Mixtapes guitarist/vocalists Maura Weaver and Ryan Rockwell tell us all about their upcoming album, Ordinary Silence (out June 25 on No Sleep Records) in this latest AP track by track.
Bonus: Watch the debut their AP-exclusive acoustic performance of the album’s third track, “Elevator Days.”

Ordinary Silence

1. “Bad Parts”
Simply put, it's painful to look at yourself and fix the things that you don't like. The truth isn't usually easy. It is easy, however, to distract yourself from all of that bad, evil stuff with anything you can become addicted to, like television, the internet, alcohol, overeating, religion and superficialities.



Recently, a few of my friends have confessed to me that they're going to college because they feel like they have to or they're dating some asshole because they like having someone around and make various excuses for being unhappy. And I'm not perfect either–I still have to smack myself daily to prevent myself from settling for less. So I wrote “Bad Parts” about that and about how happiness is not hard to attain if you embrace life's pain rather than try to avoid it. –Maura Weaver

2. “Ross (Dirty Water)”
This song is based around the time I jumped in a friend’s swimming pool in the dead of winter. The water was lime green, and I was really dumb. I got sick for almost a month and missed school and thought that I was gonna die. It was the time in my life when I was transitioning from being out of school and all feelings and emotions that came with it. Losing friends, gaining friends and staying up all night playing music. All of the mistakes we make, the regrets and feeling like everything was the end of the world. They say the grass is greener on the other side, but I feel like the older you get, the more you long for your youth. This song is a song about the experiences that shaped the person I became. – Ryan Rockwell

3. “Elevator Days”
This song is a theme that stretches throughout the album about where we place blame. After losing some very important people in my life, I went into a long, bad depression. It took a long time to realize that most of the things we blame other people for that affect our emotions start with us. In order to become a better person or make a difference you have to be happy with yourself. I've realized that truly being happy with yourself is hard, and it's a lot easier to lie. “I'm really working on me” is a line that tells me it's time to stop lying, time to stop settling and go out and be the person I want to and know I can be. The last line “I know I'm hard to forget” is an apology to all of the people’s lives I have affected negatively. ­–Ryan

4. “C.C.S.”
This song continues the idea of “Elevator Days;” it’s where the title Ordinary Silence comes from. Becoming someone you don't want to look at in the mirror is an awful and eye-opening experience. You can try to do a million things and surround yourself with a million people, but none of it creates happiness. I got to the point where I would sit alone in my house and the silence would drive me insane. Our minds are our best and worst weapon. I would think things about myself that weren't even true and try to punish myself because I didn't feel worthwhile. Being on the right track to getting out of it is sometimes good enough for the time being. –Ryan

5. “Like Glass”
People act clique-y everywhere, even in scenes that are supposed to be accepting of society's “outsiders.” This song is about those people within underground “scenes” who generally only care about the music and ideals of said scene as they relate to their social status. This phenomenon sucks sometimes because when people are in it for the scene points: They become friends with each other solely based on the way they look and whether they like the same bands. Then it's almost like people become trading cards to befriend or throw away in order to make your own persona's trading card more valuable. Then, these people often create elite groups where the only people welcome have to look and act exactly like them; everyone else is a freak or ignored. Then, new people coming to shows will think trying hard is important and the cycle will continue. This song is about feeling completely detached from these circles and wanting to be accepted in punk. –Maura

6. “Gravel”
This song is pretty literal, so if you listen to it I think you will get what it is about. –Ryan

7. “Happy And Poor”
This song is about how we always come back to the things we find comfort in. Memories whether a year old or from when we were kids, always stay in the back of our minds. In times of distress those memories can save us. A lot of this album is coming to terms with myself and everything that's led up to now. I play music because it makes me feel something, and I am the luckiest man on Earth if it makes someone else feel something. If I go into debt or make a million dollars off of playing these songs, it's the connection that matters when it's all said and done. –Ryan

8. “I Think I Broke It”
This song was originally called “Bad Ideas And Good Intentions” but we decided that sounded way too cheesy. However, the line in the song means we usually have good intentions to do the right thing but often get hung up along the way. We are always changing as people, but it's funny because a lot of our basic personality traits seem to never change. Getting older, seeing people come and go, losing loved ones—all of this stuff affects us in different ways. A lot of times I just want to let the people around me know how much I appreciate them. I always feel like I never do enough for people. I wish I could just make everyone around me have a perfect life, but I obviously can't. But I can assure them, I will always be there and will always be coming back around. –Ryan

9. “You Look Like Springtime”
This song is purely about desperation. You can have a good attitude and try as hard as you want, but it's not always perfect. This was a song I wrote when I felt completely hopeless and empty. –Ryan

10. “Cheapness”
This is a song about wanting to be proud of things you've done and the person you are but feeling like you aren't, and like no one knows what you're really made of because you haven't been the person you want to be yet. It is hard sometimes to expect much from yourself when people don't expect anything good from you. As a girl in this world, (some) people value you but mostly as a figurative caretaker for the doers, thinkers and leaders of the world: the men. You're taught that being pretty and cute is the most important thing, and punching with the men is not cute. As a child, being pressed with those “values” really messed me up because I wanted to be an adventurer and change the world, and it seemed impossible to do that as a girl without being considered a fucking freak. I've felt like a freak most of my life, although I'd rather be a crazed loner than bored and scared to live.

People really don't expect much but superficiality from you as a girl, and I think it can be hard to have a lot of confidence and break out of your sad habits when people don't expect any good from you. This song is saying that I hope women, or any person who is a minority or an outsider and knows what it's like to feel completely alone in this world will expect something great from her or himselve even when no one else does. This song was sad for me to write because I'm still feeling this all pretty hard–but I'm liking myself more and more every day. –Maura

11. “Everything's Eventual”
This song is about realizing how short life really is and how quickly things can end and be completely gone from your life, and learning to see that as a beautiful thing rather than a sad one. Dillinger Four's lyric “I don't care if yesterday burns/Stoke up the fire,” inspired the feeling I'm expressing in the song and my life. I like it because to me the burning of “yesterday” doesn't seem like a way to try and run from the past, but rather just a proclamation of not holding on to the romantic notion of memories and living hard and fast in the present. I've always struggled with fully appreciating the present moment because I have bad social anxiety and often get stuck inside my own head for day-long periods. I kind of wrote this to combat that feeling of purposeless-ness and remind myself that the time passed is never returning so I have to act now. –Maura

12. “A List of Things I Can't Handle”
It can be weird to see people you've know forever change, whether it's for good or bad. Sometimes this makes me wonder if I'm changing at all. This song relates to the same idea as the song on Maps called “Sunrise.” I realize how much I judge people sometimes and it makes me sick with myself because I have so many issues and it's never my place to judge anyone. –Ryan

13. “Swirling”
Maps (our first release) was about us dealing with a lot of issues, and a lot of my lyrics were [written] after my father had passed away. This was crushing to me and still affects me every day. I've grown a lot since then, and this song is about where I am now as compared to then. Writing songs is cool, because it's a memory I can listen to any time I need to. –Ryan

Also:

14. “Be The Speak You Change About”
This song is about the current state of music and the bands, attitudes and images I'm surrounded by. –Ryan