Track By Track: Silverstein, ‘This Is How The Wind Shifts’

February 5, 2013 by Altpress

Track By Track: Silverstein, ‘This Is How The Wind Shifts’

Silverstein release their concept album, This Is How The Wind Shifts, today. As you listen to it, you can read the band’s explanation of each track, below. You can order the album now via Silverstein's website. Be sure to check out our 4.5/5 review of the album in AP #296!

“Stand Amid The Roar”
Musically this song was written entirely by our new guitar player Paul Marc before he even joined the band. He came in to jam with us, and we weren't sure at first if it was going to be a great fit or not. When he told us he already wrote a song and played us the demo, this is all it took for him to get in the band!

“On Brave Mountains We Conquer”
This song along with its conceptual counterpart (“In Silent Seas We Drown”), is probably the most autobiographical of the songs on this record, but it also dives into a discussion about when it's time to give up on your dreams and settle. It's a sad reality that most people don't grow up to be astronauts, explorers or presidents, and there comes a point when you have to be happy with your effort and achievements and move on.

“Massachusetts”
This song is about an abusive relationship and the struggles a person goes through to get out of it. It's our first single and already a fan favorite, but we almost decided against recording it since we thought musically, it sounded a bit too much like another Silverstein riff. However we changed it around slightly, added vocals and it became one of my favorites on the album.

“This Is How” and “The Wind Shifts”
I've grouped these tracks together because they were written and recorded simultaneously. They're an overview of this record concept and they symbolize how similar everyone is regardless of how different they seem externally. In the end, we all want the same things even if our approaches are different. Play them at the same time on two stereos and see what happens.

“A Better Place”
This is the first of two tracks on this record that deal with death and the idea of the afterlife. Losing a loved one changes you and in some cases, can break you completely. This song deals with the undeserved initial regret and blame people put on themselves. It's a sad song and has a human element in the way it's written that always chokes me up a bit when I read it.

“Hide Your Secrets”
This was the last song written for This Is How The Wind Shifts, and is the biggest throwback to our early years. We wanted a 6/8 ballad in the middle of the record, and our late ‘90s post-hardcore emo influences really showed up on this. It has an interesting vibe which is different from the rest of the record, but I like how it breaks it up.

“Arrivals”
This was written and performed by Paul Marc. He was just playing around with the guitar riff at practice with his delay pedal when I heard the riff and asked him what it was. Surprisingly, he said he'd written vocals and everything. I thought it was a really good fit on the album and encouraged him to use it. The reprisal of this song in the last track from a different perspective is one of my favorite moments of the album.

“In A Place Of Solace”
This is probably the heaviest song in our catalog both musically and lyrically. Read the lyrics and listen to it, and you can't help but feel the pain and struggle.

“In Silent Seas We Drown”
This follows the story of “On Brave Mountains We Conquer” as a parallel universe, as if the protagonist followed his dreams and wound up where he wanted to be. There is a loneliness and desperation which continues on the second half of this record. Musically, this is one of the heaviest tracks and also one of the most melodic.

“California”
The second part of a story about an abusive relationship, this is about finally getting out and leaving it all behind, regardless of the difficulties. It's a song of triumph, positivity and hope and I hope, people in a dark place can use this as inspiration to pull themselves out.

“To Live And To Lose”
This was the first song we wrote musically for the album, and it was strange to start the writing process with such an experimental track. After the music was written, there was an eerieness to it we'd never had before. Vocally and lyrically, I struggled to find the right vibe for this until finally (with my girlfriend’s help), I put myself in the place of the character I was writing. The words just poured out onto the page in a way that has never happened to me before.

“With Second Chances”
This track was the one that we changed the most from the initial writing to the final version you hear. It was a constant fight in the studio about what to do with it, or if we should even use it at all. I defended it, because I knew it had a great chorus and a lot of different ideas in one song. I'm glad it made it, because it's also one of my favorites on this album.

“Departures”
We knew what we were going to do for the ending of this song with the reprise, but the beginning we weren't completely sure of until we were already well into the studio. I had a great acoustic riff (which is still unused!), but we couldn't get it into the right place. Paul suggested we try to use some backward effects, playing things forward and then reversing them. It was such a cool idea. It was weird recording this though, because we had to learn the song backward. It's easier said than done.

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