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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cold Light

Part of the reason I was so eager to divest myself of Oblivion in our last year was that I felt divorced from the concept of the band itself. Oblivion was a hard rock band with (what we thought was) intellect and soul, but I no longer listened to heavy music. My personal tastes were doing a 360 and peeling back to those groups that had gotten me into music in the first place: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Oasis, Weezer, Radiohead. I was also listening to a ton of Sigur Ros. All of these bands put melody and songwriting ahead of brashness and intensity, and most of the songwriting I was doing at the time was just as quiet and introspective.

Not seeing much of an outlet for these new songs within Oblivion's playlist, I decided that I would team up with Ben Began (the producer of Oblivion's second LP) to make a small EP that would showcase the new direction I was heading into. The idea for the EP wouldn't come to fruition until a year later when I took the jumbled ends of this session and re-recorded two of the songs to create what would become the Maine EP. But in the Spring of 2004 it was me and Ben doing the best we could with a drum machine, some studio musicians and myself. "Cold Light" was the only fully-formed track that made it to the final EP, and that is largely to do with its spare arrangement. Not much needed to be added to it. It pretty much ended up on record exactly as I had imagined it. A tiny prayer whispered to the stars.

My friend Dawn Perry played piano on this track and she did a phenomenal job. I accidentally forgot to give her credit on the Maine EP for her efforts and so I will mention it again. Dawn Perry played piano on "Cold Light." She's amazing. She's kind. She's a beautiful performer. Thank you, Dawn.

The concept of the song is simple, really. The first two verses are me speaking to God. The repeated refrain is God's response. That's all there is. I was reading the Bible for the first time when I wrote this. I grew up in an agnostic household where spirituality flowed like water, but dogma did not exist. I always believed in God, I still do, but religion has always been a difficult thing for me to wrap my head around. It always seemed like trying to explain the intricacies of a great novel in one sentence. It can be done, but never well.

I've always been very proud of this song because it was my first real production and I think I did a pretty good job of translating my ideas to tape, especially given my limited budget and limited confidence in myself. I guess as far as prayers go, this one can be put in the 'answered' category.

Cold Light
Words and Music by Tres Crow

Cold light is filtered through the moon to lie here
Boldly you crept across the page to reach me

Feel the pain subside
And drain our cups of pride
And cry and cry

When you learn to love yourself then you can learn to love me

Lyrics printed by permission Shire Reckoning Publishing House