Track-by-Track // Seafoam Walls – XVI
Track-by-Track // Seafoam Walls – XVI

Track-by-Track // Seafoam Walls – XVI

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 Seafoam Walls, South Florida band whose debut XVI is out now on Thurston Moore’s label Daydream Library Series.


Soundcheck

This song is pretty self explanatory. It was meant to be a song that we could sound check with. It uses every instrument, including the vocals, at its lowest and loudest volume while still trying to sound tasteful.


You Can’t Have Your Cake and Ego Too (Happy Birthday)

I wrote this song after a period of loneliness. A lot of people that previously ignored me suddenly popped up on my birthday to leave messages on my Facebook wall. It was upsetting because the support from them felt disingenuous. I finished and released an early demo of this song on the day of my birthday almost in protest.

Around the same time I’d been doing extensive research on the ego and other virtues we tend to posture for like selflessness, righteousness, consciousness. I was of the belief that those traits would diminish the frequency of selfish acts. It’s meant to make myself and the listener question what’s actually there if not the virtues they uphold. I’ll take this time to make the disclaimer that I am not above the criticisms and questions that I have of society as I am also a participant.


A.I.

The beginning of this song starts with an accusatory claim. It’s one that almost forces a shared responsibility upon the listener. The question immediately following suggests that two or more people have taken part in something horrible. Because of my understanding of the world I consider my part and the parts of my peers in the issues taking place domestically and abroad.

The next half of the song begins with another question. Unlike the first question, this one is idealistic. The better start being the finish line was a world I imagined; something equitable and transparent. This kind of idealism is usually shrugged off for how farfetched it sounds. Almost within the same breath I started to examine the reasons why my romantic relationships were failing. My best course of action at the time was to get used to being alone and avoid attachment because I’d eventually get hurt. Take a guess at how healthy that was?


Dependency

Dependency is a deeply personal song. It illustrates a part of my character that I don’t like. The lyrics are derived from conversations I’ve had with my mom. Her conversations usually took a turn into politics. When it wasn’t politics, it was about getting my life together. I was living with her at this time. Aside from those references the title itself is rooted in my dependency on marijuana.

When my mom and I talked politics she used to paint pictures of a beautiful, well-manicured, mountainous landscape called Haiti. It was never an image I could fathom considering the state of the country when I went to visit. The structure of society and its landscape began to wither at the hands of colonial superpowers. My mom was often critical of the type of aid Haiti would generally receive. She would indirectly reference the old adage that teaching someone to fish is more helpful than catching fish for them. A dependency gets created rather than what was needed; self-sufficiency.


You Always Said

This song was initially a jab at people who were harsh critics or overly judgmental. From there I asked a deeply introspective question. It symbolized the gun violence prevalent among white males and parts of impoverished black neighborhoods in America. Are we too far along in our civilization to stop access to firearms? Is that even the goal for the whole of society? Is this a problem that can be tackled in the home before it reaches public spaces we assumed were safe?


Program

I really despise the idea of working FOR someone. I’d much rather work WITH them. Collaboration has always been, in my opinion, humanity’s greatest asset. I usually held low-security/entry level positions at jobs. At the point of employment I’m already uncomfortable with the hierarchical structure. Alone, one worker has very little leverage to protest any dissatisfaction as well as little to no autonomy. A robotic subservience starts to form from this.

A robotic regimen so hypnotic in rhythm and a pace too fast to stop and think. The rhythm is measured in the minutes, hours, days, months, and at times, years rented out to employers. This rhythm felt unnatural for a species so self-aware and dynamic in personality. Yet here we are with strict schedules and portable supercomputers to assist in keeping on track.

The idea for the concept of the song came from a YouTube comment that likened us to androids. We only ever have time for social media and our occupations. The cycle feels so code-driven that the commenter said that we’re running on a program called “don’t die.”


See

The first two lines of this song call back the idealism mentioned in A.I. I had to ask myself how prepared I was to sacrifice the comforts I enjoy in my current environment to reach the society that I envision. I imagined apathy would help with that feeling of loss. The second half of See is convoluted in terms of subject matter. Almost every line has a different meaning.

Looking around, it seemed like mistakes were being made across the board. The second line was meant to draw an image of the pleasure-seeking that drew us away from our self-emancipation. I’ve always wondered why we don’t question some of the traits or deeds that by society’s standards would be deemed good. I theorized that those qualities shielded something much worse. The last part of the song addresses my growing presence on social media and the dissatisfaction that came with it. I didn’t feel particularly good about fishing for validation in the body of water that was social media.


Rushed Rain

This song is dedicated to my mom. It was one of her favorite riffs. I recorded it with a storm playing in the background to signify the devastating hurricane that swept through Miami. It was formed on August 16, 1992. I was born a month later. Hopefully my life ends in the structure that this song was written; building up to a crescendo of chaotic harmonies.

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