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In late 2009, Taylor received a phone call from himself requesting he record a triple album in a month. He hopped right to it - recording, writing & rewriting this strange collection round-the-clock in his virtually abandoned University during the December break. Partly improvised, partly meticulously prepared - this is a true exploration of concept album - avante-garde folk/pop enthusiasts rejoice! ......................................... Includes a full 43 page lyric, credit, art & photo booklet.
Reflecting on 'Here's Some Songs' on May 30th, 2013:
One day when I was 18, I received a phone call from myself. 'Make a triple album in four days'. I eventually bargained him into a month. And so, that became the underwhelmingly titled 'Here's Some Songs', a digital-only triple album I spearheaded and recorded, edited, mixed (and mostly wrote) in roughly one month at the end of 2009. The tunes are mainly skeletons, not fully fleshed out, but all tie together in a lovely loose narrative, gradually twirling into a descent to mournful insanity & back up again for an obligatory happy ending.
I wanted to make it for a couple reasons. I wanted to train listeners to listen to sound in a different context besides 'these are 12 songs that were slaved over until they were just right'. I wanted people to listen like how ethno-musicologists might listen to records of indigenous tribes. I thought 'how awesome to have that sort of listening context slapped onto an artist in the 21st century? This is what a crestfallen teenager makes in 2009 if he traps himself in a wasteland with nothing but a guitar, a laptop & his brain, isolated from the outside world, with no concern of commercial appeal. You could argue in the 2300's they'll listen to everything we've made now with that sort of context, but its a surreal pleasure to experience that now.
Also, I wanted to pull a bit of a Kenny Vs Spenny episode in musical form, placing myself in a ridiculous situation to accelerate my development. I theorized musical authenticity couldn't help but shine through in my music if all I did was record. Its too much work to resist the truth in such a structure. This whole creature was also a pleasant diversion from preparing for music theory & Brazilian folk guitar courses which didn't interest me one bit compared to the infinite buzz of songs in my mind that needed to be documented.
This collection was mostly recorded up at York University in a cold dorm at Winters College around Christmas break - A campus used to 50,000 people, suddenly became nearly a ghost town. I remember at the start trudging a few miles through knee-deep snow to the closest Long & McQuade to rent mics and cables while listening to Johnny Cash IV on an old CD player. I also intimately remember due to the snow, some nights I got stuck sleeping & recording in one of York's many rehearsal rooms under brutal lights that couldn't be shut off, just my jacket overtop trying to block the light and still curl around enough that it could also cushion the cold cement floor.
Simultaneously during all of this, I would send off tracks to a lovely guy I met on campus who was from Trinidad, who could shoot the tracks through a few compressors to do a basic mastering job on the fly for me. The whole thing also became a bit of a both internet collaboration with far flung Youtube friends featured on certain tracks, and other creative types around my dorm before they skedaddled for break.
There are also certain songs written around this time that found their way onto my upcoming album - fully produced on that, naturally. 'Good Things Come' and 'Nothing' being obvious contributions.
Some other songs I'm pleased with are 'I Don't Know You', 'Taste Of Heaven', 'Groban's Disciples', 'Genes On The Other Side Of God's Clothesline', 'Lonely Nights' (With Victoria - that track was our first improv together - what an angel), 'Hold Me Down Sally' (Want to hear some ferocious honesty?), 'Daylight Star' (With generous contributions by the immensely talented Wim Oudijk), 'Ribald The Rabbit' (Lyrics written in one pass, recorded a few minutes later), 'Love', 'The Father Of Imagination', 'Somehow I Sense' ...Well, I'm oddly pleased with all of it if I drive myself crazy enough.
This definitely epitomizes a unique part of my development - and is certainly a concept & execution I'm proud of, for what it is. Perhaps its the narcissists easy way out of facing the rejection of making something that's considered a 'bad album' to instead make an album basically beyond categorization. Or, perhaps with this, I'm trying to train people to embrace every sound, however prickly, uninspired or sleep-deprived it may be - transcending those self imposed binaries of what is 'worthwhile' or not to hear.
For those willing to hear the thing all the way through with an open mind - I hope your avante-garde pop censors are tickled into a delirious, mildeww-y White Album-y black licorice state of infinite creative possibilities.
released February 3, 2010
Performed entirely by Taylor Abrahamse, except -
Tracks 7, 11, 51 - Piano by Mariam Al-Naser
Tracks 16, 18 - Synth Orchestration by Wim Oudijk
Track 21 - Speaking with ????
Tracks 23, 26, 35, 42 - Harmonica & additional vocals by Bryn Scott-Grimes
Tracks 45, 54, 57 - Vocals by Victoria Di Giovanni
Track 22 - Electronic Saxophone by Greg Fiske
Track 24 - Additional vocals by Jessie Rivest
Track 25 - Additional voices by Christian Esposito
Track 29 - Drumming by Simon Fuller
Track 35 - Fiddle by Braden Gates
Track 36 - Party sounds by friends
Track 37 - Additional voices from Bill Elder
Track 54 - Other end of the line, Catherine Di Clemente
See the extensive lyric booklet that comes with album download for credits, artwork, photos, info, ramblings, spam, spam bacon & spam, spam, spam and spam spam, spam spam spam spam & spam, & lyrics.