Track By Tracks: Async Await - Irretrospective Part.3 (2024)

1. Just Be Yourself (Unless You Suck):

When I started writing the lyrics for “Just Be Yourself”, it was a criticism of one of my friends who I felt was purposefully isolating himself because of his own self-loathing, but in the process, I realized it was really me doing the same thing and projecting my feelings onto him. It’s about prematurely giving up on relationships with friends because you don’t feel like you’re worthy of them, and then hypocritically feeling indignant about not having people who care about you. The moral is that if you expect others to care about you, you have to care about yourself and improve yourself enough to have some self-respect. You can’t feel worthy of love from anyone else without feeling worthy of your own love. This was a turning point in my songwriting for these EPs where I started looking at things retrospectively instead of in the moment and self-absorbed. The song is also a departure compositionally from attempting to fit into a genre that I felt would be more appealing and instead embracing the dumb almost-metal riffs that come naturally to me.

2. Above My Epitaph:

I wrote the lyrics for “Above My Epitaph” drunk in my basement while contemplating the death of my father and my own inevitable death. I can’t quite remember what I originally meant with the last line of the chorus, “I’ll have a picture of you above my epitaph”, or who exactly I was talking to, but I think it was something to the effect that a person’s death does not represent their life. The song dabbles with a few dangerously egotistical ideas. First, the desire to leave a certain legacy and be able to shape that legacy the way you want it, and second, that life is some sort of illusory trial through which we’re put to determine our value in some greater hypothetical hierarchy. I feel that both of these ideas are counterproductive to leading healthy and productive lives. Like all others, this song is just a snapshot of a certain feeling in a certain time and place.

3. To Be Or Not To Be:

I wrote this one around 2020, so it is heavily influenced by the societal and political events of the time. It’s about the people who see these events unfold around them and still insist that everything is ok, that there is no injustice, and that the way things are is the way things should be. In other words, it's about people who maintain delusions to support their existing worldview or who specifically lie to support their own financial and political interests and my own personal exhaustion with these types of human behavior.

4. Garbage Party:

“Garbage Party” is a summary of the lyrical content of the “Irretrospective” series, a critique of my own lifestyle, and a commentary about how modern society has eliminated any sense of hope that we have to improve our standing in life. The last line of the chorus, “shutting off my brain, do it the hard way,” is about drinking to silence the thoughts and quell the pain of contemplating our own existence in a culture with distorted values. The original version of this song was released in 2021 but I felt like an updated and improved version was necessary to cap off this series of EPs.

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