“Further into Songs” is a new PHW feature that digs deeper into the roots and inspirations behind some of the great songs I’ve heard lately. And the best part is that the words come directly from the artists themselves, so I don’t have to make any of it up.
Arrange’s Quiet State EP is one of my favorite releases of the young year, in large part due to its frightening drone/noise centerpiece “Ivory Carpets”. I caught up recently with Malcom Lacey, the hyper-prolific 18-year-old behind it, who explains how the whole mind-blowing thing was basically just the result of an accident:
Initially I wanted “Ivory Carpets” to be a straightforward shoegaze-y rock track, which was something that, up until that point in the record making process, I had yet to experiment with. I was obsessed with the introduction to Slowdive’s “Shine” and wanted to emulate that same slow burning atmospheric swell into the verse.
On my first ‘sketch,’ I laid down initial single note swells into my loop pedal. I let it ride for a minute and added a few more of those same swells. I figured that at around the :50 second mark I’d go ahead and fade into the first verse, so I attempted to fade off the loop I had already made. But instead of hitting the pedal once to fade, I hit it twice causing the loop to stutter. (Which you can hear at the :50 second mark)
When I make an error in live recordings like that, I make it a note to sit with it for a couple seconds. The track I had in mind was already compromised, but I decided to run with it anyway. I switched the pedal back to record and just started playing anything I could thing of. Layers stacked upon each other slowly came together. I turned up my monitors a bit louder and kept on playing. At one point I was worried about the higher strings snapping. I don’t think I’ve ever played that vigorously and at the time I would’ve probably been content just going on until I was unable to physically listen to the track I was recording.
Listening to the track again today, I guess it really isn’t the least bit surprising to me that I placed the noisier track on Quiet State. I’m never one for writing uplifting music, because it’s not what flows out of me. The physical energy I put into playing “Ivory Carpets” was a satisfaction I had only gotten through drums prior to the recording. I guess I wanted to build that energy until I was unable to hold it anymore, which is probably why there is no solid resolution to the song in the end.
MP3 :: Ivory Carpets
(from Quiet State. Download here)