Here’s to Not Caring: A Valentine’s EP

I’m so proud and excited to release this split EP today. It comes as the culmination of a few weeks of intense work writing, recording, arranging, collaborating, pulling all nighters at the Sound Museum, and fine-tuning mixes until I had a literal headache from all the fuzz and feedback.

My main partner in crime in this endeavor is Conor Maier, the multi-instrumentalist songwriting machine behind Kitner and Depressors. His solo work is called The Wedding Season, and his original song here is called #27 Dream. It sounds like everything I want Bright Eyes to be. Conor contributed guitar, vocals, bass, keys, and percussion, and he mixed and arranged the tracks absolutely beautifully.

A bunch of other really great people contributed to this project in huge and awesome ways, too!

Harry O’Toole of Today Junior recorded a perfect, ripping 4-minute guitar solo in one  continuous take on a Teenage Fanclub cover he’d never heard before. He literally put on the headphones, asked “What key is this in?” and went ahead and smashed the lead guitar track while Conor and I sat on the practice space couch with our jaws on the floor.

Kevin King of Saccharine came in and laid down a game-changing glockenspiel intro on our Alvvays cover.

Natalie Copeland has the voice of an angel and sang on #27 Dream. Dead ass.

Mike Nevin and Mateo Garcia (of Saccharine, Leaner, and Gauntly) hung out with us, made us smile, and are all around good dudes. Mateo taught me what the whole noodly emo tapping thing is all about and now that the mystery has been cracked, I think I need to get on writing music for my Kinsella-core project.

Trevor Vaughan (engineer extraordinaire, multi-instrumental hardcore shredder, part-time rapper, and my NBMA hookup) saved my ass with some last-minute mixing and mastering. For the record, I know absolutely nothing about recording, and I didn’t realize my mixes were coming in so hot. I’ve learned so much about recording from this dude, even just from having him explain things to me during Elephants sessions, but this time he showed me how to do the damn thing with screen shots and in-depth explanations and great advice. Also, his band Brother is unbelievable. Also, he was in XfilesX. Also, he’s in literally every band from southeastern MA so you’ll be seeing him around, I’m sure.

As far as myself, I got to do a lot of things I don’t usually get to do here! I played drums on 4 of the 6 tracks, and I’m really proud of myself, because I almost sound like a real drummer. I got to rip a sick bass track on our Teenage Fanclub cover, and I absolutely love playing bass, so that was a treat. I contributed some way-out space noise for Conor’s two cover songs, and he gave me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received when he said he’d never seen anyone so skilled in manipulating guitar effects and dialing in tones as I am. (Clearly he’s never seen Zach Peckham of Motel Mattress, but we digress!) I’m glad my time spent blowing ears out bizarrely in Beginners gave me some useful skills.

I also did the cover art. I drew that anatomical heart by hand!! And I used Photoshop! And I collaged!! To be fair, it was Conor’s idea, I just made it happen.

I’m not going to lie: I’ve been pretty bummed lately. I’ve been dealing with some, let’s say, strong feelings related to affairs of the heart, intense boredom, loneliness, and aimless job-searching. Not to sound melodramatic, but some days it’s been hard to get out of bed and make myself Do The Damn Thing. So I wrote my original song, Snuggle (Until the Buses Start Running Again), about how it’s simultaneously exhilarating and crushing to be with someone who’s deeply cool and you feel really fucking gets it, and having that end abruptly, and asking yourself what’s next. My main inspiration for the sound and feel of this track was My Bloody Valentine’s super great song Sometimes from their seminal album Loveless, which is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a bit of a heavy, gutsy song for me, and I’m definitely a bit self-conscious about putting it out there, so I hope people like it.

Thank you for reading this far. Please enjoy the EP.


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