I wanted badly to revisit the type of songs I did on my more experimental albums The Pyramid, The Ghost, and Protection Spells. I put this project together in the last days before I began what was a long and harrowing move back to Chicago. I wrote these songs as well as the half dozen or so that did not make it over the course of 3 mornings in Bloomington, Indiana and recorded them one after the other in the order they were written.
Working method was to go into the garage (aka The Projects Studio) in the mornings and I would write one song at a time and record it. There are no windows at all in that studio and it is pitch black around the clock. There was a small lamp rigged inside a vintage kickdrum and that eerie thing burning above my head along with sparse candles was the extent of the lighting...with the occasional silent movie projected on the wall. The place screamed doom as far as atmosphere goes and I put myself to the task of writing about what is human about that particular feeling; the concrete and tactile nature of depression and actually writing or working yourself out of that. The payoff is not always worth listening, let alone committing to a release, but in this session I knew I was not going to present these songs to the Magnolia Electric Co. in the first place. It gave me the ability to explore some lyrical themes that simply don't need to be sung in competition with a full band. There are many moments of lyrical improvisation, where I was more or less trying to keep as much of my mind focused on things I'd never put into words before and didn't know if I ever would get those moments again. So in a way, these are meditations on depression, waiting, dislocation, separation, doubt, fear, loneliness...the usual from me...but here, if I did not see redemption or even a glimmer of hope, and thought I could put that into lyrics and a simple melody, I allowed that to be the driving force of the song. In the past I would edit these themes out or push them to the sides in favor of a better line technically, or a more anticipated rhyme. This session, in my mind, leads easily into my upcoming projects.
All of this is an attempt to put a serious price on lyrics that are honest not witty, shy but not weak, weary if they are and sad without apology, depression without a fight and depression with a fight. -Jason Molina
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