Song dissection: Sinking in the past

I was playing Pet Shop Boys’ Luna Park on the piano, when I got distracted to improvise a new Unzyme tune. For the first demo of the song, I sang some dummy lyrics from Luna Park – “On the shooting range…“, in a different rhythm and melody. Sometimes it’s hard to replace the original demo lyrics with more meaningful lyrics. For this song, I had to rewrite the verses many times, but I’m quite happy with the end result. The story is about a dying relationship, where your partner is clinging on to the past glories of the relationship. A mental image of what used to be true. The lyrics could also be about one’s romantic view over the past, and refusing to see that everything has changed. It could even be about a memory loss disease, where life is slowly moving into decaying memories. That’s heartbreaking to witness (not that I’ve had to).

I usually hate old school synthesizer sounds, such as the Oberheim sound used in the beginning and the end of this song, but I just couldn’t come up with a better sound. In hindsight, I think it fits the song reasonably well. I probably should’ve just accepted the sound in the first place, even though it reminds me of the seventies. In 2020, such analogue sounds are actually more fashionable than in 2015. For some reason, analogue sounds have become very popular in 2020, which gives us all the more reason to stick to software synthesizers (like we’ve always done).

I played an early version of the track to Jaani Peuhu (Iconcrash, Swallow the Sun, etc.), who advised me to change the final notes of the chorus. I had a busier note progression for the words “as a ghost”, but Jaani’s suggestion to slow them down made a lot of sense. I changed the melody according to Jaani’s suggestion.

Sinking in the past was a key part of our live show from 2014 to 2016. We played it on the Override Tour in Germany in 2015. After we started to collaborate with music producer Lasse Turunen, our sound got so much better, that we pretty much ditched all songs written before 2016. Now we mostly play newer songs, since the production level of our latest stuff is more coherent. Sometimes I miss playing these older songs, because singing older songs takes me back to the feelings that I experienced when I was writing them. And even if the production isn’t as great as on some newer albums, they’re still good songs.

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