Thursday, November 19, 2015

B-Sides and More

In the release article for Nyctanthous, I mentioned a song called "The Between" that I was working on and had intended to be on that EP, with the promise that it would be released to the patrons who supported that work as soon as it was finished. Well, now I've released to patrons - as well as to Leaguers and those who would join either crowd-funding platform in support of the Lady - two all-new songs. Yes, "The Between" has been finished, and I am very happy with it. I don't recall when exactly I began working on that song, but you can identify influences very similar to those that went into "Slowly Scooting Closer." I can tell you that the initial inspiration for the piano part in this song came from listening to Thom Yorke, who I personally have dubbed the King of Trip-Hop.

While "The Between" has my characteristic trip-hop beats and features piano throughout, it's very much a post-metal song, with anthemic and orchestral instrumentation as well as heavily distorted electric guitar and a healthy amount of scream-singing. That's right, I'm happy to say that I'm back in the saddle as a professional screamer, and the recording process went very well. All of the screaming in this song is one take, with no looping and no distortion or sustain effects. There is also more melodic singing in this song, but my range is still shot to hell. I'm considering asking Alejandro (who is currently very busy with The Arcane Insignia's upcoming album) to record vocals on a future version of this song; we'll see. In the meantime, what I've recorded ain't bad. This is the most vocal-centric song I have yet to release for this project, and I'm proud of it. The "lyrics" aren't much to speak of. Taken as a whole, they become a very short poem. But hey, I'm kinda taking baby steps back toward my roots as a vocalist and lyricist, and combining that aspect of my musical career with my new-found niche as an avant-garde composer is a bit more difficult than I would have expected. Yet there is progress, and it's very evident with this song.

I'm currently taking a step in a more vocals-and-verses direction with additional work on the other song that's available on Nyctanthous B-Sides. But while I wouldn't have considered "The Between" complete without the vocals, this song very much stands on its own without them. For the purposes of this release, the instrumental version included here has been titled with my initial instinct, which was "Darkest Dreams." However, as I was recording test vocals and coming up with lyrics, the title "Sublime Like Swine" popped into my head. So, the two versions of this song will have two different titles. Here, as a preview for this release and for your enjoyment, is the sin palabras version that is included on Nyctanthous B-Sides, "Darkest Dreams" - an alternative-rock/electronic-pop fusion with a goth-metal twist that actually would have suited Nyctanthous better than "The Between," despite being written after the EP's release.

I had originally intended for the SoundCloud release of this track to be private with this embed an exclusive for my readers, but just now I figured, what the hell? I can use it to more widely promote B-Sides and the upcoming Phase Three compilation (on which I'm hoping to include the con palabras version) if I make this release public. So if you like the song and want more of it in your life, log into your SoundCloud, give it a Like, and Follow my profile while you're at it! And while I'm on the subject, I'd like to remind folken that I have reached the six-hour limit of music for a SoundCloud Pro account. If you'd like all of my music to remain free to stream on SoundCloud, donations can be made through the "Support SnailCloud Unlimited" button at the top of the right-hand side bar.

Moving on... I took my sweet-ass time getting around to posting new exclusives for Patrons and Leaguers after the release of Nyctanthous, which is something I usually try to update right away, as my newest releases usually make some of my exclusives, well, no longer that exclusive. Such has been the case with "Simplify," "Jaded," and "The Tranquil Isles" being included on a public release. So, I've finally gotten my ass into gear and rearranged and updated things.

Now, I've included B-Sides as a reward for Leaguers and in the $5-or-more tier of contributors at Patreon. Already available to Leaguers but newly available to Patrons is An Abbreviated Era, a seven-track EP that includes all five of the original songs from A New Era. Also included in this tier is the Artist's Edition of my first commercial release, Instrumentality - a 16-track collection of the most essential songs from my earlier works, meaning Progress Report through to The Hypnotic Jamboree. What makes it an "Artist's Edition" is the inclusion of a PDF booklet of album art and credits, plus individual track art; all the commercial downloads include is the cover art.

This post-Nyctanthous shuffling around on Patreon has made it so that the individual song downloads available to those pledging $1 or more now include "Darkest Dreams," "The Manic Widow (Feral Bitch Mix)," "The Ground Up," and "Lily White (Sin Palabras)." As before, A Waltz For Giger - The Completed Collection is also available, but now The Occultation Sessions is included. I figured that since the Occultation Spins of "Pentadactyl," "Insults," and "A Not-So-Minor Distraction," and the Alternate Spin of "The Replicant" have been made freely available on Phase Three releases, it made sense to make this seven-track EP available for a pledge of just $1. It also includes the Occultation Spins of "They Delving 2.22," "No Introduction Needed," and "Winter's Remix 2.0."

And of course, the top tier of $10 and up includes A New Era and the Artist's Edition of Occultation, along with everything else.

Little has changed for Leaguers aside from B-Sides now being included for download, as well as streaming on the Bandcamp mobile app, but here's a quick refresher: League membership includes the exclusives Nyctanthous B-Sides, An Abbreviated Era, The Occultation Sessions, A Waltz For Giger - The Completed Collection, and the single of "Lily White (Sin Palabras)," along with the back-catalog releases Nyctanthous, Libration, Selenophilia, Nefelibata, and Instrumental. All are available as DMR-free downloads in a high-quality format of your choosing, with unlimited streaming on the free Bandcamp mobile app.

That about wraps it up. The Phase Three compilation album should be available, free to the public with optional tipping, by the end of the month. A note about that: it's going to be a Patreon-supported release. That means pledges will be collected from Patrons for this album to be made freely available for everyone. So, here's the thing: if you've been listening, downloading, and enjoying the music, this would be a great time to make a pledge. And no, it won't make you a sheister to make a one-time pledge, reap the rewards, and then cancel after the pledge is collected. It would make you a sheister if you pledged, reaped the rewards, and then canceled before a pledge was collected, which is actually possible to do. Patreon is a system of trust. That means that if you make a pledge, I'm trusting you to follow through with it and not just reap the benefits, same as you would be trusting me to not just release the same crap over and over again, or release each song as a single, and collect a pledge for everything I possibly can. I do my damnedest to make pledging worthwhile for my patrons, so I collect pledges sparingly and offer a whole lot that I put a lot of heart into in return. Because I do want pledgers to stick around. But one-time pledges are still a contribution and are very welcome. So, to reiterate: if you've been enjoying the music and the free downloads and streaming that I have on offer and can afford a buck or more to in contribution for the new compilation album, now would be an excellent time to make a pledge. These pledges keep me working and offering music for everyone to enjoy, and hopefully one day they'll help me upgrade my equipment and enhance what I'm able to do and offer.

That is all. Thanks for reading and for your continued interest and support! May your inner snails remain resilient and determined.