A trace; visible evidence of something that is no longer present.
Vestiges is a rite of passage: an echo of our collective wisdom, a tribute to our fore-family, and an acknowledgement of the inseparable confluence. Born of youthful epiphanies and wielding a sophic nonchalance, Vestiges is a revealing look into the lasting power and influence of our personal and collective histories.
This EP is a collection of songs about an important time in my existence during which I made several profound realizations which altered my outlook and trajectory. Words of wisdom seep in from the likes of the ancients all the way up to personal friends, both current and past. It is woven with exploratory (and at times, jarring) harmonic and rhythmic turns to illustrate the sometimes disorienting epiphanies or cycles which life offers, and hints at the growing repertoire of musical appreciation and interest in existential philosophy developed during that period.
The concept for the album art was devised by Kasia Sosnowski, who hinged the focal point of her work on the first lines from “For a Friend.” — I leave a part of myself with you, and you do you so with me; a seed from which our lives will grow – grow in new directions we would otherwise never know. In this phrase and others lies the heart of Vestiges.
In each interaction I truly believe that we leave a piece of ourselves with each other. In each friendship we leave and acquire a mannerism, a way of saying something, or a lens through which to view the world. We are the collective brushstrokes of our loves ones, our influences, and the people with which we surround ourselves. These are the indelible marks of which I am speaking. These are the indelible Vestiges we impress upon the world that endure throughout the centuries, across languages, and over spans of thousands of kilometers.
During my trip to Europe in the winter of 2017/2018, I got the chance to catch up on some music, movies, and reading that I hadn’t allowed myself time for previously. Among the music was the album Seas of Dawn by The New Weather Machine – a startlingly beautiful and powerful alternative/americana/rock album from a fellow Lethbridge dweller. Upon listening to Red River on the bus ride to Prague (and every free moment past that point) I decided that I needed to investigate further. Having seen Jon around, been in similar circles, under the same supervising professor, and at the university at the same time (I also witnessed his moving David Bowie cover night headliner show to honour his memory) I vaguely knew Jon and was somewhat familiar with his work. It wasn’t until listening to this self-produced and recorded album that I became incredibly intimidated by him (in mostly a good way, I’d say).
After releasing a new EP and then being away from my instruments and the ability to sing loudly for almost two months, I was ready to start a new project again. I had sat on these four songs for quite a while, having completed the last of the four over a year prior and the first over two and a half years before that. Having been so moved by Seas of Dawn (and having done my research and discovered that Jon has a recording studio in Lethbridge) I decided to talk to him about the possibility of recording together, even at the risk of sounding like the total fangirl that I had become. We met at a coffee shop and shared our philosophy of music, sound, and composition and he seemed interested in working together. It was a project that I was ready to spend some time on and execute properly, which worked well with his busiest-person-I’ve-ever-met schedule. Starting February of 2018, we began demoing and tracking and after a number of set-backs including a broken hand and several months of hiatus, we finished the tracking/mixing in early May of this year. The rest is history, so they say.
I am ever-hopeful that you find a meaningful way to relate to my music, as I feel that is the most powerful outcome of art. I also hope that you enjoy hearing about the journey. More to come soon.
Stay well – Max.