Oklahoma City’s newest solo act, Settling…, is on the cusp of capturing hearts and minds with their highly personal and musically layered debut. The shoegaze/slow-core project, titled “You’re Always Alone In The End“, hit streaming platforms on September 21st, 2023. At its core, the project unfurls as a sonorous exploration of emotions, the duality of isolation, and the hope to be found within.
With roots deeply embedded in the raw and unfiltered ethos of the Oklahoma City music scene, Settling… emerges as a beacon of self-reflection, blending elements of shoegaze, indie-rock, and ambient electronic music.
The solo project, the brainchild of musician Brandon Ross, stands as a testament to the evolution of his musical journey. From the fervor of hardcore punk to the somber melodies inspired by the likes of Grouper, Have a Nice Life, and Midwife, Ross’s artistic transformation is palpable in every note.
The title of the EP, “You’re Always Alone In The End“, seems to encapsulate the artist’s feelings during its creation.
“I was feeling really lost when I started writing this EP… working on it from start to finish by myself whenever I was feeling sad was really healing for me,” Ross shares. For him, the EP wasn’t just about producing music but also about navigating through a tumultuous period of transition and loneliness. By penning down his emotions and turning them into haunting melodies, Ross hopes that listeners will find solace, just as he did.
Today, we’re pleased to offer an exclusive track-by-track commentary by Settling…, giving fans an intricate look into the mind of the artist and the tales each song weaves:
Pit was written during a period of time when I was dealing with a lot of stress around the future. I felt like I had dug myself into a hole worrying too much about people’s expectations of me and what they meant, overbooking myself with school, working two jobs, and working on multiple bands.
Igot pretty depressed. I found myself writing more and more softer drone-y stuff, and this song was the first exploration of that. I was reading a book on joy division at the time that I produced this album and the dark textures of their first record, along with some other dark sounding somber records, inspired me a lot. I recorded this track with a fender hot rod deluxe, but there are a couple of different amps across this album.
I really wanted the guitar to mostly be a fuzzy background texture for this track and have the synths and drums take the lead. I really think the song sounds like I felt; which I think is good.
This track kind of serves as a release from the last track. This song is about letting go of worrying about people’s expectations of me or what they think about me and learning to move on. I think this song was influenced by the feeling of growth that I had months later after writing the previous song.
I was just sitting in my chair one day in my room and a feeling of intense calmness came over me. Thinking about the fact that I could only work to better myself in the moment and that I can’t control the future, the past, or what people think of me. It’s pretty cliche and you hear mindfulness shit like that all the time but really feeling it is a completely different thing. It’s the act of being present.
I used a telecaster on this track with a chorus pedal. I had been listening to alot of early college rock at the time, and I think it really inspired the jangly production of the guitars on this track.
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Harvest Moon is about the growing pains of a close friend calling you out on your shit. I wrote this song around two years ago. The noble part of having a good friend is that they should be willing to tell you that you’re not doing enough or you’re dealing with a situation incorrectly or are being a dick in general.
Everyone loves critiquing their friends but when you’re on the end of a legitimate issue your friend, family, or partner has with you at times it can be hard to own up to it myself included. Learning to take constructive criticism I feel like is a really important skill when working on becoming a better friend or partner.
This song is about me learning I needed to work on it. I originally had the BPM much faster for this song but I cut it in half because I felt it fit the lyrics and tone of the song much better. I wanted the drums to really feel like a slow pulse.
Silent Part.1 and part. 2
The last two tracks on this album are ambient instrumental tracks. I don’t want to over explain them too much, because I think it takes out the mystique behind ambient music and what it means. I think the cool thing about it is that it is meditative and can mean a lot of things like an abstract painting.
I think it’s best to sit in ambient music and just experience it more on a personal introspective level, like you are going into a cold cave to meditate and learn something about yourself.