New Yorks’ A LIGHT WINTER have recently released their debut record “In Transit” and it’s yet another fine example that refuses to be boxed in by standards of what a certain genre should be. Produced in a similar post hardcore spectrum to acclaimed works by their contemporaries like LA DISPUTE, the record connects various stories to the core concept of adapting to changes and is both as varied and consistent as its content. We have teamed up with the band’s vocalist and guitarist and asked them to take us on a walkthrough of every track of “In Transit”.
A LIGHT WINTER’s guitarist and songwriter Jay Morenberg commented:
Geometric Tides was written the day robin Williams passed away. On the outside someone may be full of jokes but you never know what someone is facing internally. It’s about trying to conquer my bipolar tendencies. Tried to make the music capture the mood changes of someone who is happy bubbly one minute, upset and angry the next.
Magnolia is about leaving a place you hate with someone you are beginning to love. Trying to start a fresh relationship without harvesting old anger or sadness from the previous relationship can sometimes be difficult.
Such Conflict is about returning home again tail between your legs. Me trying to figure out where to go and what the future holds while being uncertain of everything. It’s also about this part in Star Wars.
Adjustment is written as my interpretation of the tarot card “Adjustment” that happens to be my “birth card” It’s about consciously trying constantly to adjust accordingly. Self improve, move forward constantly. “Adjustment: Adjustment seeks balance and growth around core principles, but never forgets that understanding the past brings insight to the future.”
Grandfather’s Watch is just an experience I had channeling my grandfather in the garden I grew up in. It’s trying to deal with loss and the anger sadness in relief of that. It’s written about the times I’ve spent with my grandfather in his garden. It’s also about dealing with the loss of someone I looked up to as a father figure. I tried writing a song that captured all of the emotions of someone dealing with a death goes through. Confusion, relief, tension, build up and finally a breakdown.
Actress Alone was written as a worship and tribute to minus the bear. It was a joke to make some shitty happy dance song. But again same with geo goes back to me dealing with depression and trying to find happiness in brief moments but always going back to my anxiety making things worse for me.
Friendly to an Unfriendly Man title explains more of the same. I was living in Philly with my new girlfriend and was trying to learn to appreciate someone being nice to me when I just saw myself as a shitty person wondering why she wanted to spend time with me.
Vocalist Stephen Distante added:
My strongest influences are Say Anything and La Dispute. I also enjoy Dance Gavin Dance, Bayside, Brand New, Save Us From The Archon, Dependence, Paramore, Old Gray, Tancred, and Now, Now, just to name a few.
Meeting my band was pure chance, i had responded to a post on a facebook musicians group, they had sent me some instrumentals and the rest is history from there.
The general idea of the EP is conforming to the new norm whenever something drastic changes in your life. Most of them are about the different aspects of leaving a relationship, with Adjustment being the initial break up, Magnolia focusing on entering a new relationship holding onto the feelings of the previous one, and Geometric Tides is experiencing the duality of loving someone new and someone old, but Grandfathers Watch deals with the idea of significant loss in your family, and Actress Alone dis meant to drive home my distaste for the modern club scene.
Magnolia – Magnolia is about learning to be in a relationship after coming out of one. Unlike Geometric Tide, this song calls for both people to move away from their past lives, the homes they built with other people, so their true selves can be presented and they could both be happy. The “bed of glass we call home” line is about how even in lost contact we still hold onto the memories, feelings, and actions that the other person has done to us, and that both people in the new relationship carry these things with them, and if they arent careful they can reveal these old demons to each other so they can destroy what is trying to be built.
Friendly to an Unfriendly Man – An exchange between former lovers, the first few verses are a conversation of healing, regret, broken promises, ruined expectations, and the fracturing of your concept of self. Then we fall into the withdrawal of losing someone who was a part of your every day, yet we know why, we know what we could have fixed yet lacked the willpower to, or rather we didnt think we could, and let these dark thoughts control you into losing someone worth more than yourself.
Such Conflict – The idea behind this song is to kind of revel in being “freed” after a relationship and not caring what a person may think of you, yet in the middle of the song it reminisces on the hurt thats felt when it ends, and even call for something to bring it back from the dead, before going back into the same verse again. The ending of the song is a call/response between both people trying to reason with the other person (but mostly themselves) as to why it wouldn’t work anymore.
Adjustment – The first song I wrote with A Light Winter, this whole song encompasses the idea of adjusting after a relationship has ended. The intro is meant to be a response to being asked to stay or come back, while the rest slowly reveals different memories from the entirety of the relationship. How we fall out of love with someone, and that first moment when you fall back in love, the nervousness and doubts that scare you, and the regrets of looking back and realizing what you could have changed. Towards the end of it, you come to realize what is happening, that the home that was built is slowly burning away, and as a final death scream of the relationship lets out, theres a call to not adjust to being without the other person.
Geometric Tide – This song is about the duality of feelings felt while being in a new relationship after leaving a long term one, how you create these ideas about the new person based on what you know of the other, like your expectations on how they behave or talk, how you put them on the same throne you put the other person on, but they dont fulfill the same role the other person did. The second half of the song then talks about the regrets you feel when letting that effect your new relationship, how the potential of something good being there is thrown away because they arent the same person that came before.
Grandfather’s Watch – When Jay showed us this song he told me it was written about his grandfather, and i asked him what memories he had of him and what stood out, and i combined that with my own experiences with my grandfather who passed away. My grandfather had developed parkinsons and dementia, and slowly his mind started to leave him, eventually requiring him to be in a nursing home. He would forget who we were when we’d visit, say he was playing baseball the day before despite being bedridden for a year at that point, and ask when my grandmother would be visiting, despite her passing away months prior. I regret not getting to know him more and not being able to really talk with him when he was completely coherent. This song is in a way a memorial, but its theme definitely lies in regret moreso than anything else, and a sense of longing for people lost to the uncaring grip of time and sickness.
Actress Alone – I heard the instrumentals for this one and immediately felt a real dancy vibe to it, and it made me think about the club and bar scene. While i only experienced some of that scene on long island, i based this mostly on the stereotypical idea of a night out filled with drunken debauchery and general carelessness. While i dont condemn drinking in anyway, nor the idea of living your life in whatever manner makes you happy as long as you dont harm anyone (including yourself), I do condemn being untrue to what you really are, and i feel like a person having a night out and needing to inebriate themselves just to enjoy it isnt being genuine. But I also recognize that im very pessimistic and nihilistic, so I address this in the last verse basically saying from the other persons perspective “Look were having fun, and were going to keep having fun regardless of what you think or say.” So in the end its just meant to be accepted that its what other people like to do.