The first track on Esc is an Epilogue. Music is like this reaction, and the album exists in the aftermath of some kind of shattering - the details of which are unknown to the audience. What they are confronted with is just the settling cloud of of dust. It is the sound of a blasted galaxy's primordial sludge re-hardening.
I usually just write down the first thing that pops in my head when temporarily titling the tracks, and this one just stuck. A friend of mine was calling some music I like 'pervy', and so I called it that. It's like some wraith-being telling you to snap out of a nightmare and take charge of your situation.
Runnerup was the track that kickstarted this whole album. It's my fav track on the record and was produced by Alex (Guy Dallas). It's the combination of gross, buggy beats and beautiful melodies with soft singing that got me excited. This is a song that started six years ago with a couple of beats that Alex sent me - one got turned into "She Is The Wave" (Lesser Evil, 2013) and the other one, called "Dagyaldem" got shelved. He released it on cassette and apparently played it for Abel Tesfaye from The Weeknd, too! But when I was relistening to it this whole song just happened over top.
"Limerence" is a really important song for me - it helped me understand a conception of love that was healthy vs one that was unhealthy. It's a beautiful word, too. It describes a situation where you are addicted to someone, mentally or physically, to the point where your body rewards you when you interact with them, or even memories of them or things they've touched, and punishes you when you withdraw from them. We've been conditioned by media and our culture to think that this is love, but it's not the healthy way of loving.
"Swim" is pretty metal. I still play a lot of guitar music and it's been cool finding ways to make some of my guitar songs work in a Doldrums-y way. So far it only works 1% of the time. I don't like using computers for my work - I like real machines, and I have my own process that I keep to myself that makes it sound the way it does.
I never thought I'd use the word 'fludderboard' in a song, but there you go.
"The Stitched Together Man" is another character song - a little fairy tale for the kids playing in the tar. The character thinks or has been told that he has no essential self, and so makes himself out of a piece of skin from each of his friends. He drives around looking for more, but stretches himself too far, and he unravels. The happy part at the end that I'm screaming is that he discovers he was already whole all along!
"Heater" has pretty gnarly music but is like an Avril Lavigne song to me. "I'll be your heater!" - it's a sweet sentiment from someone, offering their body heat.
"Machine Boi" is a song to comfort someone who wants to give up, has been made to feel less than human. His tears rust him dry and he is forced to adapt. I read this book The Empty Fortress about a young boy who was convinced he had to run power from outlets to his body to perform basic functions. It's the most straight-up dancey that this album gets... I love grimey electro and techno but I wanted this album to be more drawn out and melodramatic.
"Against The Glass" was the last song I wrote for the album. It started with the line "Do you ever wonder if you are the shadow?" and went from there. I also just love the image of faces pressed up against glass. The music was based on a beat made by Tobias Rochman, who is in an awesome band called Pelada.
I heard that Keanu Reeves wrote a book about shadows, too...
Another ex-guitar song ended up being the last track on the album. After all this apocalyptica I wanted to end on, if not a positive note, than at least one of comfort... "Okay" is essentially a breakup song. Again, the lyrics identify the protagonist as kind of manic-bordering-on-creepy. There are also lines that I sing intending not to be believed, like "I saw his car parked outside the other day when I was just passing by... and I saw your back door was open wide..."
I shot the video in New York with my friend Angus which was a four day whirlwind of breaking into graveyards and meeting weirdos in Times Square.