10. 2018 Breakdown

I’ve been dreading this album so much. I always remember it as the “album with no hits”, in a sense. “Shanty For A Better Tomorrow” isn’t terrible but nothing really stands out in this mix. I may have tuned my guitar down to B standard for this, hence why it’s a muddy mess. “Single Pale Rose” was an experiment in a sort of “ostrich” tuning. The guitar on “Injured Bird Song” was originally recorded with my guitar tuned lower than standard, but I thought there were too many songs like that so I sped up the recording to sound like it had been recorded in standard. This is probably the closest thing this album has to a normal, proper hit, but even then I’m not sure if I’d go that far. “Sail On Grace” uses one of 4 drum tracks I recorded for a friend near the end of summer 2018. He ended up not using any of them so I used them myself. This song is fine but it just sounds awful. Is “Second Choice Result” the worst Hello Whirled song? Probably not, but out of over 1000 it’s still almost certainly bottom 50. The two pianos on “Red Hair” were, funny enough, not the same piano. The guitar on “Good Will, Good Faith” was a shitty electric guitar I bought at a Goodwill in Trenton for $8. It is not the only HW song to use this guitar but it’s the only one I wrote with it. I actually like how it sounds, would just be nice to be able to tune it.

And just like that, I threw together another album before the end of the year in an effort to end the year on a high note of sorts. A lot of material was recorded for this one in such a few weeks. It was going to be another double album at one point. “I Will Not Write More Diss Tracks About People In My Scene” is, in part, an apology for a song on the last album, and yet somehow also a diss track, albeit more subtlely so. At least two people I know have called this their favorite HW song. I could not tell you what tuning “The Xenologist’s Daughter” is, but I think it came out really good. “Papercuts For The Soul” was supposed to sound like Beat Happening. I ended up writing a song better than any Beat Happening song. There’s no bass on this, and I wonder sometimes how differently it would hit if there was one. “Third Strongest Cure” is the only song on Faded Star recorded entirely at college. That’s really the only reason it’s on here. “Anymore” lasts too long but it’s a good groove. “Blurred Crushed Reality” is one of my favorites here. Not sure why, it just sort of works. My first attempt at “Faded Star” clocked in at around 15 minutes in length. It was, shall we say, bad. The first part was reworked into this album version.

Outtakes from these two albums right here, and some other stuff thrown in. The vocal effect on “Robot Dance (Ewing)” makes me really uncomfortable, which might have something to do with my decision to re-record it. “Brethren” is a good cover of the Stephen Malkmus song. I was listening to that song a whole lot around this time. “Anymore (First Try)” has some cool guitar sounds. I like this one as an outtake, but it wouldn’t have worked on an album. “Red Hair (Demo)” is interesting if only because of what I was trying to do, and what birthed those lyrics. I don’t know which time signatures are at play here. There are too many. This unremarkable outtakes collection marked the end of Hello Whirled’s 2018. It remains HW’s most prolific and scattered year. I released 15 albums in 1 year. Don’t do that. Don’t ever try to do that.

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