16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #4 “Slow” – Starflyer 59

This post was originally written in February 2017:

“I keep looking for something that I think I have lost.” This line makes my eyes well up with tears when I think of it in the context of this song. That “something” that has been lost is time. I started to notice how fast time was going after I graduated high school. With every birthday I was in disbelief at where the previous twelve months had gone. I could remember snapshots, but for the most part it was work, sleep, and…well, I don’t really know.

It wasn’t until I had my first daughter almost five years ago that time seemed to kick into an even higher gear. It seems like last year she was a helpless baby, but today she’s wiping her own butt and getting ready to go to kindergarten.
Eleven days ago I had my second daughter, and it feels like it’s really only been three or four days. I’m sure that’s partly because I slept in short increments at a hospital for the first three days, but still…”My kids, they grow up fast. I want it slow. so slow.”
It’s not even so much that time needs to slow down, it’s that I need to slow down and enjoy the time I have with my little girls, but at the same time it feels like no matter how hard I try to take it all in, I still can’t hold on to my favorite moments long enough. “I keep looking for something, looking for something.”
Jason Martin here has perfectly captured the elusiveness and helpless that a dad feels watching his kids grow faster than he can control. “I keep looking for something that I think I have lost” is the cry of a man who is trying to go back a enjoy those times he had with his little ones, when they were still little. To play dolls with them. To play catch with them. To hold them in his lap while they’re still small enough. Though I know they will still pass by faster than I wish, I don’t want to take these moments and this time period for granted.
I’m very thankful for this picture from a dad who is a decade or so older than me. He provides a glimpse of how I don’t want to feel ten plus years from now, but how I know I’m gonna feel no matter how tightly I hug my little girls now.

Interview with K. Gautier

 

K. Gautier has a huge sound for a solo project. How many instruments do you play and how long have you been playing them?

 

When I sit down to write, I really want to make music that can be a moving experience, and I’m challenged in a way to reach the fringes of that threshold. Just how powerful can music get? It sounds a little strange, but being able to see music has made listening a really moving experience for me over the years, and I want others to experience it too. I would say that I’m primarily a composer, arranging all my songs with Ableton Live before substituting the tracks for real instruments in the studio. I dabble in guitar, bass, and drums, but I would not say that I’m really that great. I think my main instrument is composing by ear and arranging on my DAW.

 

Who are your biggest musical influences?

 

When I started to really get into music around 11 or 12 years old, I got into the hardcore music scene in Jackson that was pretty big at the time. I think the heavier the music was the better, and I couldn’t get enough. It was pretty impactful looking back on everything I’d write, and the influences definitely show through even now. Later down the line, I found myself drawn to music with orchestral, ambient, and cinematic influences, which definitely play a huge role in my overall sound. Some of my biggest influences currently are Sigur Rós, Olafur Arnalds, M83, This Will Destroy You, Hammock, Future Of Forestry, Tycho, Sleeping At Last, and a lot of Erased Tapes Records music.

 

What are some of your all-time favorite songs?

 

That is a really hard question to answer, but if I had to pick some of my favorites, I would say these will scratch the surface: Outro – M83, Black Dunes (Live) – This Will Destroy You, Varúð – Sigur Rós, Teil I-IV – Kjartan Sveinsson, I Can Almost See You – Hammock, A Bridge – Michael Price, Aphasia – Pinegrove, Over the Pond – The Album Leaf

 

Do you like to read? If so, what are some of your favorite books?

 

I wish I could say that I liked to read. Honestly, I have really tried to get into reading. Almost every time I end up falling asleep or getting distracted. I think there are a lot of things you can get out of reading that you can’t get anywhere else, and I really appreciate that. I enjoy reading the Bible for my spiritual nourishment, and I have enjoyed several books over the years, but I would say that I don’t classify myself as an avid reader, which I find to be quite sad.

 

I noticed that you follow two of my favorite bands on Twitter, My Epic and Young Oceans. What do you think makes those bands so special?

 

My Epic and Young Oceans are seriously two of my favorite Christian bands of all time. They are incredibly creative, sincere in their worship lyrically, and making great music. I jam the “I Must Find You” record on vinyl at my house all of the time, and it never gets old. I think Christian bands that have an original sound are really cool, and I really respect them for that. I would honestly love to meet either of the two bands and just talk about worship, and creativity in the Church. My Epic blew me away with their “Viscera” EP, and I jam that record all the time too. They sing truth unashamedly and that’s a really honorable thing. I would say overall, the thing that makes them so special to me is their creativity, their boldness, and their hearts to sharing Christ. It’s really cool.

 

What are your thoughts on popular worship and Christian music?

 

I love Christian music in general, and I love that the Church has been given such a large sector in the entertainment industry to share the truth of Jesus Christ with the world. I was given the opportunity to write the first two records with the Christian worship band Seeker & Servant, and I really got learn a lot about the Christian music industry and what the day-to-day operations are like. It was eye opening in some aspects, like the differences between independent projects, major label projects, and large church worship projects. I would say that I have come to really appreciate a lot of the vulnerability, lyricism, and creativity coming out of Christian bands today more than ever before. Personally, I’m attracted to honest, and Biblical lyrics the most. The Christian life is raw and messy, and we in the Church all have Jesus and the Word of God in common. So that is the kind of music that is the most inspiring to me, whether it be worship or another form of Christian music.

I really want to make music that can be a moving experience, and I’m challenged in a way to reach the fringes of that threshold. – K. Gautier

The Prevailing has a lot of beautiful, lush, layered tunes, many of which are instrumental, is this the direction you intend to keep taking your music?

 

I think that most of the tones and sounds that came out of The Prevailing are pretty true to the sounds that I hear in my head. I feel like I really laid it all out there in the open with that record, and so I feel like I need to be conscious of what I’m writing from now on, not accidentally recreating the same thing over again. I don’t want to make the same sounds in one sense because I want to really cover a lot of ground sonically. I daydream sometimes of writing two or three more records that are all completely different, a stripped-down string quartet instrumental record, and dark and heavy rock and roll record, etc. I think that a lot of those lush and layered sounds will probably make it into everything I do, but hopefully won’t be the main focus. I intend for the next record to definitely be a good bit different from The Prevailing.

 

What is your favorite track on The Prevailing and what is it that you like about it?

 

I think my favorite track on The Prevailing would have to be Blanket Son. It’s just the most fun to jam to, sing to, and worship to. The lyrics are from some poetry I wrote in worship to God and have a lot of depth to them. It’s my favorite song dynamically, and I also think it is one of the most positive sounding songs on the record. If anyone was going to listen to a song from the record, I would recommend that one.

You recently released a great new single called “Bound”. Is there a new album in the works? If so, when do you hope to release it?

 

Yes, I just released “Bound” in late April, and I’m really excited about it. It was a spur of the moment thing where I decided to sit down one Saturday and make something. I had some down time in my side project’s record (The Mountainous), so I decided to write a single for K. Gautier. I definitely branched out a good bit on this one, using more synths and tom work on drums. I hope it is a blessing to the listeners, and that they are able to worship God with it just like I am. All that being said, I do have a new album in the works right now, but it’s with my side project called The Mountainous. We are kind of an experimental, instrumental, post-rock project with influences from Explosions in the Sky and Balmorhea. So stay tuned for that, and all glory to God!

 

 

Check out more from K. Gautier here

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #5 “It Was To Be” – Klimt 1918


This band. Goodness, they have an incredible sound. Their guitar tones are among the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. The drummer and bassist play lots of post-punk style rhythms, but with plenty of surprising fills that give them a pretty distinct sound. The vocalist sings with his heart on his sleeve, just the way I like it. Knowing that bands like this are out there is why I’m not content to let American rock radio tell me what rock bands I should listen to.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #6 “Nightfall” – Anchor & Braille


Former Anberlin vocalist, Stephen Christian, AKA Anchor & Braille, went with a very chill synth-pop-meets-Washed Out sound on 2016’s Songs For The Late Night Drive Home, and I think it’s fits him perfectly. “Nightfall” would quickly emerge as my favorite track off the album, and then watching my then 4 yr. old dance along with such a care-free spirit to this song in the living room only added to my partiality. 

“Nightfall’ sounds like a track that would’ve hit number 91 on the Billboard singles chart in 1987, and that’s just how I like my pop music–catchy and captivating, but with a tinge too dark for the masses (The hits of The Cure being an obvious exception).

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #7 “This Deep” – Postiljonen

 

Mia Boe’s vocals + trap beat + “woo’s” + chill guitar and synths = winning combination. This song makes me want to sit back and not do a thing. I should probably not jam this one at work. Postiljonen had another song in my top 16, check it out and read more about the band, if you haven’t already.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #8 “Krystal Cove” – Waterfront Dining

“I don’t really like describing my music as any genre. I like to leave that up to the listener. “, the artist know as Waterfront Dining tells me. His sound really could be described as partially fitting into many genres, but he comes away with a sound that is distinctly Waterfront Dining…unless, that is, you thought it was the original performer of the song. Waterfront Dining sample hunts and crate digs until finding a sample he likes, then he edits it, loops it, alters it, and mixes it to make it his own. What it usually comes out sounding like is something extremely nostalgic and relaxing. It acts almost as a time warp for me. It’s like I get to hear new 80s and 90s music, but in the latter 2010’s.

I asked Waterfront Dining what stands out to him about this track and he said “I love the synth sounds in this sample, and the atmosphere and lyrics. This track and album as a whole really marks a turning point in the way I began editing my songs as this album was one of the first where all of the edits were basically transparent.” And it’s true, Melodies & Mermaids was the first release of his where everything sounded perfectly pieced together to the point that you’d have no clue the music was the result of tinkering with old songs.

If you enjoy this song, check out Waterfront Dining’s extensive music catalogue. Go see how many songs you can find that sound like they should’ve been #1 hits in the 80s and early 90s, there’s lots and lots of them.

16 Favorite Songs of 2016: #9 “Russian Dolls” – Weaver At The Loom

By Dan Smith of Weaver At The Loom.
Russian Dolls? I had to think for a moment to find the best way to explain this track. I don’t like to attribute too much objectivity to any one song. I have always loved how songs take on a life of their own when people interpret them from their own unique perspectives. A bit of a rorschach test type phenomenon. The original concept though was about the different degrees to which people connect with each other. Everyone has layers to themselves, from guarded to intimate, we keep people at different proximities based on how well we connect with them. This gave me an image of people as Russian Nesting Dolls, layers of the same person within a person. So, I guess, interpreting relationships through that concept, it seems like a rare occasion when you connect with someone on that inner level, even more so as you get older. The imagery of this song is describing a moment when you get to reconnect with someone who you have one of those deeper-level bonds with; about appreciating that connection and making time for that moment. Less philosophically, it’s about hanging out with a good friend you haven’t seen in awhile, picking things up as if no time has passed, and making space in the busyness of life to let that moment breathe.

 

Keep up with Weaver At The Loom here.