Home
Featured
Music
Reviews
Blog
About
Contact
Published January 13th, 2014 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

I wrote the original version of this song in high school. (How many songs do I have to my name now for which that is the case?) This song is about the loss of dreams, the loss of one’s sense of self, and the reclaiming of both of those things.

How many people do you know who talk about things they want to do, but aren’t doing, or who talk about things they wanted to do, but act as if they no longer have the chance to? This is a song for them. Life is not a thing that’s happening to you, it is a story that you have the power to write yourself. So don’t give up on your dreams. You need those to survive, to be human.

It is my hope that this song will help someone somewhere remember that, and reclaim dreams that they’ve lost.

Faerie Dreams
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell

There was magic, once, in everything,
       from the sunset to the trees.
She watched it fall as snowflakes,
       heard it whisper on the breeze.
She knew that she belonged outside,
       to dream in rain or shine,
To make warfare over wild berries,
       and peace among the pines.

There was a dragon in the car port,
       and gremlins in the car,
A werewolf in the forest,
       and gnomes beneath the yard.
She dreamed them real, and many more,
       every night and day,
But of all the friends she played with,
       her favorite were the fey.

              And she built castles of moss and of stone,
              Decked with acorn caps and borrowed bones.
              And she peered through reality’s seams
              As she dreamed her faerie dreams.

She would lay out tiny clothes for them
       on their beds of cottonseed,
Elegant gowns of flower petals,
       walking sticks of reed.
Their feast ware was made of tiny shells
       she found around the creek,
Their statues, empty cicada hulls
       from summer’s burning peak.

But summer shortly faded,
       as all things pass with time.
She got caught up in the reason,
       but forgot about the rhyme.
Adulthood slowly stripped away
       the wonder from her eyes,
And she forgot that in dreaming,
       her inner peace resides.

              Now she builds credit and lives on her own,
              And works two jobs just to pay her student loans.
              But she must peer through maturity’s seams
              To reclaim her fairy dreams.

There was never time for daydreams
       for far too many years,
For she had obligations to fulfill,
       and far too many fears.
She had to scramble just to keep up,
       but it was never quite enough.
She tried to keep on pushing,
       she struggled to be tough.

Then one day her mother sent her
       a piece of artwork she had drawn.
There were fairies dancing ‘round
       in a ring upon the lawn.
It had been in her childhood
       that she had drawn the scene,
But it came from the past and rescued her
       like a long-forgotten key.

              Now she draws castles of moss and of stone
              That give her freedom and hope for tomorrow.
              And she remakes her reality’s seams
              With the help of her fairy dreams.

Next week there will be a very important post published! If you want to pre-order “Faces in the Fog” and/or “[untitled]“, you won’t want to miss it!



Published January 6th, 2014 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

To understand this song, you have to have seen the movie “Ink”. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ll wait.



Have you seen it now?

Good.

I had the good fortune to see this movie when I was TAing at school one summer for one of those highschool-students-taking-a-college-course things. The instructor (who happens to be one of my favorite people for a variety of reasons) would assign the students their work and then put on a movie, because the days were pretty long and the background noise was nice. This movie utterly blew. My. Mind. I love every part of it, from the cinematography to the music to the VFX to the adorable woodenness of some of the acting. This movie is a piece of delicious, delicious art, and I knew I would have to write a song about it at some point.

This summer, I decided to do just that. This is a song for Liev, the Storyteller. I expect at some point there will be a song for Jacob, because there has to be a song for Jacob.


A Long Walk
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell
Based on the movie “Ink”

              It’s a long walk down that hallway,
              Even longer to find the key.
              It’s a long fall into numbness—
              But who knows what the end of the story may be?

I can tell from your scars your entry was painful—
A suicide, I’m guessing?
You know me—but not her?
Don’t remember what you were—
And you run from what you’re repressing.

       You think I’ve an army to cover my back,
       But I swear I’m completely alone.
       No one’s coming for me—there is no trap,
       For I came to find you on my own.

              It’s a long walk down that hallway,
              Even longer to find the key.
              It’s a long fall into numbness—
              But who knows what the end of the story may be?

This girl is your ticket to beauty and bliss—
Yet I see what you still deny.
You insist and pretend
She’s just a means to an end—
But why do I see guilt in your eyes?

       She means nothing to you, you say now and said then,
       She’s just a tool in this selfish endeavor…
       You can cover your face with your hood once again—
       But you can’t fight the truth forever.

              It’s a long walk down that hallway,
              Even longer to find the key.
              It’s a long fall into numbness—
              But who knows what the end of the story may be?

We will meet the Assembly in their hall of shadow,
Where innocence goes to drown.
You’re damned either way—
At least’s that’s what you say—
But this isn’t how it has to go down.

       Take one last look as time flows from my veins,
       Tell me you don’t feel something’s wrong.
       You thought I was here for the lioness in chains…
       But I was here for you both all along.

              It’s a long walk down that hallway,
              Even longer to find the key.
              It’s a long fall into numbness—
              But who knows what the end of the story may be?

                      This is what you will choose to be,
                      But there’s still time to write an alternate ending.
                      Look at that girl—tell me who you see—
                      And know there is no more time for pretending.

              It’s a long walk into memory,
              Made harder when shame won’t allow.
              It’s a long climb up to redemption,
              But you see now—yes…you…see…now…



Published December 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

I was given this book in high school, whereupon which I added it to my shelves and promptly forgot about it.

My first semester in college, I remembered that it existed, and read it. While I was sorry I waited so long to discover a superlative piece of fiction, I was pleased to discover that there was a sequel intended, and that it would be releasing a week after I finished the book. So it worked out.

This was one of those songs that I hadn’t intended to write (at least by my recollection), but that came out all the same. I love those. I love being so moved by a thought or idea, or in this case, another author’s work of fiction, that a song weaves itself together and pops out. And I really do recommend this series. I’ve been re-reading all the books as the newest one comes out, which isn’t a thing I normally do with books. Speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to reread number four since it came out a couple of years ago…

And OH LOOK, number five is due out in May. Huzzah!


Gray One
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell
Based on The Green Rider by Kristen Britain

Ancient magic stirs that should never be released—
There’s a quiet, subtle sabotage to bring about the fall.
He bound us to his bidding with one and two apiece,
Now we all haunt the footsteps of the one who broke the Wall.

       The Gray One calls me…but I won’t answer,
       For I’m no pawn and I know my rightful track.
       The Gray One calls me—I hear him louder,
       Held in thrall by these arrows in my back.

He thinks me bound in servitude, but underestimates
The will of one determined to see a quest succeed.
He thinks he can control me, but ever more he waits,
For I must guide the footsteps of the one who’ll do the deed.

       The Gray One calls me…but I won’t answer,
       For I’m no pawn and I know my rightful track.
       The Gray One calls me—I hear him louder,
       Held in thrall by these arrows in my back.

It shouldn’t be her burden—but life is seldom fair,
Now she’s as much a part of this as I had ever been.
Torments lie ahead of her worse than I had had to bear,
For danger stalks the footsteps of the ones who wear the green.

       The Gray One calls me…but I won’t answer,
       For I’m no pawn and I know my rightful track.
       The Gray One calls me—I hear him louder,
       Held in thrall by these arrows in my back.

Somewhere down the road when the evil is revealed,
This girl will do my duty in my place.
And in her desperate hour will her magic be unsealed,
And the dead will speed the footsteps of the rider who must race.

       The Gray One calls me…but I won’t answer,
       For I’m no pawn and I know my rightful track.
       The Gray One calls me—I hear him louder,
       Held in thrall by these arrows in my back.

       Break the arrows…
       Break the arrows…



Published December 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

“Departure” fits in well with the original “Cold September Ground” songs: It’s creepy as all get-out, and it has plenty of fantastic elements to it. It’s also about some popular media, like some of the other songs on this disc. But whereas “9 Lives”, the only other gaming song on “Faces in the Fog”, is more about gaming in general, “Departure” is about one specific game.

In 2008, Microsoft Game Studios released “Alan Wake“, a trippy psychological horror game with lots of good boogeyman-jumping-out-of-the-dark scares. The game follows the titular Alan Wake as he tries to find his wife and solve the mystery not only of her disappearance, but of the paranormal things occurring in the small town where they went for vacation. Over the course of the game, Alan finds pages for a novel he can’t remember writing. The contents of this novel are coming true in chilling ways. Gradually Alan figures out what’s going on in the town and how to save his wife. And somehow in the midst of all that, he comes to call his novel “Departure”.

There were some elements of the game I really enjoyed. The lore was interesting, the setting was fun, some of the mechanics were nifty, and much of the music was excellent. Beyond that…well, Yahtzee over at The Escapist made some pretty good points. It was especially brain-breaking how the character Alan Wake was supposedly a really talented author, but seemed to completely fail to understand basic writing devices such as proper punctuation and grammar, and how he was really fond of using passive voice and other really irritating things.

But, as I said, I really enjoyed the lore. If you’re at all familiar with my songwriting, you’ll know that lore—backstory, worldbuilding, mythology, folklore—gets my creative juices flowing better than just about anything else.

So I was watching my husband play “Alan Wake” one evening, and I got the chorus for this song stuck in my head. Massaging the verses out of my brain took a little while, partially because that’s just how my brain works, and partially because I had to wait for Sean to finish the game before I could finish the song. But don’t worry—there are no spoilers. If you’re still playing through the game like some of my friends are, I tried to write this song such that it would only make one hundred percent sense to someone who has played the game all the way through before…while still including enough of the story that it would be entertaining to someone who has never even heard of the game, much less played it. It’s a balancing act, and a fine like to walk. Here’s hoping I succeeded.


Departure
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell

Truer words were never written than the ones on Cauldron Lake.
I know now that coming here was a terrible mistake.
We stepped into a game that we had no intent to play,
Now it’s up to you, my love, to try to find the way.        The way out – I want out.
       It began with a dream, but now nightmare holds us fast—
       She’ll trap us in the story until the very last.
       Never stop running, don’t believe what’s before your eyes
       When evil masquerades behind the most unsuspected guise…       I’m quite taken with you…

              Wake up, wake up
              There’s still time left to find me.
              Wake up, wake up,
              Break the darkness that binds me.
              There’s terror in the night that only you can burn away,
              And a path for us to both get back into the light of day,
              But only if you wake
              Wake up.

It swirls in vague uncertainty, the world beyond the deep,
Like shadows in the twilight, like a song you hear in sleep.
Yet somewhere in the rhythm of the play ‘twixt dark and light,
I sense you’re out there searching, and you won’t give up the fight.        Outside, there’s only darkness.
       You’re in the company of madmen, the ingenious, and deranged,
       Chasing down the talent from which you feel estranged,
       Yet everything that’s happened has come from words that are your own,
       And your self-appointed editor won’t leave well enough alone.        Keep going…

              Wake up, wake up
              There’s still time left to find me.
              Wake up, wake up,
              Break the darkness that binds me.
              There’s terror in the night that only you can burn away,
              And a path for us to both get back into the light of day,
              But only if you wake
              Wake up.

The threads that bind we two into the story as it flows
Are dark with ink and blood, both, and the further that it goes,
You’ll learn the truth and find the scars even Zane could not erase,
And somehow, one way or another, it’ll all click into place.        It seems like ages I’ve waited.
       It’s a puzzle you must solve to win and make the ending yours,
       Wherein lies the key to lock or unlock certain doors.
       Then when everything is said and done and day surpasses night,
       Find the balance in the darkness so that I can find the light.        It’s not a lake… It’s an ocean.

              Wake up, wake up
              Down the rabbit hole you’ll find me
              Wake up, wake up
              Don’t walk the road so blindly
              Beset upon by nightmare, you’re the man of my dreams,
              And I need you to fight for me, despite how hard it seems,
              So please, Wake…
              Wake up.



Published December 16th, 2013 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

“A Flame That Burns in Darkness”, like many of the “Cold September Ground” songs, is something I originally wrote in high school. Unlike those songs, however, this version has not only been completely rewritten, but completely reimagined. The ideas behind “Wet Velvet” and “Jack the Ripper” are still pretty much the same as they used to be. But this song, like “Cold September Ground”, has turned into something altogether different.

“A Flame That Burns in Darkness” was originally my attempt at a poignant, sad spacer song. …you can probably infer how well I pulled it off by the fact that I ripped the title from that concept and stuck it onto something that is not in any way related to space.

Also, fun fact: Back in high school, I made my first attempt at recording my own album. It didn’t work out, but that album was titled “A Flame That Burns in Darkness”, and the original version of this song was to be the title track. The tune for the original was another Deanna Roberts-Blair creation (“Kiss Me, Jak Frost”, “Jack the Ripper”), and part of the cover art is now the Firesong Productions logo. (That was drawn by my good friend Rebecca Appelbaum, by the way. She’s amazing.)

Instead of space, this new song is instead based on Grecian mythology. When I wrote this version, I had no intention for it to bear this name. I was just writing on a bit of an idea I’d had—an idea that came out a bit more freeform than how I usually write, and I was thus not sure it would ever be able to become a song. After playing with things a bit, I was able to write this, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.

And yes, it’s pretty morbid, but it does have a good message: Do all with your life that you could wish, and be kind to one another.


A Flame That Burns in Darkness
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell

I am the flame in the lantern
On the boat that ferries you across
The woeful river.
I light the way into the true
Great Unknown.
I glow in the darkness as you all
Huddle on the deck together
And the currents draw you
Farther from home.

I illuminate the gateway
That prevents your passage backward
Through the veil.
I am the note you leave your loved ones
Who follow after,
The only glimmer of hope you can give
That you know will never fail,
That where they find themselves next
Will be filled with light and laughter.

       But don’t seek my compassion,
       It doesn’t work that way.
       I’m only what you make of me.
       That’s just the part I play.

I am witness to your uncertainty,
Your reluctant shuffling off,
Your lacking of choice.
Bound into a plan you can’t control
And have no say in,
Your shock isn’t that it’s over,
But that you suddenly have no voice.
You’re so used to having your say,
But now there’s no way you can weigh in.

No matter your status in life,
All of you are equal on
The River.
Know that I won’t remember you once
You disembark.
Does the thought that you are forgettable
Make your skin crawl, make you shiver?
Well only those with reason to be
Are fearful of the dark.

       So don’t seek my compassion,
       It doesn’t work that way.
       I’m only what you make of me.
       That’s just the part I play.

What was the kind of life you led?
In your agency, were you cruel,
Kind, or devout?
When you had control, what did
You use it for?
You seem to me to be the kind
That used your power and clout
To take your fair share
And much more.

Now on the doorstep of the next world,
You find that for the first time
You must learn
What it’s like to tell something precious
Goodbye.
And you seek to warm hands that aren’t cold
Over fire that doesn’t burn,
To assuage your terror now that
You find all your power was a lie.

       Don’t seek my compassion,
       It doesn’t work that way.
       I’m only what you make of me.
       That’s just the part I play.

       That’s just the part I play.



Published December 9th, 2013 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

A couple of years ago, I went to a friend’s house and she showed Sean and me the movie “Coraline“. Produced by Laika, this stop-motion animated film had it all: A beautiful original score, talented voice acting, masterful animation, beautiful shot and art direction, and oh yeah, it was based on a story written by Neil Gaiman. The movie has some differences from the story (because of course), but it is one of my most favorite things ever. And I can really, really relate to Coraline’s relationship with her parents.

In the movie, they never examine the Ghost Children’s backgrounds, and in the book, the Ghost Children are completely different. So I sort of had to take some liberties to write this song, but I did base the verses off the apparent time periods of the movie Ghost Children. As she’s babbling to the character Wybie, Coraline describes the Ghost Children as “…this pioneer girl, then Huck Finn Jr., then it was this Little Rascals chick…” So given that information, I guessed.

The first girl would have come west on the Oregon Trail, most likely, which is well-known for being fraught with peril. (In case you missed it, that reference was a joke, but seriously, the Oregon Trail was no picnic.)

The boy I figured might have been born to a father who was a lumberjack, and possibly, due to difficult times or just a naturally mean demeanor, abusive. I can see a little boy yearning for escapism like that provided by the Other Mother because of such a scenario. And this might be more of a modern-day train of thought, but how many rough, tough, burly men do you know that are comfortable with their sons playing with dolls?

And the third ghost was likely growing up during the Great Depression. That’s definitely cause for wanting some escapism right there. She might have been too young to fully understand what was going on (“And an odd, malignant misery”), but children are very perceptive.

This song came for me while I was at work one day. It was one of those that came tumbling out of my head. It was just in time for Halloween in 2012. There’s a recording of it up on Wax Chaotic’s ReverbNation profile from a concert we performed in December of 2012. The keyboard voice was chosen because it sounded sort of like a music box, and that seemed wholly appropriate.

I love this song. And yes, apparently I think that breathing is for wimps.


Hush and Shush
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell

She sells you pretty promises
With wonders, treats, and games galore,
Knowing no matter how she gives,
That you’ll always want more.
A treat my father thought he found
Turned out to be a spy,
And they only know I disappeared—
But they’ll never know why.

I admit that I was foolish,
But the journey West was hard—
My mother and two brothers
Didn’t make it quite this far.
I yearned to find a perfect world,
But didn’t factor in the cost,
Then I took the chance to reunite
With loved ones I had lost.

       Hush and shush
       Or the Beldam will hear you—
       You’re a fly in her web,
       Don’t let her come near you
       With her needle and thread,
       Don’t believe what she’s said,
       And don’t let her sew the buttons
       Like we did.

Between the pines and firs
And the redwoods grown for centuries,
I played at war with other boys,
And pushed against my boundaries.
It wasn’t quite refusal
To follow given rules,
It was more of an escape route
From a father cold and cruel.

Then I found myself revealing
An escape that was quite different,
And to my great joy and delight,
She said it could be permanent.
I don’t recall my name,
But here, behind the mirrored glass,
I remember my true mommy
And wonder how she is.

       Hush and shush
       Or the Beldam will hear you—
       You’re a fly in her web,
       Don’t let her come near you
       With her needle and thread,
       Don’t believe what she’s said,
       And don’t let her sew the buttons
       Like we did.

I grew up in misty mountains
Where the rain is filled with mystery,
With my parents and my sister—
And an odd, malignant misery.
I had imagination,
And not a whole lot more,
Until I found the world of wonder
Through that tiny, wooden door.

I was trapped just like the others,
And like them, I yearn to run,
But we cannot leave this prison world
Until our favor’s done.
Oh, find us, girl, and free us fast,
And we’ll help get you home,
And be smart, for even if you win,
She’ll never let you go.

       Hush and shush
       Or the Beldam will hear you—
       You’re a fly in her web,
       Don’t let her come near you
       With her needle and thread,
       Don’t believe what she’s said,
       And don’t let her sew the buttons
       Like we did.

       Hush and shush, Mistress,
       Hush and shush, Mistress,
       Hush and shush…shhh…



Published December 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

As I announced in August, Dragon Scale Studios’ next big project is a dual album endeavor. The first album we’re working is called “Faces in the Fog”, and will contain all of the tracks from “Cold September Ground”, our first project, completely re-recorded, re-mixed, re-mastered, and in some cases, even re-arranged, as well as six brand new tracks from which the work draws its name. We’re thinking of these six new tracks as an EP, so when combined with the “Cold September Ground” content, the end result is something altogether different.

Creating the production notes posts for “Cold September Ground” was a lot of fun, and gave me a chance not only to talk about the process of creating each track, but also allowed me to share the lyrics and the songs’ backgrounds prior to publication. I have decided, therefore, so continue doing production notes posts for “Faces in the Fog”, and then for “[untitled]“, which is the second album that will be part of this dual release.

I’ve already gone in-depth with the original “Cold September Ground” tracks, so those will not be covered in this series. To learn about them, look them up under the “Cold September Ground” production notes tag. Obviously since we’re re-recording everything, the process will be somewhat different this time around, but I don’t think that I need to go into great detail for every single one of those songs. Plus the lyrics and the inspiration behind them have already been described.

Instead, we’re going to start this series next week with a post about “Hush and Shush”, track 14 on “Faces in the Fog”.



Published October 12th, 2013 at 12:34 pm EST/EDT
firesongblog

Hey, folks! This is just to warn you that with work steadily progressing on the dual album project, I’ve decided that some things need to change on this blog. Mostly this will involve my going through the back entries and changing things that shouldn’t affect anyone but me, but one big thing that’s going to happen is that I intend to change how this blog is located in my server-side organization. Instead of being part of the firesongproductions.com domain, it’s going to be moved under the dragonscalestudios.com domain. This will affect any links and bookmarks. I doubt this will matter to anyone but me, but I wanted to put the warning out there just in case.

And maybe one of these years I’ll finally get around to updating the design of this damn thing…



Published August 5th, 2013 at 7:06 pm EST/EDT
firesongblog

Whew. The Lyrics Dump Promotion is finally over. Well, ok, almost. Seven of the nine songs are recorded and released. Soon it will be time for a brea—

Nerts to that, time for the next project.

I mentioned that my next project would actually be TWO albums, and that is still very much the plan. Now that I’ve gotten a few kinks worked out, it’s time for the big reveal—what albums I’m going to be doing next, and what songs will be on them. The first one involves some old, familiar friends.

Album Name: Faces in the Fog

Track List

  1. Cold September Ground
  2. Kiss Me, Jak Frost
  3. The Garden
  4. Fall from Grace
  5. Runaway
  6. The Stallion and the Rose: The Choice
  7. By Blood
  8. Wet Velvet
  9. Jack the Ripper
  10. Stepping Stones
  11. The Stallion and the Rose: The Debt
  12. The Singing of Dragons
  13. 9 Lives
  14. Departure
  15. Hush and Shush
  16. A Flame that Burns in Darkness
  17. Gray One
  18. A Long Walk
  19. Faerie Dreams

If you’re noticing that a lot of that first one looks familiar, there’s a good reason for that. See, I made “Cold September Ground” sorta backwards. I made it before I knew what I was doing, for one, and I made it before I knew if anyone would really be interested in it. Well, people are. In fact, by my standards, people are pretty damn interested (you’ve all given me cause to keep making music, so I consider that pretty damn interested). There are things I wanted to do the first time around that I wasn’t able to do partially because of a lack of experience, but also because of a lack of time. CSG was a student project. I had to have it finished by a certain date in order to graduate from college. Now that I’m all graduated ‘n stuff, I wanted to take another crack at it. I didn’t do as well on it as I could have, and it’s actually made me kinda sad.

The CSG content will not be remixes. They will be entirely new recordings. What’s more, most of them will also have extra things thrown into the arrangements, if I have my way. For example: I originally wanted a violin part in “Jack the Ripper”. That wasn’t possible the first time around. Another example: The lead accompaniment in “9 Lives” was intended to be a chiptune. That also wasn’t possible. This time around, I can add in all that nifty stuff that didn’t make it into the final cuts the first time.

The reason why this album will be called “Faces in the Fog” and not something like “Cold September Ground Version 2.0″ is because of six additional tracks at the end that are essentially an EP. These are all new, though we’ve been doing “Hush and Shush” at Wax Chaotic concerts for some time. They still fit the theme of the original album, though, so I think they’ll work in nicely.

This redux/EP combo is actually the reason why I intend to do two albums at the same time. I’d feel kinda shitty if my next effort was essentially my first effort, just with some extra stuff thrown in (even if it’s lots of extra stuff, as I intend it to be). But I’d really like to get this one done. I do hope you all will bear with me.

Now for the next one.

Album Name: [untitled]

Track List

  1. Cracked
  2. Weekend Job
  3. Pixie Smile
  4. Wild Hair Time
  5. Buttons
  6. Lost Girls
  7. Hand-Me-Downs
  8. Coat of Scars
  9. Partners in Crime
  10. In a Hundred Different Ways
  11. Break Out
  12. Getting Lost
  13. Tapestry of Me
  14. [untitled]

This one is a heckuva lot different from the other one. Its theme is, “Where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going”. It’s a lot more personal, and it’s something I need to get out. You’ll note that some of these songs were actually part of the Lyrics Dump Promotion, but there’s plenty of new content where those came from.

It has been suggested that I shouldn’t call this album “[untitled]” and simply leave it at that, that I should instead conceive a more descriptive name for it. But “[untitled]” is its name. The title track is the only one that fits into the category “Where I’m going”, and those of you familiar with the song will already be aware that it is one gigantic question mark. It is not more defined because I was not more defined when I wrote it, and this entire album is a much more personal and specific reflection of me than most of my other work. It is about history and questions and laughter and no few scars. It is me, laid open, picked apart by poetry, and threaded through melody. It is a journey through the Self. And I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Please note that with the exception of the CSG tracks, which I wish to keep in their original order, the track order of the EP and of “[untitled]” is still subject to change. I’ve put a lot of thought into the songs themselves, though, and so I feel pretty confident that this is what will be on each album. But I must confess that at least half of the material on “[untitled]” hasn’t been written yet. The ideas are clear enough in my mind that I could put names to them, but I’m still working on detailing the specifics.

Sean and I are going to be laying down the initial tracks for things around our practice and performance schedule, and we’re going to start in September. I’m hoping to have both of these albums ready to print no later but hopefully far earlier than the fall or winter of 2014. I’m still trying to decide what—if anything—I want to do in regards to crowdfunding for these projects, but given another announcement you’ll find a paragraph or two below, I’m thinking crowdfunding is likely going to happen. You’ll definitely hear about it if it does.

Because of this project, our tour for next year will be starting later than it normally does. Usually we take a break starting at the beginning of December and then head back out at the beginning of February. In 2014, our tour won’t begin until mid-April. The reason for this is that our day jobs don’t leave us with much time and energy during the week. That means that the weekends are our primary windows for recording, but that’s also when most of our shows are (SF cons especially). By adding an extra couple of months to our break, we hope to make a serious dent in the to-do list for these albums before we again set foot on the road.

And speaking of the tour…

We have decided that we want to release a Wax Chaotic album. It is intended to be a compilation of live performances from our 2014 tour, and we mean to call it “Vagabonds”. We don’t know yet what will be on it, but it seemed like a fun project to work on. (Don’t be afraid to weigh in—if there’s a song you’d like to hear on the album, let us know!).

If all goes well, it will be released either very late in 2014 or very early in 2015. So there’s three albums we’ve got on our to-do list for the next year and a half. We are nothing if not ambitious.

Now allow me to elaborate on what I mean by “if all goes well”.

One of the Super Secret Things we’ve been working on in the background is a fundraising project for our tour next year. The campaign is due to launch September 1st. If you’ve seen us this year doggedly getting video of our performances or asking you if we can record your feedback, this project is the reason why. We’re still keeping lots of the details under our hats for now, but since we have so many events in August, we figured it couldn’t hurt to start promoting our fundraising campaign now.

We’re doing this because the road is no longer whispering or muttering our names. It is practically screaming them. We want to be out in the world, seeing new places and making music for people. I know that for me personally, it is something that practically consumes my every waking thought. It follows me in my sleep, and it keeps me up at night. But in order to be as active next year as I want us to be, we’re going to need help. Thus, we’re having the fundraising campaign.

And I’m probably biased, but some of the backer rewards we’ve decided on are pretty awesome. We’re doing things like custom songwriting, “Wax Chaotic” branded thumb drives with unreleased studio versions of new songs, the chance to participate in a studio version of one of the new songs, artwork, autographed photos, autographed and handwritten lyrics sheets…the list goes on. The point is, we’re wracking our brains to think up all sorts of cool things we can to give you folks in exchange for your getting us out further from home next year.

We’ve been working since May or June of this year to start confirming shows for next year, and slowly they are beginning to cement themselves on the calendar. We even have a few of them to announce when the fundraiser actually launches. In the meanwhile, if anyone out there reading hosts house concerts or is in charge of programming for an SF con, Pagan festival, or other such event, please drop us a line.

Keep an eye here or on Facebook for more details upon the launch of this campaign.

But so that essentially means that Dragon Scale Studios will be producing three albums over the course of the next year and a half or so. And I’m pretty damn stoked about it! I hope you’ll be keeping an eye out for more updates as we’re able to share more information with you. We are so excited about everything that it’s impossible to describe. And you make it happen. You’re kinda awesome, huh?