Track By Tracks: Wolves In Winter - The Calling Quiet (2023)

1. The cord that ends the pain:

I had been reading lots of books by Michel Foucault and writing down interesting parts to use for lyrics. This one in particular comes from a book called The spectacle of the scaffold. It starts by describing the horrific torture of would-be regiside Damiens. Just those first few pages were enough to write the song. A good read if ever you get the chance.

2. Pastime for helots:

This started from the title. A Helot was a class of people in ancient Sparta, between a slave and a citizen. Thematically the song is about being stuck between a rock and a hard place, morally, physically, and spiritually.


Another Foucault inspired piece. This time about Herculine Barbin. Barbin was born inter-sex and assigned female at birth but in later life was reclassified and lived the rest of their life as a man with disastrous consequences. The song is from the point of view of Barbin in later life, lamenting what had become of them. It's a really compelling account of Barbin's lived experience and shares much in common with the sex/gender debate of the modern era.

4. Promised harvest:

This was the first set of lyrics I wrote for the band and is a bit of a mish-mash of ideas. There is the idea of servitude and submission but also regeneration through toil.

In ancient Celtic belief there was the idea that a king would be sacrificed in order for the next year's crops to grow. This comes into contradiction with how things are today where it is the lower classes that are continually sacrificed in order to reach the same ends.

The line "sons of toil" is from the Lancastrian poet Edwin Waugh. It seemed so perfect and helped to bridge the gap between ancient and modern ideas.

5. Nemesis:

This, along with much of my work, has employed the Cut-Up technique, where I take things from various places and essentially paraphrase them until it fits the song. This has a loose connection with the story of Faust in that it involves manifestation gone wrong. Many of the self-help books and social media gurus of today often spout dangerous practices and selfish ideas.

If there is a message in this song it might be to properly scrutinize your desires but take from it what you will.

6. Calling the quiet:

I struggled with this song, I was out of ideas and tried to be honest with myself. I was emotionally exhausted with life and had reached a point where my love of music was being compromised by being broke. I thought it would be best to give up and just disappear into work. Luckily the guys in the band stood by me and refused to let me quit.

The song tells of the cycle of depression I got myself in and how it affected my dreams and ambitions.

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