Monday, April 29, 2013

'Unplugged EP' & 'THUS III' Update

In the final weeks of 2012, I began expanding on the idea of including two unplugged bonus tracks with 'THUS 2012 Redux' and the long gestating 'THUS II Standard Edition'. Feeling good about re-imagining the two songs, it felt worthwhile to continue. Now there are a total of 7 tracks which will see release as an 'Unplugged' EP, upon completion of 2 of the tracks.   I've mostly avoided the simple task of regurgitating the songs in their original states on acoustic guitars, instead repurposing the original compositions for different tempos and rhythmic themes, exploring different instrumentation (guitar isn't the only acoustic instrument known to man), and even some melody play. As always, the lyrics and compositions are the central focus. This was a really fun way for me to tinker with my songs and maybe earn them a little street cred- since I'm positive THUS is largely overlooked as inconsequential, local bar room embarrassing. So be ready for some new experiences (again) with THUS and THUS II. The track listing, in no particular order, is as follows: Clocks (fan requested) Killing the Beautiful Go Away A Brighter Future Don't (fan requested) Surface Depth The Angel    In other news, the next full THUS album is moving ahead full steam. I've been demoing songs since the original release of 'THUS II' in April 2011. Some material which never made it onto 'THUS II' has been in contention for inclusion, but the focus seems to be on moving forward, as fresh ideas are always more exciting. Rest assured, a completely new third album is in the works. No more re-releases, reduxes, standard/unlimited editions, or anything else that could be perceived to stave off new material. (Although I have not released the cleaned up 'THUS II Unlimited Edition' yet, it has been finished since this past December. I'll probably release that to hold you over during the recording of 'THUS III')    One thing I will say about III so far is that it is the total opposite experience from II. The work is fun and healing. I am gratified by the journey instead of reaching the destination.     The lyrics are stronger than ever and I seem to have - for now at least - reached that mental sweet spot where I am able to sit down, and put some higher brain functions to use at almost any time. Lyrics are one of, if not THE central elements of a great song, and must coalesce artistic, semantic, melodic, and rhythmic sensibility. Not to mention that like most people I'm a sucker for a clever line. So this has in recent years been a part of the process I unwillingly put off for a lack of...whatever magic it takes to combine the elements of great writing. Recently I've rested my voice when not recording (no car singing, no dish washing humming, no shower crooning), drank copious amounts of water (excellent for the brain) and cut down on dehydrates like soda, beer, and even my morning coffee (a little bit; I am literally a king by my second mug), stopped listening to music every spare moment, and read a few lyrics here and there. These are the changes I can only assume are responsible for replacing the toil of deliberate 'idea' generation, and flushing the way for effortless congeniality of artistic, rhythmic, melodic, and mental processes which produce great lyrics. This is the healthiest I've been (artistically that is, I've been sick for over a week) in many years. If I maintain, I'll be happy.