Well today is the day. It's the day that Little Insects' Almost Ghost album is available to purchase or download in a few different formats. But before I bombard you with links to where you can download/buy it, here's a brief introduction, a preface by the author, to what Almost Ghost is--or at least is supposed to be.
(photo by Jonathan Vazquez)
Almost Ghost is a series of recordings (11 of them to be precise) that are not "analog" or made on some old, "authentic" reel-to-reel machine. They were created on a computer, a basic iMac, using a basic FireWire interface, a Firepod FP-10, to record a few assorted "rock" and "pop" instruments. It is not an attempt, by any means, to "revive" some kind of vintage or traditional recording technique for nostalgia's sake or for "authenticity." No. It is very much digital music that was probably recorded in a way much more like Lil' Wayne's Tha Carter III than Abbey Road. But what's wrong with that?
I consciously started recording (i.e. made a folder on my hard drive where I put all the Logic project files, lyrics, and mp3 demos) the album in the Summer of 2009, though some songs on the album were written as far back as mid-2006 ("Healthy Additions," "Quarters In The Machine," and "Your Veil") and were just entirely re-recorded from scratch for this album. However, no versions of the songs from 2009 or before actually appear on the album, "elements" (i.e. a guitar part or a drum part or a texture sample) from the original demos did make into some of the final recordings. Since that Summer of 2009, I didn't exactly buy time in some studio and spend hours tweaking sounds with some sound engineer for months on end. No. As much as I'd love to live out the studio musician experience, romanticized by so many rockumentaries in which I'd make nebulous suggestions about moods and tones and feelings and name drop a million artists I'd like to imitate to some guy with headphones on a soundboard with like 500 sliders, I can't. I'm not on some record label that pays for my studio time or something, I just buy used instruments on craigslist and store them in a spare bedroom I'm reluctant to even call a home studio. It's just a room full of sub-par, entry-level musical equipment I've been collecting since high school.
The music of this album can be explained by this simple formula:
What that formula means in English is:
The music of this album, Almost Ghost, attempts to take the 65+ GBs of mp3 music I listen to on my computer almost constantly and remake it into a kind of unified, expression of what I think music should be subtracted by limits imposed by my skills (or lack thereof) on actual musical instruments. All of this is aided by a lot of encouragement, support, and live-performance assistance from family and friends and, ultimately, divided by (or distributed to) you, a theoretical listener of said music.
Also, two other important things about the music:
1. The music is highly influenced by (perhaps even derivative of) a lengthy list of artists greater than myself that I'd rather not go into one-by-one, name-by-name, because I'd rather not turn this introduction into a name-dropping list.
2. There is a conscious attempt to use less guitar and "big drums" than I ever have before on any recording, and more piano, glockenspiel, and other "secondary" instruments so as to avoid a kind of over-done, "rocking" sound that I think is beginning to lose most of what little counter-cultural significance remains of guitar and "big drums"--not that this is much of a counter-cultural album anyway.
I have no idea what many of the songs on this album are "about." They all attempt to basically express feelings and all the words on the album are things I felt were worth "singing out" and at the same time fit with the mood of the music. For that reason, many of the words rhyme and have some attempt at metering (seriously, this makes it way easier to set the lyrics to music) and there aren't many "curse words" or much "vulgar language" (in this case, it differs extensively from an album like Tha Carter III).
That being said, some have interpreted the album's lyrics to be pretty "morbid" and I will add that, while I don't exactly disagree, it is not a "dark" or a "sad" album. It's actually quite positive. Also, I am not as sad as the lyrics would suggest, though I'm no Pollyanna, I'm mostly an optimist that tends to simply believe optimistic songs aren't as interesting to listen to as slightly morbid ones.
Anyway, if you come up with any interesting interpretations of any of the songs on Almost Ghost, please let me know.
Since I am at least marginally capitalistic about this whole music thing, I cannot just give the album away for free to everyone like Radiohead since I would like to be able to make enough money from it to possibly fund a future album. While mp3s might be free (sometimes), musical instruments still cost money.
You can buy the album at any of the following locations:
4. CDBaby (link coming soon)
6. Park Ave CDs (in Orlando, FL)
But I'm a reasonable person and not part of some kind of heavily restricted label or under some strange contractual obligation. Thus, if you are seriously broke and desperately want a copy of the album, just let me know and I will burn you a CD or send you the mp3s.
Just e-mail: email@example.com