WRITTEN YEARS – ” A Cinematic Goodbye “

Posted: October 9, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Story of The Written Years starts here, Almost exactly 7 years ago, I moved into a little all-white-but-still-grungy Burnaby basement with one of my best friends Kane and started writing & demoing the songs that would be become our first (self-titled) album. The songs started out solely as a way for me to get things off of my chest, to help digest both the isolation and wonder I felt being in a new and much bigger city than I had grown up in. We were still green as hell (and I think that little album is a reflection of that) but we were lucky enough to have some people believe in us early on. Our producer Ryan Worsley helped make us sound larger and more grandiose than the 3 piece that we were (our good friend Kodie Krogh being that third). I can’t thank that record enough for what it did for me – if I didn’t have that outlet and if I didn’t put all those frustrations and anxieties on paper, I can guarantee that I would not be the same person that I am today. We were also fortunate enough that someone by the name of Brian Dyck witnessed our very very first show and was eager enough to fight for a spot in the project. It turns out that that couldn’t have been a better thing because Brian came to be someone who really helped take the project’s sound and live show to where it ended up last year. So many hours and late nights him and I spent pouring over..over a bright grey Ableton screen trying to dial in the perfect synth sounds for this record. Together (this time, our good friend Alex Richardson included), we worked for years on a release that we really believed in, despite some of my own voice loss issues and still learning the ropes. Alex also really stepped forward as a writing partner for me and helped me take my melodies to a place where I hadn’t been able to on my own.

The result was a record that we re-did a couple times over but ended up saying everything we felt like we really needed to say, lyrically and as musicians. We didn’t try to make a pop album, it’s dark at times but was its own catharsis for me. I talk so much about the frustrations I had with the type of lifestyle I was living and the shitty places I felt like I was relying on for emotional support. I wrote about how helpless it can feel to lose your voice – something I depended on so much as a form of expression.

I’m sure the amount of times we went back up to bat with this thing is a running joke in the Echoplant studio, it definitely is among ourselves. The reality is that those guys put a lot of time and hard work into it. Not only Ryan but also Matt DiPomponio, his assistant engineer, was an absolute source of energy and enthusiasm for us. He never complained once, despite the demanding schedule, and always had a way of making things feel effortless and fun, despite the immense stress that we were actually putting ourselves under.

Until now, I was admittedly scared of putting this 2nd record out. Maybe on some level because it means finally calling it “finished” after so long but also because we’ve continued to grow so much since then. It’s a tough part of my life to reflect on and I admit a lot in it to where such transparency and vulnerability can feel a bit unsettling for me.

But with this comes something positive. It means that it makes sense to finally put this record out that so many people worked so hard on. it’s a batch of songs about desperation, about a longing I had to change myself and reclaim parts of myself that I had lost. If there’s one feeling I think we always managed to capture well, I think that’s the one of nostalgia and these 10 songs are full of that. It felt appropriate to call it “A Cinematic Goodbye” as a send-off to the project as a whole. To boot, we all pretty much live in different cities now.

The 10th track was one of the last written and was where I felt I finally found some acceptance. The ending to this story never had to be a resolution, but it just needed to be a coming-to-terms with what I was fighting. That not-so-little 5 1/2 minute piece of music really summed up for us everything we wanted to do at the time. It doesn’t conform to any real expectations and really just says everything we felt we needed to. The bass line in there is honestly one of my favourite things ever and the drums go through like 10 different beats but I love every one of them. I remember the last vocal session we had, it was at about midnight the night before and I hadn’t finished these lyrics yet. I had a near panic attack and took a few-hour walk only to come back and hit Save on the final lyrics by 4:30am. Slightly delirious the morning after, Matt and I finished the vocal tracks and finally sat back after such a long week. I think I called my brother right after in some sort of exhausted victory lap.

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Anyway, I’m sorry this whole thing has been so long but I wanted to give this record and project its proper due. There’s one other person that I would really like to thank here and that’s an incredibly thoughtful and motivational manager by the name of Jeff Ojeda. Jeff had only been on board in the final year but had brought such a level of care and expertise for the project that we never could have asked for. He also did such an amazing job of linking us up with more people that have helped us further our vision, including JVP who blew us away with his mix of Superficial Feeling. I guess I’m just kidding though because there really are so many other people that I should thank – people that helped us out with some beautiful additions on the record and during our live shows (Laura Genschorek, Benji Klassen, Siobhan Lauzon, AJ Buckley, Elliott McKerr, Julia Huggins, Michael Cumblidge, Kelsey Huggan, Emma Song-Carrillo, Sheena Truong, Mitch Walford, Jamie Smail, Ryan Morey, Ryan Eno, Matt Thomas, Cam Nicklaus, Richard Mitchell, Tyson Sulley) or lent us their advice & skills (Sebastian Galina, Murray Ash, Kevin Lim).

So for those following the story, hopefully this doesn’t end up being a total “goodbye” from us. Anyone who’s ever attended a show, bought a copy of our record, bought a tee shirt or just believed in us in any way: thank you so so much, we cannot express how much that stuff meant to us and really kept us working hard. We love you.

LOVE //
Wade, Kane, Brian & Alex
Written Years  Released October 9, 2020 The Band: Wade Ouellet – Vocals, Words, Guitar, Keys
Kane Enders – Drums, Percussion
Brian Dyck – Bass, Keys
Alex Richardson – Guitar, Vocals

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