A thing I wrote about our album. Enjoy
Best Friend - Phases of the Moon
Tennessee’s Peter McCarville wrote me about long-distance love in the following letter recently:
Let me preface this by saying this is a great idea for a music blog. It’s very direct and artist friendly, and it’s rare to see something work as well as this does, especially for self publishing artists.
Anyway, this is an album, as you probably noticed from the subject line, called Division. The word that has pretty accurately described everything that had been going on in my life throughout the writing of it. I should preface this by saying this album was like my child. We had just released a (not so great) album a few months before we were contacted by a label, asking us if we’d start working on a new one for them. Even though the deal eventually fell through, I started working on these songs by myself and away from my bandmates. I knew I had to work on our sound so we could avoid repeating the first album. I worked very hard making sure each note made sense and was in the right place. School became secondary, and I even stopped going out a lot so I could work on the songs.
The album is about a long distance relationship and trying to figure someone who I was really fascinated by, but could only do so in pieces at a time. We had met in high school, but had lost contact for a few years, then eventually met each other again during my junior year of college. She lived a few hours away from me and there were many late night drives from Knoxville to where she lived in Chattanooga. Not the longest drive, but finding the time to have a worthwhile visit was problematic at times. I became very accustomed to driving at night and feeling the distance build up.
On the wall above her dresser and across from her bed, there was a moon lamp that lit up according to the different phases. I knew she loved the lamp, but I became so enthralled by what it all meant. Enough to the point where the moon became somewhat of a motif in the relationship. Anything I could find with the phases of the moon instantly I had to have. It inspired the song of the same name, “Phases of the Moon”. It’s about wondering if I could just pack everything up and live near her and be around her all the time, but realizing it isn’t that realistic. It was hard to try and be that honest and direct in writing, even though that’s something I always try to do. It was something that just weighed on my mind a lot for a long time, and writing a few lines about it seemed impossible. There’s a long instrumental section about 3/4 of the way in that was supposed to represent how cloudy my head always seemed to be when I thought about something that serious.
However, the album is also about the darker side of things there. I learned a lot about this person that I would’ve learned earlier on had I been around more. Things that I wished I could change or help but couldn’t, and realizing I had to accept them and help this person through them unconditionally and willingly. See both “Books” and “Matters”, the closing two tracks on the album. You begin to wonder if you’re really making someone happy when you’re also making them suffer while you’re apart. And the pressure to make every time you see each other great begins to grow as well. Finally, you begin to reflect on yourself and see if you are happy. This is pretty much the first five tracks of the album. Where did I fit in to all of this, and was it going to last? Thankfully, I figured all of that stuff out, and I sleep much better now, even though the person that fascinates me lives apart from me and we are divided by a few hours, we still make each other happy.
Read more Letters to YVYNYL