How one song inspired Scarypoolparty’s otherworldly concept EP
Scarypoolparty (Alejandro Aranda) is known for his spectral arrangements and unique approach to rock. With his next release, Doom Hologram, making its debut Sept. 4, Aranda shares his ideas behind each track on the forthcoming concept EP.
After being awarded runner-up on American Idol in 2019, Aranda released his debut LP, Exit Form, last November. The singer recently shared his latest single off Doom Hologram with “Return2Sender,” a gentle ballad that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Drawing inspiration from acts such as Deftones, he puts his own otherworldly twist on prog and nü metal.
Revolving around the story of an angel lost in the programs of a computer, Aranda presents an atmospheric experience from beginning to end. From the light synths of “Return2Sender” to the drum-laden journey of Doom Hologram’s interlude “Sun Moon Earth,” the EP goes full circle, finishing on a soft note in its mesmerizing finale “Paradox.” Check out the ideas behind the album as Scarypoolparty breaks down each track below, and presave the forthcoming release here.
ALEJANDRO ARANDA: “Return2Sender” was an old demo that I had that led into the whole concept of the EP. I wanted to make a song that was the beginning of the concept where an angel was stuck in a computer program. It’s just going through life through the [computer’s] user, watching them on social media and just seeing what the user does. It’s like a love song that has to do with heartbreak. I wanted to make a song that was in the space of a pop ballad in a way, with acoustic guitar and a nice melody. With some good help from my friend Keller Moore, we made that song.
I wanted to tell a story of how the angel inside of the computer is seeing the end of the world happening—only it’s seeing it through movies. By the end of the track, it’s really dramatic and ends on a really aggressive guitar building on epic drums. I wanted that song to be really cinematic.
I wanted to experiment with different genres that I listen to a lot. I’ve been listening to a lot of Deftones—just really heavy music. I felt like by “Angel Delete,” the angel is getting corrupted by stress [and] the vibes of the world from the internet. Naturally, it just gets more aggressive, and that was the reason I had more distorted guitars and heavier drums, but I kept the chorus lighthearted. Just like the first two songs, it’s an atonement. [The angel] still doesn’t know what it means, why the user is breaking up with somebody. It’s reaffirming that and trying to figure out what that means to a human being—just relationships in general and heartbreak.
“Deathwave” is cryptic in the lyrics, but I wanted to lean into the thought of something becoming evil. I always found certain genres of music can really tell that story. It was the easiest song I’ve written, as far as [how] fast I did it. I was trying to finish the EP, and that was the last track I made. I was like, “Ah, this fits perfectly into it.” All the vocals are done out of my MacBook. I didn’t even go to a studio for it or anything or have a nice microphone. I wanted to keep that vibe of the angels becoming more aware of what it’s like to have these crazy emotions. It’s like a wave of different things. That’s why there’s more screaming and more aggressive guitar.
“Judas” doesn’t necessarily have to do with religion. I’m not really a religious person, but I wanted to write a song of how an angel, someone that was from heaven, had this thought of someone he once knew, almost like losing his mind and not believing it. That’s why the chorus is like, “I swear I’m not fine.” He’s swearing to himself that he’s not fine, that he’s not OK seeing these images. The whole song is basically just around something getting corrupt.
“Sun Moon Earth”
Originally, I had this really wild interlude that was like 18 minutes long. I was like, “Let me try to make a track that has to do with the complexity of a soundscape.” There’s a really busy bassline, [and] there’s a piano solo, but I wanted to make a song that led into the rhythm section—the drums are the main storyteller.
“Doom Hologram” is like the political climate of the program going through news, going through daily life and what’s happening around the world. The main theme of that song was to run away from any kind of hate, any kind of behavior that the world leads you to sometimes. You’re just running away from it, and you’re trying to find freedom. The main point of the EP is the Doom Hologram: It’s a hologram of what’s trying to scare you, and it’s really not there. You have to run away from it or go find a different path.
I had seen daily news articles about just money in general, people being obsessed with it, so I made that song with that idea. Basically, the angel has seen so much in this computer and on the internet. The main corruption that causes the root of evil is money, so it’s going through this crazy wave of aggression and hate. It’s trying to leave the greed for money and get into a better place of mind. The beginning part is super aggressive, but by the end, it leaves, and it’s out on its own. It’s not being held captive anymore.