I’ve never been all that interested in writing individual songs. From the moment I picked up my first recording interface at a garage sale, I was set on recording albums, something that I could put into my (brother’s) Sony Walkman and listen to from beginning to end. Long form albums that were composed of continuous and inseparable tracks. This obsession was taken to an unhealthy extreme on Gilded Prayer. All the music and lyrics were written at once to reflect and deepen each other.
Around the time I was writing it, I was reading more, and enjoying reading more, than I ever had. I was jealous of the rich worlds and complex themes that authors could explore over a thousand pages. I felt that like writing a comparable work in a song’s relatively simple format was like trying to construct the Eiffel Tower with an Erector Set. My plan ended up being to use Gilded Prayer’s limited lyrical text to generate nearly unlimited subtext.
If you haven’t seen the physical CD for the album it looks like this:
Around the outermost edges are the track numbers; the inner more lines are minutes markers, and the mess of lines inside the circle are each lyrical connection on the album, color coded to match the corresponding word in the lyric book.
Words don’t have fixed meanings. This is why most online content monitoring still has to be done by humans, words need to be interpreted based on their context. So I tried to construct a deeper narrative that would unfold as certain words’ meanings were developed through different contexts. The results of this you can judge for yourself. Personally, I can say that I still pull different meanings out of the album every time I listen to it. It has been a useful vehicle for me to probe my subconscious, however that isn’t really what most people are looking for when they listen to music.
An album that wants to be anything else.