Sharing original music is turning into a thing and I love it. It’s like I can glimpse into other regions’ musical communities and be temporarily transported. I met Elmer and the Ceramic Trees through a Twitter friend and fellow musician. Elmer hails from Janesville, WI which is almost like a southern triangle dot with Madison and Milwaukee the other corners. I really enjoyed checking out the songs listed on the album, SaturdayNight Satellite, but two stood out to me. I contacted Elmer and the Ceramic Trees and the rest follows. Click play on “The Way We Fall” and read the story behind the song.
The Song’s Story
“The Way We Fall” originated when I was trying to come up with a bridge for my song “Take Me, Drain Me.” I came up with what I thought was a a pair of relatively catchy melodies for the verse and chorus along with a few lines for the first verse, but I quickly became bored with it, and it became just another partially-written throwaway buried in my lyric book.
A number of months later, while I was in the process of recording my second album, SaturdayNight Satellite, my girlfriend was paging through pages of lyrics when she came across the few lines that I’d scribbled down for “The Way We Fall.” She told me that she liked what was there and that I should continue to work on the song. She is often a better judge of my music than I am, so I decided to finish it up and see what would happen. It ended up turning into what I thought was a pretty decent pop song, and I decided to include it on the album at the last minute.
Lyrically, many of my songs deal with themes of alienation and isolation, and I suppose that this song, maybe in a somewhat shallower manner than some of my other material, touches on those concepts as well. I guess it’s kind of about wanting to recapture some sort of past connection, as well as the feeling that one gets upon realizing that such a goal is completely unattainable. When I’ve performed it live, I’ve done it with just vocals and guitar, and when it’s stripped down like that, I think it comes across as a sadder song than what perhaps the recording lets on.
In terms of the production, I was aiming for a sound and arrangement that would emphasize the poppy aspects of the song while also creating a distinct vibe; I really wanted it to be sort of the sonic equivalent of a hazy and distant and yet warm and fuzzy memory that one might cling to. The drums and synthesizers are intended to kind of blur into each other into a kind of wall of sound that threatens to overwhelm the distant sounding vocal track.