01. Temporary Survival Covenant02. Fever Dream
03. Expensive Mistakes
04. Song For Gravity
05. Be Still
06. Judgement Day Stomp
07. The Year Of
08. The Poltergeist In Wait
Lifted High started in an apartment in Downtown Raleigh, NC last summer (2011). I started experimenting with meshing the Ambient and Pop styles of songwriting I'd been working on, and "Judgement Day Stomp" was born. Over the next year and a half, my vision of the album's direction and themes changed time and time again. For the first time in my work on a collection of music, I changed songs lyrically and instrumentally right up until the mastering stage; some songs went unfinished for over a year before they finally fit into the puzzle I was creating.
I originally envisioned Lifted High as a louder, more aggressive sequel to On the Way Down with more songs like "The Violence+" and "Infect." What I ended up making is probably the closest thing to the exact opposite of that vision that I could have come up with. From the very beginning of the writing process for this album, the songs came out quiet and somber. My taste in music matured and changed dramatically so that instead of the Metal and Industrial music I was listening to before, I couldn't bring myself to listen to anything that wasn't incredibly slow and melodic. I dropped the angry yelling in favor of a more soft-spoken style of singing that makes the music sound more like a whisper than a battle cry.
I focused on writing lyrics from the perspective of someone else who might have gone through something similar to things I'd been through, and I imagined how their stories might have turned out differently. Lifted High could be an album about losing your girlfriend, or it could be about the end of the world.
The common theme is desolation; being so far removed from everyone and everything that you once cared about that you don't know how to return. It's an album about physical and emotional desperation, death, and decay. It's about problems that can't be solved, relationships that can't be fixed, and wounds that never stop reopening. It is the musical embodiment of the feeling that the entire world is crumbling around you. It is a comforting hymnal of sad anthems for the lonely.
During the period of time it took me to complete this recording, I grew a remarkable distaste for bands and musicians who constantly tried to convince themselves that they "don't fit into any genre." So much so, in fact, that I made it a point early on to define exactly what the album would sound like, exactly what sort of genre cliches to indulge during production, and I went to great lengths to make each song exist in the same sonic space. Lyrically and instrumentally, this is the closest thing to a fully realized, cohesive concept album that I could have made from these songs.
As for the mix, you probably won't like it the first time you hear it (or you may love it from the first second). It's not a comfortable mix. Almost all of the instruments are panned to the extremes. It is best to listen to this on a set of high-quality headphones or large speakers in order to hear the many things going on in each song, otherwise you'll probably miss a lot. I also recommend a subwoofer.
Structurally, the album is a 180º turn from the way that On the Way Down was written. Many of the tracks actually have a more conventional structure with a proper chorus and multiple verses. It's still one big "sound collage" of admittedly short songs like the last record, but Lifted High is a much smoother ride from start to finish.
I've been talking up this album for almost an entire year to anyone who would listen. Now, I'm finally releasing it into the world. Hopefully this collection of songs will find its way into your winter soundtrack; that's what it was made for. If you enjoy what you hear, I want to hear from you about it. If you don't, that's fine, too (trust me, I understand). Thank you for listening. The next time you're in need of music for companionship when you feel like life is going to hell in a hand-basket, hopefully you'll put on Lifted High.