A soundtrack for the simulation reset.
“A cloud fitted with an iron scaffold,” wrote Disquiet’s Marc Weidenbaum about me. Weidenbaum’s analogy is a spot-on fractal, in this case of my overall approach to songwriting and composing. The “cloud” speaks to my playing with abstraction and taking flights of spaced-out fancy; the “iron scaffold” to my love and reverence for accessible, turn the radio up songs. In the end, you get three chords and three changes in rock ‘n roll. I try to make the most of them.
“cipher /e” is a command line code that directs a computer to encrypt a file, directory, drive, or perhaps even a universe. We’re in a moment where dreams are being encrypted, the keys thrown away, and the sessions destroyed. It is a time of reset. There is something liberating, however, about time-zero. Perhaps we will each return to our true potential, where love flows uncorrupted through our hearts, and where wonder and curiosity outwit fear.
This record is an adventure in “sunny darkness,” exploring the gray area of life’s constant flux. I wrote most of the tracks in the final year of my dog Sterling’s battle with bladder cancer, and “Angel Let Down” surveys my emotions while caring for him. “Broken Heart > Wasted Soul” is how a suicide note is seen from both sides. “Lonesome Faraway Sounds” meditates on the murders of Honduran human rights activist Berta Cáceres and Syrian programmer Bassel Khartabil, each stuck down in the name of callous political expedience. Their deaths are proof of the absurdity of faith in politicians on any end of the ideological spectrum. “Last Call Home” was written as I listened to recordings of phone calls made from inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, as a gunman took the lives of dozens of people just out enjoying life.
The centerpiece track for me is “The Other Side of the End,” a blithe-on-the-surface, but celestial-deep pop song about simulation theory, Alan Watts, and – depending on whether you hear the comma in the chorus – the meaning of existence or true friendship. No matter what you hear, let your mind wander to the stars as you drive down an empty Pacific Coast Highway. The world’s reset is your chance to become the enlightened, unadulterated, uncorrupted you. Take it.