Handing over the mic to artists/musicians who break down their new albums track by track/share the thought process behind the creation. Today we’ll hear from Kenny Inglis aka Imperfect Stranger, musician composer and producer from Glasgow, Scotland.
Hello. I’m Kenny Inglis aka Imperfect Stranger. And here i am on Track By Track talking about my album ‘Everything Wrong Is Right’ which is currently available as vinyl/digital on Castles In Space.
There’s a story to this album, and the reason behind writing it was, for me, very different to other albums i’ve released. Technically speaking, this is the first solo album i’ve ever done, but it was also the first vinyl release i’ve put out in two decades. I won’t bore you with my past and previous exploits – Google will give you all the answers.
I wrote ‘Everything Wrong Is Right’ as a journal. It documents a number of experiences i had during the course of one year, which collectively became life-changing. It is my raw truth. A story of love, loss, and hope.
1) Moment Of Impact:
This is about the implosion of a relationship. Specifically, it’s about that very moment when something that you knew was going to happen (the end), actually happens. It’s about that weird hanging stillness which occurs immediately where the reality of something you’ve been ignoring hits, and before the aftermath kicks in. The tonal changes throughout this track reflect the before, during, and after.
I wrote this in an effort to capture the sense of the strange emptiness that the world commonly takes on in the immediate aftermath of a relationship ending. Your sense of time changes. The light coming through the window takes on a different tone. Even the air around you seems misplaced. I used the word ‘different’ in the title here because this feeling at the time was all too familiar, yet there was a distinct undertone to it which seemed new – a sense of something i hadn’t felt in this space. A movement. A change.
3) Bird Of Prey:
This was written as a score-type reflection on a culminative experience of dealing with a certain personality type of some partners we have the misfortune to experience. Metaphorically speaking, i had often thought about those nature clips on TV where a bird of prey would single out a vulnerable animal from a distance then swoop down on them without warning, with the animal realizing all too late what was happening. I wanted this track to hit low and hard. It’s supposed to unsettle.
4) Dog In The Rain:
This is about faithfulness. I was driving through the east end of the city late one night. The rain was pouring down. I stopped at a set of traffic lights and through the wet windscreen i spotted a dog tied to a lampost outside of a shop. It was absolutely soaked through, yet gazing into the warmth of the shop faithfully waiting on it’s owner. I thought about the discomfort it was in, and the faithfulness it displayed, and how the leash could be metaphorical for certain things that can tie us together in a relationship when one person is in great discomfort and the other is not.
5) Love Is A Three Letter Word:
I wrote this reflecting on the aspect of words versus actions when it comes to use of the word ‘love’. How some people use it without them actually displaying it. I titled this as ‘Love Is A Three Letter Word’ because to me, it’s either an ‘act’ (an action), or a ‘lie’. The word is meaningless unless it is expressed through that person’s actions.
‘Faux’ was written about someone in my life who presented themselves very differently in public to what they did in private. Everything from their persona to their moral compass was a polar opposite. People on the outside would see their carefully crafted mask, but i would see the face hidden underneath. There’s a chaotic aspect to this track that is very deliberate – it’s a reflection of the frictitious nature of the two opposing aspects of their character and the issues around that.
7) The Mothered Ear:
This is about enmeshment and the damage that is done as a result of poor boundaries with problematic parental figures. It’s a play on the phrase ‘Mother Dear’, and was written with an image of a child who couldn’t escape the constant noise, opinion, and selfish needs of a parent.
8) Hymn To The Sun:
This track is meant to capture the moments of light that filter through the clouds (even momentarily) during lifes difficulties. I had this idea of writing something that had a weight and ominosity to it which would break into something beautiful and uplifting. The track has a lot of low end which sort of morphs and simmers throughout, only to be broken by the chordal warmth of these big Juno-esque pads that lift us out for a few seconds. At the time of writing it, i felt like the world was still a dark place, but there was movement. I was moving. I was processing and progressing, albeit slowly.
9) Never Enough:
This is about the loss of a child. The title is two-fold – it’s knowing that doing your best was never enough, that you had no chance of saving that child, and in the aftermath there was never enough self-medication to take the pain of it away.
10) November Four:
This was written about the death of a parent, the title being the date it happened. It was a death that left me with many unanswered questions – like reading a lengthy book only to find that the last page is missing.
11) Life Of Echo:
This was written in loose reference to the story of Narcissus and Echo, and how, at the time, it felt in some ways parallel to a relationship i had been in. I wanted to write something which expressed the disfunctional dynamic of being in relationship where one person is entirely self-centred, and the other person has no voice.
12) Changing State:
I woke up one morning and my room was full of light. Something had changed inside me, and the appearance of world around me seemed to be reflecting that. I felt as though the surface noise that had been running constantly in my head for months was slowly starting to fade, and the sense of sadness within me had begun to dissapate. I use a repeating tone throughout this track to symbolize the monotony of holding onto sadness, but offset it with the beauty of the string chords. I wanted this to feel somewhat euphoric.
13) Everything Wrong Is Right:
My original working title for the album was ‘Everything Right Is Wrong’, and when i started out i felt i was going to be writing something that sonically reflected the feeling of failure we suffer when our experience of life is the opposite to our cultural conditioning – to be educated, to have a good job, to buy a house, to marry and have children etc. As the album progressed i got to this point and realised that actually the many failings we suffer throughout life, and the sadness that we endure with it, is in fact our saviour – Everything Wrong *Is* Right.
I wanted the final track to simply be an expression of finding your deserved path, finding your freedom. It’s a reflection on how we live and endure, process and progress. It’s about shutting the door on one section of your life, in order to move forward into another.