Season Ten are known for their psychedelic sound and innovative recording techniques. ‘Twelve/Eight,’ the fourth single from their upcoming album Brainstorm, however, feels more in line with alternative pop.
Pink Wafer sat down with frontman Jared Metz to discuss the themes of the track and detail everything that went on behind the scenes to create it.
Stream ‘Twelve/Eight’ here!
How does ‘Twelve/Eight’ stand out amongst the other tracks on the album?
Jared: ‘Twelve/Eight’ is a weirdo for a few reasons. Our bassist Michael actually wrote the lyrics, when I couldn’t think of a premise. He wrote the lyrics based on the vibe of the song, which ended up being about cruising with a girl you like to the ‘Dari Bar’ and sharing music along the way.
The Dari Bar is a hidden gem around the area we grew up in and the album cover for the single features us in front of the building. We photoshopped the band name and song title where they list the food they have. This song, believe it or not, was recorded with Ariel Pink in mind, with a little thinner guitar tone, lots of fuzz on the vocal, and more ambient in nature, even though it’s a pretty standard pop tune at its core.
When listening to ‘Twelve/Eight,’ I can hear the unfiltered fun of a pop track but it still has a grittiness to it. How does your music develop? Did you have a sound in mind for your album or do you let each song run away with itself?
Jared: The essence of the album was loosely based on the first single, ‘Subtleness,’ with tinges of garage rock but simultaneously ambient and dynamic. Honestly, I find myself in different genres a few times a year, so it’s really about narrowing down the ideas that I want to show the boys and seeing if we can get together a cohesive album. Either way, our records almost always turn out like a big family of songs, where each child has its own personality but they all have similar noses, ya know?
Great bit of personification! I’m sure choosing a favourite song is much like choosing a favourite child. So, what inspired the track? Why should people care about ‘Twelve/Eight’?
Jared: I’d say, like our other songs, the lyrics are written based on how the song feels. It’s super upbeat and released right when spring hits which is when the Dari Bar opens up. We always do a lot of calculations with our releases and their timing. Keep an ear out for song titles and band names!
Everyone can relate to the first feeling of spring and having a new love interest. What’s really cool is Michael, who wrote the lyrics, references music that me and the girl I was dating were sharing with each other!
I love how deeply you consider every aspect of the songs, including the release time. It definitely feels like a tune for the sunshine. If you could name a place/event/scenario that ‘Twelve/Eight’ would be most enjoyed at, what would you say?
Jared: Oh great question! I’d love to play this one early in the day at a music festival, most definitely at the beach. I’ve had a few people say they put this on during a workout and it kept them going! That’s really something I’ve never considered, Season Ten during a workout.
The beach feels like the perfect place! If you could be on the setlist of any festival, where would you pick?
Let’s stick with the vibe and say Hangout Fest, which is on the beach in Alabama, USA! But also Bonnaroo is a big bucket list festival.
Can you give a bit of background on how the song was made? Who was involved in the creation and how?
Jared: Everything usually begins with Jared in his bedroom playing acoustic guitar. That riff was initially a slower idea, but when Alex Murphy-White started writing the drum part, the whole song changed format, and we finished most of it in one day. A couple of years ago, Alex Sarkisov (keyboard and guitar) created a microphone out of an old handheld, cable telephone from the 80s, and that’s exclusively how I recorded the vocals on this one.
That’s super interesting how you used an unconventional mic! You can definitely hear how it affects your voice. Is playing around with different sounds and techniques something that carries through the album?
Jared: Yeah! The phone mic is used throughout the album, which is something we were doing back in our ‘Tiny New Dimension,’ days, but another thing we were doing was something that hip-hop/EDM producers do which is sample their own voice and use it as textures. In ‘Brainstorm’ for example, we took my vocal track and overlaid the voice hits with a ton of Reverb and Delay to fill up some space, and now we can’t perform it without the backing track of post-production sounds, it’s so vital to the song.
It’s great to hear how much you put into the editing and mixing of each track. It must take some time. So, I want to open the floor up to you. Is there anything else you want to highlight about ‘Twelve/Eight’ that you’d love for people to know?
Twelve/Eight might be one of the poppiest songs we’ve written, but it’s sort of the black sheep on the record. The album covers a lot of ground sonically and always gets a big crowd response for its tempo and vibe. It’s the sort of direction we’re moving in for the next project. So there will be more songs like it in the future from Season Ten.
Stream ‘Twelve/Eight’ here!