We all need some rest at some point. I don’t mean sleep. I mean a break from the rest of the world. Some “me time”. So we can think, reflect, … and then start again…
I wanted to create a contemplative type of atmosphere. I didn’t think a major mode was appropriate though, as I didn’t want anything bombastic or overly “bright”. I did NOT want to convey any mood in particular. So, I started with a minor chord, but as I was getting into it, I moved from a fairly static part (in terms of chords), to another part that started with a major chord and gave a sense of a soothing “take-off” of sorts. I like that moment a lot. I think this shows that writing in a minor mode does NOT have to mean a “depressing” music. I get mostly dreamy when I listen to this one.
As I was building the album, I realized that there was a lot of fairly intense moments. I thought that I was missing a piece of the “Inwardly” trip I was experiencing. A piece that was more about floating (without falling, like in Beauty and Destruction). Maybe, it is about slowing down for a moment and give you time to reflect. I didn’t want words on this one. I want the music to take the listener wherever he or she wants to go. I would love to see people send lyrics for this. Interestingly, several people have told me that I should build this one up more, as a full-blown song… I am not sure I should though.
For “Fade“, I was definitely influenced by the more atmospheric side of electronic music. String pads, pianos, verb, and no words. Maybe this goes all the way back to Brian Eno. I also have that love-hate relationship with ambient music. I think it is a great idea, but what I hear is very often “lazy”, if that makes sense. I am talking about things like lounge music where the same loops go for hours, apparently. I like where this short piece takes me. It is a quiet place, where you get contemplative.
I guess this song is more about a downward movement than an “inward” movement. But it is all about the temptation that one feels for beauty, and the internal struggle related to that. There will be that moment where nobody will be able to be there with you when you decide to jump. I hope that makes sense…
It all started from the lyrics. and that concept of a growing hole you are attracted to. The song needed a sense of excitement, and acceleration. I processed some of the drums with random delays to give a “jittery” feeling at times. Like when you are getting the shakes. I added a couple of synths with LFOs on 16th notes to add to the urgency. The guitars add an important layer of aggression, as the protagonist is feeling a mix of excitement and pain. Note also the whispered words before the last chorus “no one will hear a sound”. This trip is a very lonely trip. You do whatever crazy things you want to do to “experience beauty”, and generally no one else is there with you.
Take a listen on our soundcloud page.
I think the previous paragraph explains the main idea. But there is also this notion of the fall that will lead to your destruction. The whole song is about that hole that keeps on growing and is getting a gravitational pull that gets stronger over time. Beauty is definitely like a drug… Not just for the beholder, I think… I am quite fascinated by the relationship we all have with beauty (however we each define it). I think we are all capable of great sacrifices for beauty. That can be almost heroic at times. It can also destructive and just plain stupid.
I was in a dark place when I wrote “Beauty and Destruction“. I had been sick, and I was feeling pretty useless, and I was under the impression my world was shrinking instead of expanding. I was reflecting on the fact that beauty can really intoxicate me, most of us I suppose. That power can be destructive, unfortunately. So, the music needed to convey a sense of excitement – like the excitement a man can feel when a beautiful woman is paying attention. The trippy drum track reflects that (at least in my mind). Then, the chord progression for the chorus has a straight diatonic upward movement starting on the 4th. Like you are being lifted up by the excitement. I like the fact that it goes all the way up to the root (as if you will get peace) but then it keeps on going up, like it will never stop. Meanwhile, the last word of the chorus is the word “fall”, like you think you are going up, but really you are not.
Thank you everyone for reading my posts on my songwriting process for “Inwardly“. I can honestly tell you that writing about the album is almost as fun as writing the album. At this point we have picked up a large following on social media (that is the good news). I’m really excited to have people from all over the world interacting with Slowmatch. Please find us on facebook & twitter if you haven’t already done so. Because of all the new fans we have recently interacted with, I’m going to take a month off of writing new content on this blog (that is the bad news). I just want to give our new fans a chance to catch up with past posts and to explore the previous Slowmatch albums. These albums are connected and I want to make sure our new fans have a chance to understand that. Thanks again for the great support and I look forward to picking the blog up again next month. THANKS!!!