The New Album Is DONE!

Posted on September 23, 2010


Hello folks.  I am very pleased to be able to report that Trees I’d Known My Entire Life, You Couldn’t Recognize Them is at last complete.  Yes!  Here’s the cover:

The new Constellations album

The new album in all its glory

I started this over a year ago and I’m very pleased to have finally finished.  Let me tell you a little bit about it…  I’ve already told you where the name comes from (see below) so I won’t bother with that.  What else?  Well let’s talk about the music.  Talking about the music is a pretty daunting task under any circumstances, but I’ll do my best.  This album, I would say, is a fairly typical Constellations record in most respects.  The songs are primarily sad, some sappy, some feisty.  The usual sorts of arrangements and such are here in force:  songs without choruses (I take great pride in making rock songs without proper choruses, I don’t know why), dense vocals, synthesizers, and so on.

So what’s different?  Well, I think that lyrically this one is particularly good.  It’s not a concept album!  Considering the three TEMOS albums, Missed Connections, Night Terrors, and a fair bit of the Singles Club years (if you don’t know what the Singles Club was perhaps I’ll post about it) it’s been a while since I did any lyrics unbound by an arbitrary concept.  The freedom was terrifying but exciting at the same time.  I decided to write some truths that were a little less direct than usual.  If you’ve been paying attention you will surely say “what a minute, all of your lyrics are highly cryptic”.  I disagree!  At least on the last several I think they’ve been very literal and accessible.  The subjects might be off but that’s not to say that the words aren’t clear.  Most of these songs are imagined, though; they are not reflective of my actual life.  For that you will have to come to my underground poetry readings.  They’re really real, man.

I probably used more guitars on this one than usual, thanks in no small part to my finally figuring out a guitar sound that I like.  I now use Carr amplifiers and man, are they ever wonderful.  If you need a recording amp get yourself a Carr Mercury immediately, it’s unbeatable.  I love that thing.  I used an SG, an Explorer and a Firebird V – yes I am a Gibson degenerate, apparently.

I have also included a pair of instrumental songs:  Orca and Erebus.  I have a huge pile of instrumentals and song fragments kicking around on my hard drive that I’ve been meaning to complete and compile into some kind of release, but I still haven’t.  These should do for now.  I really like Orca a lot.

One of my favourite tracks might be Someone New – it’s very simple but with a wrinkle or two.  I was really happy with the recorded quality of it, and the single tracked vocals at the beginning.  Whoa!  A note for those who don’t record music:  the easiest, cheapest way to make your vocals sound good is to double track them.  That is:  sing the song.  Then sing it again and layer the two vocal performances on top of each other.  With some instruments this sounds muddy or chorused or whatnot, but when it comes to vocals?  Mmmm…  it’s magic every time.  Almost every do-it-yourself recordist does this.  Really.  That said, double tracked vocals do lack a certain something, a certain clarity and definition, and really great singers (with really great engineers) don’t need to double track even one bit.  Anyway, I’ve been trying to single track vocals here and there, with some success.  It’s difficult if only because you don’t have as much to hide behind.  Even after releasing some 37 or so albums (literally!) I still want to hide my voice sometimes.  I suppose most people are like this.

So with the demise of the music industry, where can one possibly procure this masterwork?  As usual there will be no release festivities or anything, since sitting around listening to my own music waiting expectantly with lots of surplus ginger ale and custard buns sounds too depressing for words.  But you can get it in a couple of ways.  I sell my wares through a site called cdbaby.com (which I can’t recommend highly enough).  I have uploaded the album there and it should show up soon enough.  I have uploaded it to iTunes, but that can take a while, so I’ll post something here when it finally does show up.  You can also buy it directly from me, which I suggest doing.  It’s cheap ($10), looks very fetching on a shelf or coffee table, and if you order through the post you’ll probably get some kind of goodie or at the very least a charming letter from yours truly.  And:  if I am murdered your CD may appreciate in value significantly.  A good bet!  I don’t exactly sell a lot of records, so I’d be pleased as punch if you bought one <sobbing> or even if you bootlegged it and shared with your friends </sobbing>.

Well that’s it!  Enjoy!  And thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in: Music