Track-by-Track // Vinyl Williams – Cosmopolis
Track-by-Track // Vinyl Williams – Cosmopolis

Track-by-Track // Vinyl Williams – Cosmopolis

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 Lionel Williams, leader of LA-based project Vinyl Williams, who will discuss Cosmopolis, the band’s latest!

Audio Commentary


Hello, I’m Vinyl Williams and thank you for listening to the Cosmopolis commentary. Track by track. First off, I just want to say **** you Spotify. I’m still going to use your platform and listen to music on it. Right now and at this time, because it’s still the best way to discover music, but if you can just buy records and listen to them on turntables. Whatever you can do to support the artists. But the main message is **** you Spotify. The first track of the album of Cosmopolis’s Probable Cause. You might be asking yourself, what is the probable cause towards entitling this track Probable Cause? Well, it was just the working title, like when I created the Logic session before I recorded anything I just typed in Probable Cause, because I kind of wanted this song to be like a, had this idea of it just being kind of like a street song like, you know, kinda hip-hop influenced. You know I was listening to Digable Planets at the time and just some 90s hip-hop and R&B. And some newer artists too. And it just kinda all fused together into this very vague idea. (…)



This track is extremely important to me. It was the first song written for this album. Even though there was one song that was actually recorded before this one that ended up on the album, this was the first one that was created for a new album, and it just flowed out effortlessly. I just had a profound experience in June 2020 right after releasing Azure, the last album before this one, where I met somebody on Facebook during the pandemic and they coerced me into meeting them at an Airbnb in LA and staying with them for a few days. And, uh. I just kind of trusted this person because I felt this nostalgia towards them, and within the first 20 or 30 minutes of meeting them in the Airbnb they offered me MDMA, pure MDMA. That was synthesized by a biochemist. This person is a biochemist and worked for a government organization that rehabilitates big water mammals and takes care of the ocean life, kind of like SeaWorld. But in the lab setting, but and it’s a government funded organization, but anyway, this person knew their chemistry and it’s hard to get your hands on pure MDMA, and I’ve never done it before. I’ve never planned on doing it. I never wanted to do it. Because I don’t do any hard drugs but this person was a Santeria bruja – kind of like a practicing witch doctor in their own way. It’s a Caribbean form of magic, where a lot of the times you’d take parts of your DNA, your nails, your hair, your skin, and you put it into a jar with honey, agave and cinnamon sticks and other things that can ferment your DNA. You hermetically seal the jar and light a candle, a big long wax candle on top of it. We did this. And we also did MDMA, and we also did acid at certain times at the same time, which is not something I would normally do. But I trusted this person. Now what happened? I mean, it was something that can be necessary for certain people. Because for me it really really opened my heart up in an emphatic way that was necessary. I felt empathy that I that I had never felt before and I felt like I really decalcified a big part of my heart and I felt it physically and emotionally. And then you know, right after experiencing that empathy, and that love and appreciation for being alive, I very quickly in the Airbnb that I was in picked up a guitar and wrote this song, Beaming, and the lyrics that I was describing were exactly what I were to discover a year later, which is the way that we resonate with each other musically with our souls. And in this song I was alluding to the vibrational nature of how we resonate with each other without actually knowing what I was talking about. And a year later, I thought of the idea of the music of our birthdays.


This track was one of the earlier ones that I recorded for the album around the holidays of 2020 I believe. Around the Christmas season, around this time that I’m actually speaking right now, two years ago. And I just had this beginning part, those hits in my head, just those that and that I just, you know, it sounds like a Burt Bacharach moment or something and I just couldn’t get it out of my head and I just heard the potential of this song. I heard it in my head before I recorded it. That was also the verse. I just heard those chords and the melody. It just kind of was repeating in my head and I couldn’t get it out of my head even though I recorded a voice memo of it. But it kept repeating in my head, so that’s kind of an indicator for me that it’s important and should be recorded, that it’s memorable and that my my mind likes to think about it without me consciously trying and just trying to work it out all the time. And so I just kind of laid it down when there were a lot of parts that weren’t fleshed out yet. The chorus or there’s not really a chorus really, it’s just kind of B/C/D sections or something. I just kind of laid it down without knowing what is going to come of it except for the beginning parts that repeat and then I just kind of followed the intuition and just let it let it form and develop naturally. I didn’t really add too much to this song, it really has just as much as it needs sonically. Which is kind of like a practice of restraint that I tried on this album and the last one Azure too, but especially on this album, it was really just a guitar, bass, drums and vocals happening a lot of the time, and it’s a 12 string guitar. It’s a Danelectro 12 string that I use throughout the entire album. It has a pretty wide sound. The 12 string guitar just kind of makes it shimmer and give it this space that sometimes one guitar can’t really fill up itself just on its own, but the 12 string really just helps with that and just gives it that beautiful sound of different harmonics and artifacts of different harmonic accidents and stuff. And I just kind of did one guitar part all the way through the song and the bass line took me probably 6 hours to record and compose straight. It takes a lot of cold brew to stay focused for that. And the vocals, it took a long time to get the lyrics right and, you know it took several days of effort accumulatively to record the vocals and get the kind of lyrics down with those melodies that are like these Willy Wonka melodies that I wanted to pair with these lyrics that are extremely relevant to what I’m thinking about right now, or at least what the concepts that are that I’m investigating, such as, like how the galactic meets the quantum and how they’re you know, since everything large is made-up of the small, they must be connected through the same principles and laws. So I’m just, you know, in the song connecting and discussing how the whole universe can fit in the drop. Like kind of like the drop of water contains the whole ocean in it in a way, and exploring that the unknown, that abyss within has infinite potential.

Modern Arch

This song is heavily inspired by The Zombies, their collection of albums that are, I believe their B sides and demos and original recordings that never made it on full length albums because they only have two full length albums in their whole career and then they released the third one I believe in 2015, almost 50 years after Odyssey and Oracle. Just listening to it all their great deep cuts, you know, just scavenging through all their amazing songs trying to find those gems, and they’re just riddled with gorgeous ores and minerals down there in the earth of The Zombies. And I just kind of tried to make my own melancholic, British foggy kind of song that you know I pictured this mossy archway, mossy stone archway that maybe liPke a small wet road would go underneath it & it has like a little Lantern inside of it or something that’s really old. And uhm yeah, and I just also pictured some kind of sci-fi thing with the lyrics like where you have this device on the top of your hand that can transport you physically anywhere to any space or environment, or a representation of a time holographically. Like a virtual reality teleportation device, or possibly even a real physical teleportation device that everybody has on the back of their hand. And in the space in between teleporting or transporting from one place to another, I pictured more of these mossy archways that kind of make up these bridges between space and time. Yeah, and so this song is just kind of like an amalgamation of those ideas and sonically it’s very much so like I said like this melancholic British fogland that I tried to create but also kind of beachy like like the Brighton Beach. Like being nostalgic or longing for a beach when you’re in a cold, foggy landscape. Brighton England is really beautiful. It’s really cold water, but there’s something about it that is just really paradisical as well, so I’ve been there a couple times on tour with Morgan Delt. I think maybe the song was inspired by what it’s like in England and the South of England, particularly in Avebury and the south, you know Canterbury, that’s where Stonehenge is actually and all those Burys, it’s a really cosmic beautiful zone. There’s a lot of mysteries around there that I actually ended up running up Silbury Hill. It was closed, but I just ran out of our van when we drove by Silbury Hill and I just kind of ran all the way up it. And there was this weird feeling. It was raining and the wind was kind of like swirling around the whole hill and then I ran down and got in our van and I looked at it and there was this bird that was just levitating just totally motionless, flying, but not moving at the very top of the hill. It was like a seagull. It was a really funny sight, I thought.


This was technically the first song I recorded for the album that was done right when the pandemic begun. I remember what happened – I help run this warehouse space in Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, and when the pandemic hit we started doing these live streams and we were just kind of like jamming as a full group. A lot of people were just kind of making music together and having a good time and trying to express ourselves. And at a certain point you know it got pretty bad, so we couldn’t really use a public space with each other. Kind of had to quarantine. So what I did is I ended up moving all my equipment into my house in Echo Park, and it was in my living room, which sounds really good because it’s an 1887 Victorian house with 1887 wood. All in the living room and throughout the whole house it has a really nice resonant sound.  All or half of The Emerald Isle album was recorded in our living room, the drums, the percussion, the guitars, and it has this beautiful sound to it. It’s gorgeous, like you just can’t get this in a studio that’s soundproof, you know, you want a big wooden room like a town hall to get that natural reverb. And it’s not a very large space but it’s big enough to have this really buoyant resonance, especially when you’re doing percussion. If you set up a mic really far away, it’ll just sound perfect when you record it, because of the natural reflections. But this song is just kind of like very inspired by Ennio Morricone. Some of the Italian composers like, you know, Goblin and Piero Umiliani and Piero Piccioni, I’m really into that kind of music, that Paradise Sound. And I tried to make my own version of that, but I only had a Casio and I didn’t have any synths. Well, I still don’t really have any synths, but you know, I usually just use this Casio and it has like some really cheesy sounds on it, but through pedals and through an amp it could sound kind of cool and all the keyboards were just kind of  sketched out on the Casio and I ended up just keeping them all. I wanted to get like that hammer dulcimer / harpsichord combo sound that Ennio Morricone gets on his recordings but I don’t have anything like that. At one point I had an auto-harp and I could pluck those strings and get a sound like that. But I didn’t have it anymore, so I just used the Casio. I just messed around with the tones of it through the pedals and it just kind of sounded, found like a lofi sound that works, and I realized that nothing really has to sound pristine to communicate the music, the sonic and melodic ideas, so sometimes the ideas and the composition can transcend the production and the quality of the sound. Sometimes like a duller or darker, less produced sound can have more charm to my ears. Especially something more rough / textural / lofi – my ears just really seem to like. That sound and this song is the most lofi song on the album. It just kind of turned out that way. I didn’t have very good cymbals at the time, even though I had a good room sound in there. I just kinda got a harsh recording on the drums a little bit so I kind of had to take all the high end off of a lot of this song, which is something I haven’t done really for any songs in the past, but it kind of gave it like this lofi sound which can be soothing and chill, and it’s kind of overwhelming at the same time because it’s moving really fast. But yeah, it just kind of just turned out how it did by itself.

Solar Coaster

Nearing the completion of the album, I moved my whole studio into my dad’s garage in Encino because he just moved into this house and he had this big ambient garage which was terrible for mixing. Pretty bad for recording too. It’s just this big laminate garage, but it’s all I had because my studio was totally dysfunctional. During the holidays is always the time that I record because nobody’s around and I can be loud, and there are no distractions, and I can just have my private space to express myself, and I needed that time and that space. So I moved everything over there and I was doing all the vocals for the whole album for most of the songs in like a month long time period. And this was one of the last ones I had to do. I felt like I had spent a month warming up my voice and writing a bunch of lyrics and singing, and I felt like it just came out effortlessly to write the lyrics and do the vocals for this one. But it took two days because I did the whole vocals in one day, and then I actually did all these background vocals in another day, which I spent all this time in a separate project file. So there’s like no latency / no issues because there’s a lot of tracks and some of my songs, even though most of them are muted, I just kind of leave everything there. But yeah, I did a bunch of background vocals and then when I did that on this song I was like ah, I got to kind this on some of the other songs. So I added some background vocals on Paracosm (the song before this one) and a couple other ones. And just flexed the ability to write some vocal arrangements in a kind of like a Beach Boys / Brian Wilsony kind of sense or something. And it was just fun. It was the first time I’ve ever really done that, and I think it’s something I’m going to continue doing further and more progressively as time goes on. But yeah, this song was just written on a Farfisa. Or the drums really. I had like a Farfisa sketch which is Klaus Johann Grobe’s Farfisa by the way. They’ve been letting me borrow their Farfisa since October 2019. They we did a tour and we played Desert Daze. They played desert days** and we did a tour with them on the West Coast and we did a tour with them on the East Coast in May 2019. And when they went home, they just kind of loaned me their Crumar Orchestrator – a great Italian, polyphonic synth, fully polyphonic synth, and a Farfisa, which is another fully polyphonic incredible piece of gear to have which is a luxury for me because I just usually don’t have any nice things to play music on. I just have a Casio and some guitars and a bass and drums. Basic mics, like Electrovoice $35 cobalt mics. But it was great to have their Farfisa and I just, you know, I’m not a super advanced keyboardist in any sense. Maybe if I practiced I could become dexterous on it, but it just kind of laid down the chords that my ear likes and it just kind of set up the structure for the whole song.


Telaculum was created out of a melody that was repeating in my head for months. I’d be driving on the 101 freeway in LA or driving anywhere, and I would hear this melody playing of the chorus and it sounded like a sunshine pop, like a Beach Boys song or something, and it was beautiful to me. It just sounded to me like this whole song. I could hear the whole thing with all these background vocals and the chords. And it was just kind of simmering in my head for months. Until I just had to record, at a certain point the only thing, the only music that was in my head was just this melody and the bassline was also in my head as the melody of the verse. Yeah, so the first thing I came up with was like the… So I heard that repeating in my head over and over again, and then I also started to hear like a bassline, and I heard chords over it and then I was like, oh, I have a whole song here. But I don’t really want it to repeat too much. I kind of want it to be like I want it to keep changing so that it’s always interesting as a listener for me. I don’t really necessarily like when things repeat exactly the same way twice, and if they do, I they should repeat in a different way or do a variation. Yeah, so at a certain point, I think I laid down a scratch guitar part and I kind of created the structure that way, and I did the drums, which I spent some time, some few hours getting a good take and a good sound and getting all the sections and all the fills where I want it. And I kind of have to do drum takes all the way through from beginning to end to get the vibe and the energy of the song, so it doesn’t sound cut up or cut & pasted. It sounds natural and like it’s happening in front of you live kind of like a full group in front of you, instead of a recording. Because that’s just kind of the sound I like. I like when you hear live music sound good, which is rare sometimes to hear good live sound, but if a recording can sound like that, done by just one person in a room, I feel like it’s achieving the tactility that the ear wants. Sometimes at least my ear tends to gravitate towards tactile, textural sounds. But yeah, so I just kind of laid down the drums and with that scratch guitar I just kind of did the bass. I had to get that bassline down of the verse, which is like the melody, and then the chorus – I had that vocal melody, and I kind of augmented it with the bassline. And as the song progresses as the last chorus happens again for a second time, I was spending so much time on the bassline, recording it and composing it, that by the end I just got really crazy with it and I was just finding really fun, playful things to do that can fit within there without being too insanely distracting.  And it’s weird because I didn’t really mix this song too much. I just kind of recorded it. I recorded everything there, which is not much. It’s mainly 1 guitar, bass, drums and vocals and background vocals. And a couple very subtle synths. But at the end, the synth, the Crumar comes in, which was the very final thing I added to it. It was really just like 1 Casio. Then I added that Crumar string sound at the end through the Dynacord, which is this tape delay I have, which is an amazing 1969 German tape delay and it just brings life to everything I record through it, which I run a lot of the vocals through it and do a lot of delay feedback and you can change the rate and everything. You can even EQ it on the tape delay itself – the EQ in and the EQ out. So the EQ of the signal coming in and the EQ of the delay itself.  It’s a really cool device. Probably the coolest tape delay I’ve ever used, but yeah, and that’s pretty much the coolest thing I have in my arsenal. But besides that, the song isn’t really mixed, you know, I just kind of like, uh, I recorded everything and I didn’t want to make anything sound too illustrious or shiny. I just kind of wanted to leave it raw and in a way the bass, listening back to it recently, is kind of soft in comparison to where a lot of my other music. I like the bass line. I like how the bass carries this on, but it’s kind of like you have to turn it up to really hear that part. So there’s kind of a lot of hidden elements in there, which is just a product of me not mixing it, but sometimes just something raw can be good too. It’s easy for me to call something done a lot of the times, as long as it has all the compositional elements there, and the tonal elements, it doesn’t need more than what it needs, if that makes sense.

Precious Star

This is the second song that was deliberately made for the album after Beaming. It was made around September-ish, maybe August, September 2020. I was with somebody, I was completely in love with somebody, who gave me a transformative experience – several transformative experiences. It was just very inspiring. It was a very inspiring time to be with somebody new and just going on all these irrational adventures and just exploring my own consciousness and new realms, and becoming a better person, and becoming more patient. Having to use restraint and be there for people around me. And this is one of those songs again where just the melody was just playing in my head. It was just playing and I could hear that melody, and that’s it. And then when I was recording the song I combined it with a very old, older song. It’s the part where I sing: “We have no time to wake up our minds.” That part was in a demo of a song I did, probably in like 2015 or 16. And I never actually ended up finishing that song or anything, so I kind of just combined that into this song cause it fit really well and just kind of followed that and let it evolve to the chords that it naturally wants to. Some of the chords were really inspired by Enoch Light’s arrangements and Burt Bacharach. Enoch Light arranged and recorded a lot of Bacharach covers with The Free Design (my favorite group of all time) as the vocal group, and he’s kind of like a New York producer. He was somewhat well-known in the 50s and 60s. You can still see his Glimmering Guitars LPs at the bargain bins of record stores. But he has a lot of albums. This one “Spaced Out” is a really incredible album. It has “Knowing When To Leave” which is this Burt Bacharach song and this version of it is just mind-blowing. It’s so psychedelic too, how they use the stereophonic kind of over-the-top sound. But just the recording of it and the vocals, they’re just mind-blowing it. It took some of the changes of Knowing When To Leave and modulated them to a different key and just kind of made my own composition out of the chords / the chord changes, because I just found it so utterly beautiful and it gave me goosebumps, and I wanted that feeling to be induced more in the future, wherever the song is played, you know, if you have to use these formulas sometimes it can induce those deep emotions that you feel with music that you like. And the main thing for this track are the lyrics. Which is weird because my music is usually about the sound, even though the lyrics are important and the most ultimate experience might be listening to the album while reading the lyrics. I think that’s kind of what its intended for is for listening and following along. And it could be a really personal experience in that way, but this one, these lyrics, I really wanted to describe everything that I think about in terms of the structure of reality and time and how interconnected things are, and HOW things are interconnected, the structures of them. And the lyrics were also written before I came up with the idea of musical astrology, which is the music of people’s birthdays. And the perspective of the song I feel like, when you read the lyrics, it’s from a different intelligence. Not to say that this was channeled or anything. It’s just like a story, like a fiction story being told from the perspective of an interdimensional being, that is an advanced intelligence that is trying to describe to humans what the structure of our interconnectedness is and how we can use that technologically and/or just for our evolution and our behavior and for our well-being of life.


This song was the last one that was recorded for the album in my Dad’s garage, which is a very ambient laminate garage that’s not sound proofed whatsoever. It’s very echoey and reverby and slap backy. And I brought this Ludwig drum set, this 1960 Ludwig drum set, which has a hole on the bass drum. This big hole. I think that’s why it was so cheap on eBay is because it had a hole in the kick drum. Or it might have just been something in the shipping that occurred, but you know there’s a big hole in the kick drum anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. You know, it just doesn’t really change the sound that much, and if it does, it’s negligible, because if you play it well then you’re good. So, uh, with this song I was listening to St. John Green and like West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and just a lot of fun Strawberry Alarm Clock – A lot of really fun upbeat 60s sunshine pop and pop music. And just one day, you know, I was trying to finish the whole album by doing all the vocals for all the songs and I was doing it for weeks on end, working on all the vocals and the background vocals for all the songs, and just this day I needed to like take a break from doing that because it just seemed kind of repetitive, and so I brought the drums to the garage and I set up an overhead mic, which is an Electrovoice cobalt $35 mic and a kick drum mic.  And the overhead mic was going into this Carvin board at the highest gain and then that Carvin board was going right into the Dynacord tape delay at the highest gain. So it was completely distorted, completely blown out. And I just did some takes and I would listen back and I just, it sounded cool, and I just kept carving out the frequencies on the board, to where the overhead mic sounded really good and it would capture the snare and the toms and cymbals all really well, and in a good frequency range. And I just laid down this drum track. Two mics. And I sent the drums through the Dynacord again and got some tape delay feedback near the end. Then I had this Yamaha little keyboard. It’s that one that Beach House uses. I forgot what the model name is, but it’s like that beige, white/beige Yamaha keyboard, and it has kind of like an organ sound, and I ran that through the Dynacord with like a very fast tape delay feedback slap back sound, which kind of gives it this warble actually. Because the tape delay is so unstable, it’s beautiful sounding. And I just recorded these kind of funky rhythmic chords and then improvised like a chorus, which are like these modulated chords that again like it’s just like, oh, that’s the next chord, because that’s what my ear wants to do, the most blissful thing that my ear would want. You know, if I was listening to the song I would want to go there. So that’s where I take it. You could augment that with like the bass or whatever. And yeah, I just kept following it and it just was just bass, Farfisa, drums, vocals and the vocals through the Dynacord too. It was just really raw, and so I brought in my friend Lilliana Villenes to do a guitar track on it and also brought in my friend Josh Menoshe who is in Triptides and Frankie and the Witch Fingers. And he recorded his own guitar track in his own studio in his own workstation, and it just came together and just totally finished the song with these two guitar tracks, which I ran them both through my VHS tape deck so they’re really warbly. They’re recorded on VHS with this tape deck it’s always time correcting so it’s always really warbly. And it’s just kind of nestled in there. But if you listen closely, you can hear those guitars like you know, just sitting in there in a really crazy compressed warble kind of way.

Dream House

This song didn’t actually make it on the vinyl. If you have the LP or if you ever listen to the actual wax of this album, it doesn’t have the song Dream House on it because it couldn’t fit on a single album. We were actually going to release the album as a double LP gatefold with two records, but there would only be like 3 or 4 songs on the side which is just annoying to flip a record that often. So I really wanted each side to have, you know, like a solid five or six songs on it, and to be a single LP with a gatefold. So I had to cut a song to make the album under 48 minutes, or 42, 46, I don’t even, 44 I believe. Actually I think 22 a side is the max so had to cut Dream House, but I like this song. I don’t feel like it’s lesser than any of the others. It’s just not as necessary or critical, but I like that it’s softer and more laid back and not trying to be anything that profound. It’s just discovering itself. And this song, the creation of this song is a dream to me because I don’t even remember how it was made / when it was made / how it was began / how it was worked on. You know I remember quickly after I recorded it, I had the melody of the chorus and actually the whole song. I had the whole melody all kind of always there, but it took me a really long time to record it. The song kind of sat there for at least a year and a half before I recorded the vocals. In December of 2021, when I did most of the other songs. And I just kind of waited till then and it was good because I had the melody totally kind of like subconsciously flushed out in my head. So when I wrote the lyrics it was easy to just record them. It was difficult to fit the lyrics to what vowels and what sounds my mouth wanted to say or wanted to speak. But I just had to go with the sounds that my mouth, that my voice wanted and so and that was the priority with the song for some reason. This sound is more just sound, more pure sound, and I like imagining an Earthship greenhouse, with some ceramic tiles, and like a really nice kitchen and some light coming through the windows through some stained glass made of fruit slices, dried fruit slices. It’s kind of like what I imagined. The ultimate setting of this song to be, but yeah, if you ever throw it on. Especially on a good sound system, I feel like you need to hear the low end to feel this song. It just came out. It turned out naturally. And it never really had to be forced in any way. It just was very natural and evolved overtime. And you can kind of hear the relaxedness of that maybe. I remember I also used a lot of varispeed pitch tools where I would slow the song down half speed and record a guitar track and then it sounded like a harpsichord in the bridge, and so that kind of illuminated some new paths of doing that, which I’ve done before, but not at a complete half speed or double speed kind of thing to pitch shift like that. So that was a fun process.

Ode to Artifice

One day, Craig from the Emerald Isle (my really good friend) we were planning on recording a song in 2020. At some point we went to the studio at Non Plus Ultra to record it and I just picked up like a 12 string and we started jamming on this idea and I started recording it myself, and he was just kind of waiting for his time to record the vocals or, you know, get in some ideas in there. But I was kind of controlling the composition process a little too much and I was just kinda taking hold of this idea that just started. And I started just obsessively diving into it and he was just kind of like alright, I guess I’ll leave the room now and just, you know, go talk to some other people because you seem really in the zone so I’m just gonna let you do your thing and like 5 hours later I have a guitar part, the drum part and the bass part and that’s it. I just had like the basic structure of the song. I was like you want to try some vocals on this now and he’s like no man I just want to go home. Because, you know, I was just sucked into a wormhole making this song. I didn’t know what was going to come out of it, but I did want it to sound like The Byrds or something. Like this jangly 12 string Sunshine Pop which is kind of how I imagined The Emerald Isle sound to be like, which is this emerald vortex of beautiful shimmery gem and bell sounds all around you in the stereo field. And the working title for the song was Craigbyrd with a Y. Because all The Emerald Isle songs have Craig in the title so that on my hard drive they’re in the same location alphabetically. But this one yeah, I called Craigbyrd. I’m like, I want it to be like The Byrds, but I just got a little too in my own zone, little self-obsessed in my zone. By the time Craig was gonna track over, or give his feedback, or you know try to collaborate on the song, he’s like nah, this is your song and I’m like alright, I guess this is a Vinyl Williams song. I don’t know I guess, sorry I brought you here today I guess. I just made a Vinyl Williams song. He’s like, it’s OK! But I didn’t touch it for years. Two years, or sorry, a year and a half. I didn’t touch it for a year and a half until, again, December 2021 when I opened up the project file and I wrote the vocals and I sang. I wrote the lyrics – I sang the melody. Probably spent about 6 to 8 hours doing that for this song. There’s an entire day. And I kind of just left this song how it was when I first recorded it, which is just that 12 string, the drums, the bass. I did a vocal take and I sent it through the Dynacord for some tape delay. That was it. This is another song I just didn’t mix. I just, you know, once I had all the tracks in there everything was there and it didn’t have any synth or even any second guitar at all. It was just that one guitar and everything is mono and everything’s in the center because there are no extra tracks, it’s just one guitar, one bass, one vocal, and the drums. So everything’s really tall in the center, and I just left it like that instead of trying to over-produce it, which it totally could have been, but what does that really do to the song? You know, it’s kind of like a trick if you over-mix or over-produce something, it’s just like oh wow, look how beautiful I am. But really, the beauty can be in the composition itself rather than the packaging or the shrink wrap.


I remember writing and recording this song very well. It was in September 2021. I was with Andy Schiaffino, this great artist: body/negative. Their music is kind of akin to The Caretaker, William Basinski, ambient, dark, electronic lofi music. They were kind of giving me a hard time since I’ve never written a song for them. I’ve written songs for other people – I wrote Lady Tiger for Marina Aguerre. I wrote Precious Star for Alex, who I was with (who’s the Santeria witch doctor) and you know, I was with Andy and I hadn’t written a song for Andy yet so I was like, ok, we’re in September, which is my half birthday, which is around Andy’s birthday. And so I was like I’ll write you a song. So I went to the studio and I just started writing a song for Andy. And I wanted it to describe how we first met, where we did a cover of Song To The Siren, this beautiful song, this Tim Buckley song, well we did a cover of This Mortal Coil’s cover of the Tim Buckley song. And we made this like shoegaze version of the song. That’s how we met. We just kind of collaborated on this track. We made it and then you know, the night after we made the track, we took mushrooms together, had an amazing experience, and we were kind of inseparable for a year, or almost, 11 months after that. But yeah, so six months after that, we met around my birthday March 2021, and in September 2021 I was like alright I’ll make you a song. And so I wrote the song about how we met, that first day that we made the song, and also of my dreams. I have had this recurring dream where I’m walking up this residential hill and at the top of the hill is a street painted with grass, or is a street made of grass. And the grass leads to this insanely beautiful glass house that overlooks a city on a hill. And I just kind of wanted to describe this ultimate dream that I had in the song as well. Our relationship was very whimsical and playful and very childlike, so I think I was getting in touch with my childlike self again and I kind of wanted to inject this song with that, with the lyrics at least. How our birthdays resonate with each other – we are tritones in musical astrology, which is the devil’s interval. When you’re 6 months apart from somebody, you’re a tritone, you’re each other’s half birthday. You share so much in common, you agree on all things irrational, all things creative, so much similarities with music, taste, and everything, but when it comes down to responsibilities, it gets really tricky and it’s really hard. It’s difficult, challenging for either person to be rational or responsible for each other because of the nature of the chord. But it also forces you to be your most patient self and it expedites your evolution, triggering all these knots in your subconscious, and they start to come out, and then you start to unknot them and massage them out. So in the lyrics I also put in our opposite, our complementary opposite nature embedded in the song, in the lyrics it says “For your love must have an edge. Now embrace each other’s opposite” It’s good to be with a complimentary opposite. It could be very tumultuous because you’re so similar, but that’s what it’s all about. It’s about allowing yourself to be appreciative and happy for your other’s success, no matter how similar your work is. It’s always just being there for your partner. But also just the idea of manifestation. Just ask and you’ll receive it. That was kind of my message to my ex-partner, is that, ask and you’ll receive it. I’ll do anything for you. I’ll be there for you. And that was a good test for me to be present, fully, in a committed relationship. It’s what a lot of us are leading towards, hopefully.


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