a couple bucks in my paypal. Thanks for your support and enjoy empty ship