Elegy

A house with the floorboards buckled and the sconces blackened with dust. Spider webs in the corners and the windows cracking. A series of regrets.

The lead track. As we moved from live takes to overdubbing to mixing to mastering, “Elegy” just seemed to stand as a frame for ‘The Apothecary EP.’ And it goes back a ways in different forms.

I was listening to Bob Dylan’s “Most of the Time” and holed up on the 7th floor. I scratched it out on one of those sleepless nights and I found it the next day. One of the last songs I wrote on piano and certainly the only keeper of the bunch. This song slowly revealed itself. First the verses. Sometime later, a chorus. Then I made a cassette tape demo of a bunch of songs under the name ‘Transluscent Things Are Valuable Too…’ and I realized that it needed a bridge. Then, finally, it had that quality of walking through a desolate place.

There was no heat in the Creamery Studio in February when we did the live track, which still is the bulk of the arrangement. We had to turn on the space heater between takes. This was the first song of the session and one of the first takes of the song. The vocals are as they were: huddled near the microphone. There were no vocal overdubs.

Credit is due to Joe Lops for a Telecaster-imbued backdrop that I couldn’t have concocted; Adam Blake for a brilliant drum part; and Quinn McCarthy for keeping that barn sound intact.

It seems to meander to a boardwalk on the 2nd verse. Some stores boarded up. The territory of the loners, the prowlers, the outcasts, the only ones who claim it as theirs. Maybe a card game played by the light of a barrel fire.

Only the snowfall brings a kind of peace, though even that is marred by loss. But somehow the physical decay is comforting compared to other kinds of decay.

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