Established in 2002 and previously known as A Life Less Ordinary, and released just a handful of material in late 00s via Time As A Color, strictly no capital letters, and Canot Pneumatique Records. Tomorrow, on April 24th, the band is releasing a brand new EP on Time As A Color and Old Kids Records, featuring 5 older, moody and ethereal songs that evoke emotions and capture the magnitude of seemingly frail songs that in fact connect much stronger than just on a purely musical level. We’re stoked to give you the first full listen below, along with the band’s insightful commentary about the artwork and full track by track rundown!
Clocking in at a little over 30 minutes playing time these unearthed 5 songs, intitally recorded in 2005 show the band’s musical origins, before screamish and post influences kicked in and formed records like ‘this faint line’ (released in 2008). Mostly influenced by classic mid 90s emo bands and recordings such as Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Clarity’, Texas Is The Reason’s ‘Do You Know Who You Are?’ or The Get Up Kids and Christie Front Drive’s entire discography, some 00’s pop punk like The Ataris and a more mature take on emo like Elliott on ‘False Cathedrals’ we get a suprisingly poppy at times, yet fragile and imperfect record, unconventionally arranged, rough and rocking that deserved to rise from the old harddisk it hibernated on for almost 15 years.
These 5 songs deal with thoughts or fears of two people being no perfect match but intertwined so deeply you find it difficult to embrace a life on your own. Questioning if you know at all what love is, or even more so, what not loving feels like, and how to know when love is gone.
We really wanted the LP artwork to sort of stand out from most generic LP covers, but in a subtle, understating way. so we chose the plain kraft cardboard sleeves, handstamped band and title and handcut a window into them, revealing a photograph underneath that’s glued to the black inner sleeve.
On the same position on the flip side of the inner sleeve there’s another photograph, seemingly the same motif, but at a second glance you realize it’s different. Obviously it’s the same window pictured with two different settings of focus.
On the front picture, the focus is set to the scenery afar being portrayed via the mirror effect of the window, and on the back focus is set to the wooden parts framing the mirror. I shot these pictures in I guess 2009 or 2010 while on holiday in Denmark. When I recorded the vocals almost 14 years after we initially recorded the instruments I had these weird moments of reflection about who I was back then and who I was now, what these lyrics meant to me when I wrote them and how much they still meant to me, what had changed, and what hadn’t. In a way what I felt was an ever changing shift of focus, which I think the photographs complement perfectly.
Track by track commentary
1. your place is still…
I feel this is the perfect opener to the record. To me the first track of a record really should serve as a introduction, literally or metaphorically. It can be a drawn out long spherical instrumental of wavering guitars to get you in the mood of the record, typical for many postrock records, or it can be like any pop-punk record, “listen to the first minute of the first song and you get an idea what this record is like”. In a way this song does both. Twinkly guitars and airy vocals tell you that this is a tale about letting go, taking first steps on your own after a period of togetherness, and get in medias res within 25 seconds. Often when I listen to this song I need to smile remembering how in the writing process it took us forever to get the timing to the final climax right at around one minute and a half before the ending.
Ever since I listened to Jimmy Eat World’s amazing closing track to Clarity, “Goodbye Sky Harbor” I always wanted to do some sort of totally overdone multi vocal part. Here it is. Initially this song had a weird squeaky guitar intro I personally always liked but that didn’t really work with the flow of the entire record and also was discussed heavily within the band in general if it did fit with the rest of the song. Hence we cut if off. We will release the long form version of it on a compilation at some point.
3. …at the heart of my everything
If you listen closely you can actually hear 2 vocal tracks throughout the entire song, singing in parallel. it’s very subtle though. one was recorded in 2006, one in 2019. I kind of like the idea how my 24 year old self sings a duet with my 37 year old self, especially when the two found themselves in a similar situation personally. again this reflects the entire motif of changing focus nicely. I was surprised about how close the sound is, I even used two entirely different microphones and sets of recording gear… Initially this was intended to play right after ‘your place is still…’ (hence the ‘…’ in both song titles), but musically it works a lot better as a bit of an introvert calm moment shortly before you flip sides of the vinyl.
4. just enough space to fit
I guess this is some sort of the black sheep song on this record, the one with seemingly no common thread, no obvious chorus (it has a chorus, but mainly repetitive vocals while the song continues the verse’s pace and key). it’s got some oddities and even effects we only used sparsely otherwise on the record. I guess it’s one of the songs that grows on you over time. I am really happy with how the airy choirs and multi layered vocals turned out, how the verse’s are basically vocals and snare drum only, with just a little guitar and bass underneath and between. Also super happy with how the climax shortly before the end came out, and how the vocal’s key slips off on the final “anywhere”.
Initially the first 1:35 of the song were an intro to many live shows we played around 2004 I guess. A little later while jamming we came up with this climax idea that became an instrumental song on its own quickly, but I never really thought it did justice to that instrumental to only serve as a filler, so when I realized these two instrumentals share the same key and mood or soul or whatever you call it we tried to squeeze another song idea I had into the middle of it and while it didn’t fit perfectly we made it work, and that possibly adds a remarkable twist to the middle of the song, which can never harm on an 8:30 minutes weighty tome…
In a way this is a title track, at least a pun with different meanings of the same word and adding prefixes and suffixes. The haptic meaning of releasing a record, meaning putting it out to the public, making it available for purchase, with the hard work you put into it coming to an end. But also the emotional meaning of letting something go, the moment of being ok with losing something and also finding salvation and peace, leaving room for new paths to take from now. When I sang the final words on this, with two different sentences on two vocal tracks on the recording playing in parallel, I remembered how much release I felt when I sang it back then, and I felt the same release again 15 years later. and following that vocal part, after the climax when the drums and distorted guitars kick in for the final instrumental farewell ending I still get the shivers from time to time. It’s remarkable what music can provoke.
Learn more from this interview at This Noise Is Ours.