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Behind The Artworks: Sionis - EGO (2020)

The album title was originally called “One Self” and was later changed to “EGO”. This was primarily due to a deeper reflection of the lyrical content and the addition of the Alan Watts clips that highlight the idea of an EGO. The album starts off with songs that are about hating yourself and being trapped inside your own body and mind, as well as being a prisoner to the social structure around you and a slave to the agendas of the political body. The beginning of the album starts out more depressing, defeating, and hopeless in nature. These earlier songs are meant to display the darkest parts of our world and ourselves – what our EGO’s have created. The album first talks about this on an internal level – what it is like to chase after our EGO’s most individual desires and how it actually destroys us to do this. It later ties the idea of the EGO into concepts that are collectively shared such as greed, war, death, destruction, inequality, and ruin. Throughout these songs, there is an underlying message about how humans have constructed these realities, how we are manifesting our own destiny through the idea of trying to create the world we were taught to care about and value most.

Midway through, the album asks the listener to think about what it could be like to be someone who cares deeply about other things - about changing these realities - and what it would mean to try to shift our world in a different direction. It first delves into the dark elements of this - about feeling alone with these emotions and how it can be isolating to internalize your value systems as exiled or outlandish. At the worst of this, the album showcases how people can feel so helpless and hopeless towards change that they can want to give up or detach entirely. The more uplifting messages near the end of the album are about waking up and realizing the error of our ways. The lyrics have focus on coming to terms with our lost ways and returning to our more natural and harmonious ways of living amongst one another and our planet. Of joining together to save our world. Some of these messages draw from Indigenous teachings and are guided by some of the stories that have been gifted from Elders to members of the band. Overall, they hold the message that we are more powerful as a collective group, supporting one another, caring for one another, and not being consumed by our own EGO and quest for individual success. If the beginning of the album is the expression of problems created by the EGO, then the end is more about the solutions to these problems. On this album, the solutions come with a theme of healing in harmony with one another on our quest for shared balance and collective wellness.

The album artwork represents a picture of a man holding a city on his back to show the cost of the EGO’s way of life – of greed, wealth, power, and fame. The image also shows one person carrying that on their backs as they stand on a tiny piece of land in space, alone, with the weight of all of that crippling their very ability to walk and move forward. This is to reflect what it is like to live by the EGO, to show what it takes away from us and how it leaves us to be alone. Simply put, the quest of the EGO leads us astray from our shared purposes, and it turns our world into a fractured foundation on which we continue to build the structure for our future.

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