Rebraid is a re-imagination of six tracks from the Braids recording sessions using samples from the original recordings as textures or as instruments, folding them into new arrangements of further layers of electric and electronic instrumentation.
i tried to keep the atmosphere of Braids while adding a dose of groove and danceability.
It is a tribute to the people and bands who originally inspired me to make music - and those who continue to do so.
Highlander Motel Highlander Motel was a motel outside of Pontiac, Michigan. i’m not sure if it still exists. this song is about regret and shame, and the way that shame can create crevasses in relationships.
this track started with the sample of the acoustic guitar track and (i think it was) an electric piano patch from a Roland MC-303 from the “Braids” sessions.
the added instruments are a B3 emulator from Arturia, an electric piano emulator from Spitfire Audio as the bass, an electric drum kit, a pair of guitar lines, and a slightly edited software synth patch that i had originally used for the “Staring at a Ruin” sessions. the vocals were also sampled from the Braids sessions.
cold one this song (and highlander motel) came into the world as really rocking numbers for a band i was in around 2007. the band had the music written by the time i joined (it was really cool stuff) and i wrote these lyrics about overzealous bank tellers and cops. the band ended before releasing anything.
at the start of the braids sessions, i went through my old songbooks and came across these lyrics. i arranged some new music and it’s still one of my favorites from braids.
this recording includes the sampled vocal track, a drone that comes from a sample of harmonica and piano, and one more sample of a piano arpeggio from the original recording. the drums are actually two takes, i liked them both, so i mixed one left and one right. there’s a really sweet fm piano sound with a bit of chorus, my best motown guitar, and a distorted organ playing the bass. finally, i added a couple disparate background vocal layers.
Rebells this track is completely made from samples from “Bells of St Christopher.” the instrumentation comes from a filtered sample of the acoustic guitar and the mc-303’s “organ” track played in reverse, there is a tiny vocal sample, and the whole thing is arranged to the unedited drum track. this track was the simplest on the ep and ended up being an interlude of sorts.
Soldier’s Dub i think i wrote “Soldier’s Story” the week of the very last Beilby’s Ball Show in 2007. i had been trying to write it for a while. it’s actually about a greyhound bus trip i took around 2002. if you take a long greyhound trip, you’re sure to overhear some stories, and if the trip is long enough, you may hear another side of the story. this was a very long trip at the start of the war in Iraq. i was surprised that the largest military in the world sent it’s troops to bootcamps and to begin their tours on greyhounds, along with young mothers, their children, and young men riding between prison and halfway houses.
i decided to record Soldier’s Story for the first time when i started work on Braids, but Braids ended up telling a specific story and Soldier’s Story didn’t really fit that story. but i was happy to finally have a recording of this song after over 10 years. (I released this recording as a b-side to Fayetteville before Braids came out).
this track has layers of guitar and piano samples from the Braids sessions. some forward, some backward, some cloaked in delay and filters, some pretty clean. i’ve always loved ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dub. Rebraid was kind of my attempt at dub and i wanted to have a very traditional dub track on there. this was it and it was a lot of fun to make.
Rebraids Braids is a love song about meeting my wife, Sabrina. i think it’s the closest thing to a pure love song i’ve written. it’s about the stories we tell when we meet someone new the ones we tell to build ourselves up, impress and prove our worth, and the ones we tell to show our weaknesses and to open ourselves up. i had began experimenting with samples and decided i wanted to make a dub version of Braids and, that week, logic came out with an updated sampler which lended itself remarkably well to my project.
sampling Braids felt natural. the instrumentation is really dreamy and lends itself well to this style. the “trumpet fields” collection from spitfire audio matched the mood of the slide guitar swells from the original Braids sessions. the other sample here is of Sabrina saying “la.”
Miller’s Wheel i wrote Miller’s wheel on a train in 2016. i think most of the lines came out in Slovenia. my residency permit hadn’t come through, and i had to leave the Schengen Area before my travel visa had run out. it’s a song about all of that. i wasn’t sure how long i would have to spend away from Sabrina and i was scared. it’s a song about systems and structures that we don’t necessarily know we’re a part of.
there is no vocal sample here. i didn’t think the Braids session vocals fit in this format. just a reversed instrumental sample and a sample of the electric guitar. the piano and synths are arturia emulations of a wurlitzer, cs-80, and a dx-7. the bass is a bronco bass and the drums are from the electric kit.