Haven / Equals in Inferno

I just released 2 new songs: Haven and Equals in Inferno. And yes, what you heard is true. The rock style is back. If you want to compare these songs to something I’ve release before, the closest match would be my 2014 album, Eunoia?. These sound like a follow up to that LP more than any release since. And there’s a good reason for that.
Both Haven and Equals in Inferno were written in 2016. Truthfully, I don’t have much documentation of that period. But allow me to give some background context the best I can. Amicolage was created over two years of intense work between 2014 and 2016. Then, the Peplival EP followed in a quick, cathartic burst. After these two instrumental efforts, I shifted gears back to the Eunoia? style: rock songs built to feature vocals. My song writing and mixing had improved since the Eunoia? sessions and I looked to apply those lessons to another full length rock LP.
My 2016-2017 writing and recording sessions were especially focused on mastering guitar recording techniques. Time to go beyond just putting a mic in front of my amp and pressing play. I experimented with multiple mics and multiple amps to achieve a fuller, smoother sound. Later, I got an ABY selector pedal, which allowed me to send my guitar signal to two amps at once. Then I could record two different sounds of the same take, instead of having to play each take twice in order to layer sounds. If you’ve never recorded or mixed guitar, you might be thinking “so what?” Listen to the thick, distorted guitars in the chorus of Equals in Inferno. Then, listen to the clarity of the guitar solo that follows. Compare that to anything from Eunoia? That’s what.
The guitar tones I achieved were big, clear, and satisfying to the ear. New songs piled up. But lyrics didn’t. At first, I wasn’t concerned. It’s normal for me to write the songs first and the lyrics later. I didn’t notice that perhaps, I was just writing more songs to put off writing lyrics. Over time though, it sunk in. I wanted words in these songs for the sake of having words in songs. Because they’re more accessible to the listener that way. Not because I had something to say. Not because I enjoyed writing lyrics or singing.
By 2018, I was writing instrumental electronic music almost exclusively. It wasn’t an intentional switch. In fact, it occurred almost without me noticing. When I write music, I just follow what I enjoy making and hearing. In hindsight, it’s not surprise I drifted far from the rock style the moment it began feeling like a chore. Still, it’s a little sad to look back on. Those were some of my best rock songs to date. My best guitar riffs. My best recording techniques and instrument tones. The culmination of all the efforts to improve my rock music production to that point.
And now? All of those songs are sitting in a folder. Abandoned. No lyrics. No vocals. They weren’t written to be instrumentals, so they feel naked and incomplete without them. I haven’t written lyrics or sang since. So realistically, as much as I like them, it’s hard to imagine their fate changing in the future.
The exceptions are Haven and Equals in Inferno. These songs were completed before my change of heart set in. And may up being the only lasting examples of my work from this period.
These two points are important but somewhat conflicting to the above narrative.
  1. Haven was written and recorded at the very beginning of the focused exploration and improvement period above, and therefore missed out on a lot of the later advancements. It still sounds good, but sadly even this song barely exemplifies the sounds I later achieved.
  2. Although I make no promises, I’m making a concerted effort to salvage more work from this period. I would like to fill in this gap in my recording chronology. The question remains: how? Since now, it’s not a matter of simply picking up where I left off, given that I’m several years removed from the headspace that birthed those songs.