All of a sudden...
As I write this I’m sitting in my living room listening to Courtney Barnett’s latest record (Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit) while I consider the freshly pressed copies of From Seedlings to Saplings… that are splayed out on the coffee table. Of Courtney’s two suggestions, it would appear I’m favouring the former. For the moment, I have the house to myself – a rare occurrence when living with roommates. Solitude has a way of lending itself to reflection, so I think I’ll go find a mirror.
Not too long ago we finished playing our album release party in Kingston, Ontario. I suspect it will take a week’s worth of showers to wash the sweat from my hair. It was undoubtedly one of the most raucous concerts I’ve had the pleasure of playing. It’s difficult to describe the emotions you feel watching a crowded hall sing your songs back at you. Iridescent, I suppose. The evening felt like dream, somehow simultaneously languid and instantaneous.
But those 90 minutes were simply the finish line of a marathon that has taken 5 years to run. We began writing songs for this album even before we’d finished pressing our first record. Of course, not all of those songs written survived the journey to present day. And the ones that did occasionally evolved into entirely new species. The band itself underwent some extreme changes in that time period too. The title of the new record, From Seedlings to Saplings…, seemed apt given our growth as individual musicians, and as a cohesive unit. I’ve always been fascinated by punctuation’s ability to add depth of meaning to a phrase and I like to think the ellipsis suggests that the tree is not yet finished its sprouting. That the canopy might climb further still.
The past few weeks and months have been hectic as we scrambled to make sure all our ducks were in a row. Between mixing, mastering, artwork, manufacturing, marketing, etc, there seemed to be a never-ending list of tasks to tackle. And now that it’s out, I have an almost disorienting sense of shock. All of a sudden, everything we’d been putting together for the past year is done. The endless list has ended. It’s all out there in peoples’ hands. Sitting in this silent empty house feels like pathetic fallacy incarnate.
Savouring the quietus is sweet, but it will be short-lived. Soon there will be shows and festivals, pitching to radio stations and labels, and writing new music. I can only pray that as we take this record across Ontario, and perhaps the rest of Canada, that listeners come away with a sense of relatedness, bittersweet catharsis, and hope. At least, that’s how I feel about From Seedlings to Saplings…
The record I’m listening to has started over again. Courtney is talking about palmistry, and asking what’s in store for me. I think, for now, a hot shower seems as good an answer as any. And after that, who knows? But I'm excited to find out.