Spacy, meditative, pulsing, rhythmic. They all apply to this album. Not to forget fun! Progsheet asked Sophe Lux to take us through the album track by track...
Track 1: Your Wonderland
SL: I wanted to write a song that explores the idea of taking your power back. I turned to poets Rumi & Allen Ginsberg for inspiration. The song is told by the “The Mystic” an androgynous shaman who guides you on this disco soul retrieval. This character was partly inspired by the album My Life In The Bush of Ghosts (Brian Eno and David Byrne). In My Life In The Bush of Ghosts Eno and Byrne incorporated archival samples from actual exorcisms and sermons into their tracks. In Your Wonderland The use of pulsing moogs, synth leads, disco glides, and stacked operatic vocal harmonies were arranged intuitively and instinctually. The result creates a surrealistic neo-soul-disco feel. The Shaman encourages you to shake your butt a little as you refuse to let the forces of capitalism and conformity cause you to forget your dreams!
Track 2: The Love Comet
SL: This song is a mini space rock opera! Against a eerie backdrop of funerary organs and lonely whale calls, a narrator delivers an epitaph for the human race as seen through the eyes of an alien child one million years in our future. We learn that the human race is no more because “greed got in the way.” Thunder claps, moog engines roar, and soaring vocals ascend to the stars, as the listener is taken on an adventure into deep space to meet space alien child, Ryder Jett (named after my 6 year old nephew). Our compassionate hero creates a comet of love and awakening to send back through time to hopefully reach earth before it’s too late. The song ends with Ryder Jett reading a quote from The Tempest. This quote was read brilliantly by 10 year old Alice Radford Brown.
Track 3: The Earth Breathes
SL: The comet sent to earth by Ryder Jett now arrives on the planet. The beginning of the song mimics the sensation of waking from a dream: Sleepy backwards pianos and groggy radio waves rise through a sonic fog. The light of the comet is infiltrating the consciousness of earth. The earth starts to speak of the presence of a blinding light that has come to “shake our souls us awake.” Something is changing and we are just starting to take it all in… The power of soul on the planet is growing. The earth tells us “greed is losing power..everyone looks equal when you look down from above.” The 80’s beats, rolling synths, and pulsing arpeggiators create a nostalgic sound. I particularly like the New Order inspired bass solo (played by Larry Crane) after the second verse.
Track 4: All Are One
SL: “Instead of hating what is in this world,” I wondered, “could we love what could be?” This discussion lead me to came up with a futuristic preacher who gives this sermon about a vision for a new humanity: “We are the healers” he says, “we are the teachers of truth, the collective messiah…” We are all the healers of this sad world. The song ends with a dramatic crescendo: A mournful e-bow guitar (played masterfully by Larry Crane) rips over tribal toms, strings, and a horns. Operatic overdubs lead to a spoken word monologue. The chorus builds and the angelic chorus swells into the resounding chant of “we need your love, we need your love to help us find our way to earth’s destiny.”
Track 5: Infinite Colors Of Desire
SL: This song starts out with a pastoral prog-rock intro where the narrator’s consciousness is heightened as they are intoxicated by the beauty of the earth. The scene then shifts into an electro soul landscape of light funk bass lines (played so well by Larry) and swirling arpeggiators. The lyrics imagine a world of renewed innocence, where the acceptance of “not knowing” permits us to enjoy an expansiveness in consciousness.
Track 6: Who Knows What Wonders Might Arise
SL: This is about death of the ego and the rebirth of the Self. It’s about the grace and healing that comes with forgiveness and letting go. Larry Crane created these sad, gorgeous, expansive e-bow guitar parts to help articulate the depth of emotion. The ending is one of my favorite parts of the album. Larry chopped up my vocals and created a collage with them to go behind the lead vocal.The effect is that the voices engulf and consume you the way that intense memories can.
Track 7: Waking The White Winged Horse
SL: This song represents the return “home” to one’s child-like essence. This track makes an allusion to one of my favorite films of all time: The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman: “There is a man playing chess with Death.” The song also makes an homage to my childhood pony Mariah who often appears in my dreams. The image of the Sun Card in the Tarot Deck also came to mind as I was writing the song. In this card a child is pictured riding a pony without a bridle or saddle in a field of sunflowers: A symbol for following intuition over reason.
Track 8: Love Is Waiting
SL: The Love Comet comes to shed some light on the corruption of Wall St. and mass globalization. The song addresses the dignity of the human spirit and social justice concerns with a neo soul vibe. My first drafts of this song came during the Wall St scandals and financial collapse of 2009. Lyrics in verse 2 were inspired by the speeches of Martin Luther King. Larry plays a killer bass line in the chorus. I played B-3 and pianos, made some string and horn parts, and layered up the vocal overdubs.
Track 9: Arise & Awake
SL: This song is about loss and suffering. But it celebrates the resiliency and endurance of the human spirit to survive. It’s about being beaten but not broken. The human capacity for healing and to keep going is indeed miraculous and touching. The song tells the story of the phoenix rising from the ashes. We all have a version of this story. We have all experienced a time where we have had the shit kicked out of us, a time when we might have lost all hope. But then, somehow the light comes in and we begin to feel hope again. That’s what this song is about.