Our buddies in Pentimento have officially released their self-titled debut album today, regardless of troubles from their past label. PropertyOfZack is stoked to be posting a Track-By-Track for the record that was written by drummer Mike Hansen. Check out all the details for the songs on the great record below!
Something I’m personally excited about is the fact that we were able to do this record during/after a lot of experiences on the road. Touring can definitely inspire particular thoughts and feelings that may not have been conjured up if you’ve never spent 8 hours in a van that has exhaust fumes leaking through the vents, not to mention no real sleep, real food, or a shower in days. This particular song was something that came from sitting in the passenger seat during a drive through Alabama. The opening line “…and I stared out into what looked like always for what felt like forever” is just supposed to represent the way it seems to feel when you’re staring at nothing but pavement for the eternity that some drives can be. The road gives you a lot of time to think, and more often than I care to admit, the compass of blame and doubt begins to shift itself in such a way that it ends up pointing in your own direction before you’re even aware. Introspection is a bitter sweet process, and that’s where this song comes from.
This was another song that was written while on the road during our first Full US tour that shaped itself inside a small room in Newtown, PA. I sat in an empty space with a guitar and my laptop, recording and re-recording the guitar ideas I had for this and whispering lyrics into the built-in microphone so that no one else in the house could hear me. When we got home from Europe, we recorded a full-band demo of this song and the original chorus was actually completely different. We had about two weeks to work on these songs before hitting GCR to record, and Jerry and I sat in our practice space late one night jamming the chorus over and over. Something about it didn’t quite fit at first, and the original lines for the chorus ended up being what we used to the ending of the song. Thanks to a giant dry erase board and Jerry’s input, we crafted the chorus of “Circles” into what it is today.
This song is one of the older ideas that we had in our bank for this record. It was our first attempt at doing something with a particular “groove”. Structurally, I think it’s easy to tell that this song falls in the same fashion of our older songs. The parts are very linear, and don’t repeat in the same way at all throughout the duration of the music. While this song doesn’t have a big chorus or even a hook necessarily, it’s one of my favorites and is probably one of the most accurate representations of the thoughts and feelings I had at the time.
The beginning of this song actually came from a dream I had about my younger sister; in which I told her that “I needed to go wherever the wind took me” and her reply was “then please let me be the wind”. I wrote it down as soon as I woke up because I thought it was beautiful. The lyrics to this song aren’t actually about my sister or anything, but what she said in the dream definitely inspired it to a degree. The words in this song are also somewhere around 4 or 5 years old. I just never had the correct outlet to use them. Included in the liner notes of the record is/will be a picture taken from “that roof” mentioned in the lyrics of this song as well. I think those sorts of things help tie records together. Adding a visual element can add an entirely different expression to be felt.
No One Lets You Know
This one almost didn’t make the cut for the record. In its place was a song called “The Rain” and we battled with the idea of which song to use for quite a while. I think the internal struggle that comes along with getting older is something everyone deals with at some point. I don’t think any of us ever expected that we would some day see the end of our 18th year, or our 21st year, or that we’d actually feel old even though we haven’t lived through but a third of our life span. It’s a terrifying concept that we all have or will face eventually. But no one lets you know. It just sort of happens.
The guitar idea for this was something Lance came up with right after we’d left the studio. I loved it so much that I decided to keep working it into a song even though we were “finished” recording. This came out during a period of time where Lance and Jerry were on a road trip to California with some friends, so I’d sent them the idea to get their thoughts once I’d demoed it out. I was nervous to try and convince them that I had some material that NEEDED to be on this record, and felt compelled to get back in the studio ASAP to record. They agreed that if we had the time and opportunity to get more material recorded that could potentially strengthen the integrity of the record, then why not? So while they were gone, Vinny and I took to GCR once again and laid down all the drums/bass/guitars for this song as well as “Almost Atlantic” and waited for Lance and Jerry to return to get their input and Jerry’s voice on it. This ended up being a favorite of ours and was almost the single we used for the music video.
The Bridge (Acoustic)
Originally intended for a compilation release, the acoustic version of “The Bridge” adapted from our split with Young English was something Jerry laid down in the matter of a couple hours at GCR studios. We all were so blown away by his work on this vocally that we decided it needed to end up on the record. His harmony choices are some of my favorite things that he’s ever done, and since this song is so important to us as a band and individuals - we’re so excited to feature this version on the LP.
This was another song that came about after our initial recording process ended. It was an attempt at creating a certain dynamic. The use of two different voices during the chorus was important to us because that’s exactly how it will end up being in a live setting, and our goal is to offer a live show that’s just as tight as the recording.
How could I even begin to explain my thoughts on this song? Simply put - the experience of putting this song together was a journey that I will never forget. First and foremost, this track features a steel guitar that waxes and wanes through the verses, played by the greatest man to have ever lived. I like to call him “Dad”. Having my father step into the studio with us to help paint the picture that this song ended up to be is something I will always hold close to my heart. My father has been the driving force behind my musical endeavors since I was a child. He’s been in bands and played music for most of his life, and that has always inspired me in a lot of ways. I’m lucky to have had both of my parent’s utmost support through the years, but as a musician, and as a son, there’s always that thing in the back of your head saying “Make your father proud”. What my dad recorded with us that day will haunt me forever, and always remind me to appreciate his influence. It was amazing to have things come full circle that way.
As if all that wasn’t enough, we got to feature a string section on this song that is a monster all on its own. Working along side composer Richie English, we got to take advantage of his talents in putting together this arrangement. The story of what this adds to the song speaks for itself when you listen to the track, so I won’t go on and on about what it’s done in that regard. I will say however that being in GCR that day, listening to what was going on around me changed my life forever.
We refer to this song as “the one with the full house riff”. This song happened from us just jamming real late one summer night in an old practice space downtown. Lance started killing it with this lead thing he came up with, and we kinda ran with it from there. It’s the only song we’ve ever put together that way, and whenever we play it I get filled with the same sense of joy that I had when we were sweating and laughing and having a genuinely good time playing music together that night.
This is the oldest Pentimento song that made it on to the record. We’d been sitting on this one ever since we left GCR after finishing “WRECKED”. It was going to be on the split, but we decided it wasn’t ready just yet. This song means the most to me personally, and I’m terrified of what people will think of it because of that. It was one of those songs that just pours out of you and you say “yes. This is exactly what I’m trying to say”. In that moment of clarity - I called our long time friend, and preproduction engineer Jake Darling and asked to meet at our practice space. I demoed this out and practically cried while doing the vocal parts at the end. I’m really happy with the way this came out and I hope when people hear it, they feel it the same way we felt it while recording it.
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