Behind the Music

Divine Slaughter is about queer rage. I wrote it after hearing about dangerous anti-trans and anti-queer laws that were being passed throughout the United States. I was and still am devastated and infuriated at the hateful rhetoric being spread. This song is about taking back our rights by any means necessary.

Roswell describes a manipulative/toxic relationship, from the perspective of an abusive partner, under the guise of being about an alien abduction. The lines “You can call it an obsession / you can call it what you want / but I know you won’t go” tell that the abused partner is aware of the abuse, but feels that they can’t leave for whatever reason. The abusive partner, from whose perspective the song is from, is also aware of their cruel and manipulative ways, but tries to disguise it as passion and love.

Insignificant was written the day before it was recorded. I wanted to try writing a song in the studio, as I’d done before with my song Hostage. At the time of writing, I was feeling overwhelmed with life and all the possibilities ahead of me. The title reflects that feeling of being small and unsure of what lies ahead. While the lyrics are melancholy and self-deprecating, the instrumentation is upbeat and almost cheerful, creating lyrical dissonance. This dissonance has always fascinated me and can be found in other songs like Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People and Nobody - Mitski.

Parasite is the title track of the album and describes feeling like a parasite, sucking the soul out of every relationship I hold dear. This feeling stems from past relationships gone awry, and the realization of the one common factor in all of those experiences - me. It narrates the fear of being toxic, and desire to change, but always falling back into the same patterns.

Washing Machine Heart is a song by Mitski, one of my favorite musical artists. The original song has more of a haunting synth-pop vibe, but I thought it would translate well into an alternative/grunge tune. I’d been playing around with the idea for about 6 months before finding an arrangement that I really dug and felt did the song justice.

Death Waltz is about an unwavering lust for death. It is unlike any song I’ve written, and is split into two main parts; the waltz section and the rock section. The song is heavily inspired by some of my favorite bands that I like to describe as ‘wonky-rock’ such as Tally Hall and Mother Mother. In the song, I make reference to multiple Greek mythological figures - Tantalus, Atlas, and Sisyphus, as an homage to my love for Greek mythology. I reference these characters specifically, as they all bear unending punishments/tasks, and at the time of writing, I was feeling that I bore my own impossible task - being alive.

Turtle Song is about wanting to blame others for your problems, but coming to the realization that it’s all your fault. The name Turtle Song has absolutely nothing to do with the meaning, and was initially just a nickname for the song that my dad came up with while I was writing it. He called it Turtle Song because of the line “An empty shell,” and the name stuck. The end of the song has a panicked feel as it speeds up and builds into a chaotic bridge, and in the background I’m heard screaming “Shut up,” to myself.

Growing Pains of a collection of the first 5 singles I recorded. The original songs were written and recorded when I was 13-15, and I wanted to re-record them to give them an updated feel. The album includes both the original and re-recorded versions. 

Luvhate was the first song I wrote and released at the age of 13. It features a blistering guitar riff, driving drums, a bass solo, along with angsty lyrics describing the fear of death and wasting life. I wrote it at a time where I was experiencing intense depression and spending nearly all of my time in bed, dreading existence but fearing death. The re-recorded version features a new take on the bass solo and chromatic twist to the main riff. 

Stingray is a melancholy grunge story, written from the perspective of a man whose long-term partner has left him. In the song, the man reminisces about his relationship, expresses his grief and longing, and feeling of invisibility now that he is alone. In the re-recorded version, the song is sped up and features a new guitar line during the chunky riffs.

Lazy Eye is about the unintentional betrayal of a friend and the crushing guilt that follows. I wrote the lyrics while on a walk in New Orleans. It was mid December and extraordinarily dreary out, and I was feeling depressed as I had just recently had a close friendship end as a result of miscommunication. The re-recorded version features different chord voicings.

Post Mortem is the continuation of Stingray. In this part of the story, the man has descended into madness and despair after impulsively murdering his ex-partner in a failed attempt to reconcile. He looks back on his decisions and feels that he is now too far gone and cannot be repaired, as he lays in the pool, considering drowning himself. The re-recorded version is a full step below the original and sped up. 

Mercury Twin describes feelings of self-sabotage and self-loathing. The name Mercury Twin was inspired by imagining a toxic version of myself, destroying my progress in life. The original demo of the song was 6 minutes long, but I shortened it to make it more palatable for an audience. The re-recorded version features a new guitar solo and a slight variation on the original guitar riff.

False Hearted is about fake friends and broken promises. It’s about feeling deceived and betrayed by people you trust. The overarching theme is feeling a need for vengeance after the realization that they feel no remorse for the hurt they’ve caused. The line “You’d empty me and I would let you” acknowledges my role in allowing this to happen, and this realization shapes the way I interact with people in hopes of protecting myself from further betrayal.  

Claustrophobia was conceived after a spell of writer’s block, and was written during a period of discomfort in my own skin. It opens with the line “You can’t become a new person every day,” and goes on to express that “I am imprisoned in this vessel, I can’t flee” which is about the terrible feeling of being trapped in my own body.

Hostage features lyrics that describe feeling like a hostage to the cycle of neglect. The line “Is it karma or is it fate” expresses the feeling that I might have done something to deserve this. The chorus highlights that central thought. I left the lyrics vague enough that the listener can interpret them in many ways.

Devoid is inspired by the anime Attack on Titan. The plot lines of Attack on Titan are intricate and layered, and it’s one of my favorite shows. I was watching a particularly dark episode and felt inspired to write from the perspective of a scout from the Survey Corps watching their fellow soldiers suffer.

Eclipse is about struggling with past trauma, and how those feelings never truly go away. Things that have happened years ago still haunt me and affect my thoughts and choices, and it can be really frustrating. I was actually on a call with some friends when I started to feel anxious and began to write the lyrics for Eclipse.

Blunt Force is about a friend who ended the friendship without warning. They never explained their reasoning and I was left sad and confused. After years without resolution, I wrote a song describing the anger I hold against them for hurting me.

Eye for an Eye is about a toxic friend and the pain they caused. They were manipulative and acted like the victim whenever confronted. I was really angry when I wrote this song and it’s one of my most aggressive tracks. The music video was the most fun to film out of all of my videos.

Solemn Farewell is a suicide note. It describes my feelings of emptiness and the notion that I’m never really present. I was struggling with deep depression when I wrote it. It’s my first song to feature an instrumental breakdown.

​Alternate Vision talks about my stress over how I’m perceived, and worries of not belonging. I was feeling really disconnected from the world around me when I wrote this song. It’s the first song in which I wrote the title before any of the music.

Vacant is about breaking up with my ex, and how empty I felt afterwards. It’s my only song without drums. I felt it was a fitting way to close out the EP, especially with the last line being “I’m over now.”