Track details

01. EMERGENCE
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic
Guitars, vocal pads – Brian Trifon

Notes:
This was the track that first got us thinking about the link between our music and the concept of emergence. Some elements of the song are very chaotic and at times seem like they might spiral out of control, but the constant melodic theme and structure give it an overall sense of stability. This tension between chaos and order is one of the main ideas we tried to explore throughout the album. In a way this track is a summary of what’s to come.

02. BROKEN
Written and programmed by Trifonic / Lyrics by Laurence Trifon
Mixed by Trifonic and John Rodd
Vocals – Amelia June
Guitars, bass – Brian Trifon

Lyrics:
This house is cold and empty
Just a ghost of who I used to be
I stare at my own reflection
Wonder if you’d even recognize me

Last night I heard you whisper
“Everything is fine, I am here, I am here”
Last night I saw your shadow
But when I called your name you disappeared

Who’s gonna say goodnight?
Who’s gonna stop the word from turning?
Who’s gonna numb my pain?
Who’s gonna save me when the sky is crashing down?

I am broken

Notes:
We were listening to a lot of Sade and Massive Attack when we made this one… can you tell? If you listen closely you’ll notice some hospital sounds and street noises mixed into the track. We also recorded some vinyl noise off of a record and layered it under the drums to give the track a bit more grit.

03. PARKS ON FIRE
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic
Guitars, vocal pads – Brian Trifon

Notes:
The title was inspired by the images we saw of the fire in Griffith Park (Los Angeles) in May 2007, which reminded us of the Oakland hills fire we lived through as kids. The imagery of fire and the contradictions it embodies — fire is beautiful but also dangerous, it’s destructive but also reproductive — seemed to fit this track quite well.

04. INFILTRATION
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic

Notes:
The title “Infiltration” was inspired by the website/magazine Infiltration.org which features wonderful accounts of people exploring abandoned buildings, tunnels, and other urban spaces. If we had to choose a soundtrack for being alone in an abandoned building on a rainy night, this would probably be it. The rain sounds you hear in the track were recorded by us outside our studio on a rainy day.

05. LIES
Written and programmed by Trifonic / Lyrics by Laurence Trifon
Mixed by Trifonic and John Rodd
Vocals – Amelia June
Guitars – Brian Trifon

Lyrics:
When you walked away it was the
Saddest day the world has known
Shattered my heart and left me in
Pieces of a broken home
Now you say you need me
Standing at the door
Asking if you can come in
And I can’t say no, I can’t say no

You and I just can’t say goodbye
Every time we do, well
It’s just another lie
I know you’re no good for me, but
Every time I’m with you there’s
Nowhere I’d rather be

We’ve been to hell, been burnt by the
Flames of a pain so deep that
Even the strongest god in the heavens would
Kneel and weep
But here I lie
Pressed against your skin
Right where I want to be
You’re the sweetest sin

Notes:
We spent one afternoon going through every room in our house and recording as many interesting sounds as we could. A lot of those sounds ended up as percussion on “Lies” — the dryer door slamming, the rattling sound of a light bulb being switched on, the fizzing of a soda bottle being opened, and the opening and closing of squeaky cabinets, to name a few.

06. TRANSGENIC
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic
Guitars, bowed bass, vocal pads – Brian Trifon

Notes:
The term transgenic refers to a plant or animal that contains genes from another species, usually as a result of scientific experimentation. In our music we often combine elements that don’t necessarily belong together and try to find a way to make them work.

07. SOONER OR LATER
Written by Trifonic and Christina Courtin / Lyrics by Sarah Ciston
Programmed by Trifonic
Mixed by Trifonic and John Rodd
Vocals – Christina Courtin (courtesy of Nonesuch Records)
Guitars, bass – Brian Trifon

Lyrics:
How happy we are today
The feeling will only escape
No matter who we blame it on
When the thrill is gone, it’s gone, it’s gone
This could be the best we got
And what we got is on our hands
Are you going to the countdown?

Sooner or later it’s all in the past
Sooner or later it floats above the glass
Sooner or later it breaks inside the cast
Sooner or later…

Concrete rubble for concrete dreams
Grains of sand floating in the sea
Passing trains, all the passing trees
Can you heed the whistle please?

Notes:
We had been wanting to do a track with Christina, who is our cousin, for a long time. We finally got our chance on “Sooner Or Later.” We recorded Christina singing a bunch of different background vocal melodies and notes, and then created a kit out of those notes that we could play on a keyboard. We used that to create the background vocals at the very beginning of the track and right after the first chorus.

08. VACUUM TREE
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic
Guitars, bass – Brian Trifon

Notes:
We saw a story last year about trees that had been genetically modified to absorb toxins from industrial contamination. This inspired the name “Vacuum Tree.”

09. TERMINAL A
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic

Notes:
“Terminal A” and “Terminal B” were both inspired by the webcam images of the Oakland port available online. Ports are lonely, industrial, strange and intriguing places, and we tried to capture all of those feelings in this track. We threw a lot of weird sounds into this one, everything from shoe squeaks and raquetball hits to phone sounds and string plucks.

10. TERMINAL B
Written, programmed and mixed by Trifonic

Notes:
This track is basically a continuation of “Terminal A.” It actually started as the same song and then we split it into two tracks. Some of the ambient sounds were created from field recordings that Brian made during a hike, which included a barking dog and a gate opening.

11. GOOD ENOUGH
Written and programmed by Trifonic / Lyrics by Laurence Trifon
Mixed by Trifonic and John Rodd
Vocals – David Forest
Guitars, bass – Brian Trifon

Lyrics:
I will be here when you need me by your side
I will be here once the thrill is gone
I will be here when everything is just right
I will be here after you move on

I’m a rock in the ocean
And you are the tide
You know I am going nowhere
I’m just waiting here for the water to rise

I don’t know how the story ends
And I don’t want to know, so if you do
Don’t tell me
Let’s pretend we write it as we go
Promises are so hard to keep
We say things we don’t mean
You’re here for now is good enough for me

Notes:
We really wanted this track to feel like a distant, forgotten memory. We ran the vocals through an effects chain to make them sound lo-fi, like we found them on an old dusty cassette tape. We also time-stretched some guitar and piano sounds and then dubbed them back and forth on a nearly-broken cassette player to create some noise and grit at various points in the track.