Each week, we will feature one of the tracks from our new album, Face On Water, in order. Next up is track 3, Grey Matter.
Grey Matter is the album’s first taste of our style of ambient, downtempo, chill out music. We love to rock a dance floor and play upbeat music, but we also really enjoy writing, producing, and playing music that is more reflective, internal, and emotive. There are a few other tracks on the Face On Water album done in this style, but we liked giving this one the #3 placement to really let the album open up for the listener.
I vividly remember recording this one in late January 2016. Per our usual writing process, we spent a lot of time improvising different chord progressions and melodies until we settled on the main progression that dominates the song. Interestingly, when we were writing it, the tempo was not this slow. Only after a few iterations of arranging the song did Goodie have the brilliant idea to bring it down to a half time, downtempo feel. It worked perfectly, and the song really came into its own when he made that production decision.
A few words on the B section in this song: it’s a three-chord progression, with the third chord being the same as the first chord in the primary A section progression. So, at the end of the short B section, rather than completing the final three-chord phrase, we jump right back into the A section when we hit that chord (at the 3:02 mark).
I see Grey Matter, and the next song on the album, Evolution (Green Matter), as siblings. While both are quite different in terms of tempo and feel, they have very similar chord progressions, and are played in the same key. We didn’t want to use “part 1” and “part 2” in the titles, as both can really stand on their own as individuals. So, the titles of the songs are our way of acknowledging the similarities and tying them together.
As many people know, grey matter refers to a part of the central nervous system where all the brain synapses happen. We thought that name made sense for the feeling and musical theme of this song (I’ll explain the “Green Matter” significance when I write about that song).
However, there is a bit more meaning to the title. The song had a working title of “po-po” because of the siren samples you sometimes hear. We obviously couldn’t call it that, and at the time, there was a lot of media coverage of racially-motivated police abuse, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, etc. We as a band firmly believe in human equality, and stand passionately against the mistreatment of anyone because of a person’s color, orientation, gender, physical and mental abilities, size, shape, nationality, country of origin, age, religion, or place of residence.
The word “Matter” was chosen intentionally in support of Black Lives Matter, an organization that “works vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.” The color “Grey” was chosen to represent the collective consciousness and intelligence of all beings.
We make our music for anyone who wants to hear it. All are welcome here.
Listen to Grey Matter on Spotify or watch the video below.