tyler-the-creator-wolf

Wolf

music

Tyler the Creator.  We’re talking about a guy that ate a cockroach to get famous.  A dude that drops the “F-bomb” frequent and willingly to show his obvious hate for people and the world itself (Haley Williams/Bruno Mars/B.O.B/Republicans). He throws carnivals and likes pink doughnuts. Mentions rape and masturbation in verse. All because it is fun for him to swear and act like a kid. HE TWEETS IN ALL CAPS ABOUT MAKING SANDWICHES. His Instagram name is felciathegoat. He hates the radio and ratings that see him as being a failure.  Better run MTV.

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Tyler leads Odd Future, a random assortment of crew members (Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Taco etc) that have a destructive demeanor, but yet a colorful vocabulary in their aggressive rhymes and beats that make for an uncomfortable listen to a normal person. Such as this…

I’m a f*cking walking paradox, no I’m not
Threesomes with a f*cking triceratops, Reptar
Rapping as I’m mocking deaf rock stars

Somewhere between talent and psychotic.  Clever with word play for sure, but the imagery goes a little too far.  But yo, that is Tyler and he doesn’t care what you think about him.  He knows he is different and that’s just how he has fun. YDG?

He is a rebel and hearing his different outlook on life is exciting to witness as a listener and especially as a fan that enjoys his creativity and production capabilities.

Just like how a viewer sympathizes for a gangster in a movie, we can do the same for Tyler who in essence has the same desires that we have in life.  Whether it be getting to know and be with a girl that seems impossible to move in on, to being stable in his own mind because a lot of people out their battle depression and anxiety.

Tyler’s latest album “Wolf” is one of my favorite concept albums in recent years mostly for the fact that every song can stand alone.  Through all the schemes, as a viewer I feel so attached to the story and the alter-egos that Tyler represents showing his true feelings and emotions on touchy subjects matters such as the absence of his dad in his life, or cancer “that ate his Grammy up”. It’s a part of a greater story and getting lost in Tyler’s references and messed up mindset is well worth the journey. It can get confusing even after two years of listening, so let’s get funky with it.

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I. Wolf starts off introducing us to two main characters that are a part of Tyler’s self-conscience.  Samuel, a member of Camp Flognaw kicks off the album singing “F*ck you” to everything and everyone over a piano based angelic tune.  Professor TC, the camp director, applauds Samuel for his performance and introduces him to Wolf who is a new member of the camp.  The camp serves as an escape to the outdoors (which Tyler actually appreciates in real life) for each character as they suffer from mental problems and social issues.  Samuel disregards Wolf’s conversation about Jazz music and just like the song in the beginning of the album says he does not mess with him and wants him to stay out of his way.  The album continually switches perspectives between Wolf and Samuel.

II. “Cowboy” shows the the lonely side of Samuel  flirting with the imagery of shadows and smoking at the dock to portray somebody that is on their own quest and no matter how much it seems they have, they still believe it isn’t enough to make them whole mostly because of self-awareness and lack of belonging.  This shows the side of Tyler that  speaks to his line “I’m as lonely as the crackers that super models eats.”  The story sparks  Wolf to ask Samuel about a girl that passed by.  Samuel angrily responds that it is Salem, his girlfriend and to stay away from her.

Wolf ignores his threats and pursues his girlfriend in “Awkward” as it was his first official date.  This track which shows a side of Wolf who lacks confidence and is insecure in his abilities to talk to Salem, who has him going crazy in his head. Her name is his password.  His feelings are locked up in a zip lock bag and he is claustrophobic in his attempts trying to find the courage to break open the seal and make his relationship with her normal.  They still hold no title after the date and it causes Wolf to search more desperately in his internal struggle.  The track hints at young love and how everything is awkward at first when it comes to liking each other.  Also, how we get caught up in feelings for girls so easily and fall so hard because we never tasted the actual physical presence of love before.

Samuel continues his cowboy thrill ride on his bicycle “Slater” without his girlfriend which I think this illusion is created in his mind.  The story is told through the success of Tyler the Creator which is the opposite of what Samuel has, nothing. Tyler lives a life of a star “kickin it in the burbs” and going crazy at shows because he holds a title. This is a false perception that Samuel has of himself as his conscience gets hazy. Frank Ocean says to Samuel “I guess you’re a cool guy, you’re talking to a f*cking bike, loser.” Samuel must have tried to persuade him about the lavish lifestyle he lives, but in the end he was talking to an object that wasn’t living.

psh

This all leads to “48” which portrays Samuel as a drug dealer selling crack and deepening his wounds and his life in general.  The Nas interview talks about how crack messed up the streets, the individuals that took the drugs and the sellers.  Samuel gets caught up in this lifestyle because he has nothing and ends up doing more damage to himself and the people he sells to.  He supports his family, but in reality he is lost at sea and “nobody wins” as Nas says when it is all said and done. His conscience is fading away and he hates it because he knows what’s right, but he has to survive somehow. Also, this song pokes at the struggles in the black community of drug trading in less privileged communities because it isn’t fair how they ended up because of racial inequality, but somehow they had to get by.

crack

Party/Campfire/Bimmer

A breath of fresh air at night in the great outdoors.  Wolf comes out of his shell and approaches Salem with a new acceptance of how different he is compared to everyone else.  For this reason, she should take a chance with him. He’s excited to be at camp and embraces his struggles in “Campfire” with a new outlook on life and appreciation the little things like marshmallows, chocolate and just being outside. An upbeat transition to “Bimmer” reveals Wolf and his new found life of sex.  The awesome car is a metaphor for how special Salem is to her.  Bimmers are amazing looking cars inside and out. “The perfect two seater”.  Tyler is so exuberant in his word play with sex and the different parts of the car comparing the ignition and the key to the act as well as the drive of the car in motion to Salem and Wolf’s sex drive.

III.  Tensions start flaring after the three part song. In the next skit, a fellow camper and drug user tells Samuel that Wolf has been seeing Salem and they went to the lake.  Samuel is furious not only because he told Wolf to stay out of his way, but his only love is with somebody else (as demonstrated in IFHY)

ifhy

What a perfect song. Not only the various instruments and beats, but the conception that Samuel is stuck in the middle of love and hate.  He is pissed because Salem left him for Wolf. Salem is an addiction for Sam and she has more highs and lows for him compared to the drugs he substitutes in place of her.

Cause when I hear your name I can not stop cheesing
I love you so much that my heart stops beating when you’re leaving
And I’m grieving and my heart starts bleeding
Life without you has no god damn meaning
Sorry I’m passive aggressive for no god damn reason
It’s that my mood change like these god damn seasons
I’ll fall for you, but I love you
Tyler is so back and forth with his word play and those thoughts that stream in his head are thrown in our face. We can all say that we were a victim of somebody that mentally messed with our brain all because of the game of love.  We love that person because we think they’re beautiful, but they moved on from us and we hate them.  We get trapped in this mind game where we would do anything to have them back and like Tyler said without that special person life isn’t worth living anymore.
After IFHY, Salem tells Wolf that Sam is “actually a dweeb” and he is messed up from not having a dad “Answer” and getting bullied back home “Pigs”.
Answer, my favorite track on the album, goes into Tyler’s real life depression of not having a father in life through Sam’s perspective.  He hates his dad for not being there for him and blames him for the facial hair he has and for beginning his career that propelled his music of dark emotions and hate for everybody.  In essence, if he called him, Tyler hopes he could talk to him and receive an explanation as to where he was all of Tyler’s life.  I feel it’s a part that would make Tyler whole since his father was missing his whole life.  The song feels like he is floating on a bubble in a dreamy colorful location reminiscing and thinking of what could have been.
“Pigs” begins the rampage of Samuel who is coming after all the bullies in the world as well as anyone that gets in his way, in particular Wolf for stealing Salem.  It’s weird because we come back to the theme of Tyler contradicting his thoughts saying he wants to kill everybody like a mass murderer (pumping like his inhaler) ,but at the same time he’s a kid that wants peace (wouldn’t hurt a fly. or even join an army) and just wants to be left alone.
The skit after “Parking Lot” reveals Wolf becoming aware that Samuel wants to kill him.  He lashes back and says “not if I get to him first”.
It’s on.
IV.
Samuel gets to Earl after Wolf recruits him and Domo and kills him at the end of his verse that contemplates suicide in “Rusty”.
“Trashwang” is war.  From the screaming and bombing at the beginning, the viewer can tell it’s about to go down.  This is where Sam and Wolf’s crews go after it.  Wolf’s crew is flaunting the whole time.They have so much fun throwing parties with ferris wheels and being absolutely vulgar promising Sam’s crew they can’t be messed with.  They have tanks and goons with aim.
Don’t let the skateboards fool you,
Know n*ggas that pull triggers
tamale
“Tamale” is definitely the weirdest song I’ve ever listened to and masturbation and sexual acts are used throughout the song.  This surprisingly is apart of the story as Wolf gets sent to TC for getting caught in the act at camp. The background Tamale voice is the most annoying cartoon creature voice.  It’s such a Tyler song and if any other artist produced the song, it wouldn’t work at all.
V. The album ends with “Lone”. Lone Wolf. Get it?  The last and first song in all of his albums correspond. TC takes the role as a therapist asking Wolf why he’s been getting in such mischief with fights and unnecessary foolishness. Wolf is lonely with all the stardom and wants to quit , but can’t.  He has responsibility now and the money helps him have the excitement and go to different places to reek havoc. “Life is paying for thrills.” The last half of the first verse talk about Tyler using the challenges and the tough times he’s been through paint a picture for all to see.  He uses music as a creative outlet to get his pain off his chest and a lot of listeners like myself can relate to a certain extent.
“A year ago I was broke, now how can I afford this
I started off with disposables now I have an assortment
And I’m using these negatives to develop a portrait
Now the frame is a pain in the ass to get it in
Without a scratch or stain on the glass
But that’s not important, just as long as it’s printed”
Tyler has more pressure to support his family and friends ,but in the end he is still the same outgoing kid.  Not everything and everybody is going to accept you for the changes you make, but deep down you know you still fit the frame.  Some things just got left out. Tyler can stay sane getting these thoughts down.
Even sadder in this song Tyler talks about the time when his grandmother passes away.  It’s different for Tyler to actually care about something and I think death does that to us, it changes us in the strangest way.  The fact that he had just saw her last week and that she is gone now is awkward to him. He doesn’t know how to deal with this situation because he never dealt with death before so he is stuck in his emotions, trying to adjust his seat to find the right way to feel.  At the hospital where his grandmother is, he can’t even look when he talks because it’s awkward to him.  She was weak and there was nothing he can do about it.  She died that night. The dreary chords work perfectly in this song and piano playing in the background go along with the storytelling of Wolf’s pain.
We end our roller coaster ride with TC sympathizing for Wolf saying his story was deep.  TC also says to Wolf that Sam was looking for him.  Wolf responds back angrily saying he hates him and if he saw him he would have killed him.
oakwood tyler
What can we take from this story? A lot actually, but i think the loneliness aspect is the most important.  Throughout the story the protagonists are going through a struggle to find themselves and cope with tragedy.
Sam goes crazy because he is so alone and loses his girlfriend.  He moves toward drugs and revenge to satisfy the part in himself that was missing.
As for Wolf, he starts off new at the camp alone searching for new adventures and a way to calm down the demons that float within him.  Towards the middle of the album he is content and his in a relationship with Slater and the fame and fortune seem to be going his way.  At the end of the album he feels so alone and it doesn’t matter who he has to back him up in his feud with Sam. He is going to be lonely because he can’t find the happiness deep in himself and he has more responsibility now.  He doesn’t feel worth it and doesn’t think he can amount to much floating in his thoughts and feeling bad for himself.
The Lone Wolf (as the album suggests by way of track-listing) shows us the journeys these guys have to take to show the different sides of Tyler’s mind.  Tyler is the lone wolf. I think the softer side of Tyler wants us to understand that everybody will go through a tough time and feel like they are not meant to exist.
The back and forth thoughts in our head make us question what is right, or wrong, but we keep on pushing on in hope to be whole and apart of a bigger something.  Maybe that’s over analyzing because I think Tyler wanted to mostly entertain his audience with great production and show off his growth as an artist, but digging deeper shows his true story.
tyler the end
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Poetry: quiescent ontogeny (shedding September skin)

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Dear Hope

image1

go back some steps and paint the rest the colors they were meant to be.

parasites preventing psychology-
absent sounds without answers, potential apart metamorphosis.
the mistakes were easy,
splitting monochrome apart of the omniscient wind.

and they never learned anything.

I couldn’t escape the quiescence of ontogeny
descending east or west in our
oblivion as nothing-
these spider webs bury dead
under my intuition
ashamed of my own decisions
refusing to light,
but the flicker always subtle in the night,
aggressive how I wanted to make it shine.

we’re butterflies with broken mirrors,
scintillatingly self-reflecting that our deepest fears will never resonate with
the man under the bridge or the
child in Idaho or the
part of my father i never want to see in myself,
but always will.
hand-crafted maps fade because we’re told to abandon
caterpillars
as if this growth was a virus and not a blessing…

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DEAR HOPE PREMIER: Sabrina Kennedy’s “If Only” Official Music Video

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A music video brought to you by We Must Be Broken starring Real World star Sabrina Kennedy

Dear Hope

Today, Dear Hope is proud to premier the official music video for “If Only”, the debut single from MTV Real Word star Sabrina Kennedy.

The video is inspired by our Consumed photography series that we have been working on since the Fall of 2015. The project aims to use photography and body art to demonstrate the internal battle that people with depression and anxiety face externally, because so much of the stigma and stereotypes surrounding mental health conditions exist because we can’t physically see them the way we see a physical illness.

Anthia 0998Alex Yell Edit

But It’s not all in your head. It’s real. And we hope that by spreading awareness and bringing people together through community, art, and story telling we can help people feel like they are not alone – they are loved.

Here’s what Sabrina had to say about “If Only” and her own struggle with depression:

“If Only represents a very hard time in…

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Poetry: Dream/Nightmare by Zachary Johnson

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Check out my new journal entry! Peace to everyone 🙂

Dear Hope

I fell asleep into another place and time.
Somewhere in between where the strings align toward another galaxy.

Isn’t the idea of space and motion dimensional in your mind?
The cheddar craters of the moon are dense similar to the unconscious walls in this place.

Sideways in suggestion, the memories channel it all back.
I wasn’t sure if I would come back, or not.
In this zone I am immortal, premature youth, everlasting eternity.

Unity cherishes us entirely.

Elevate between perishable digressions.
Infinitely vague by others preliminary impressions.
I didn’t know where I belonged past these paper-thin sheets.
Travel its forsaken boundaries that separate our inception alike.

Maybe if I sat here Saturn would pass this by.
Setting fire to sleeping burdens in every constricted corner.

I woke up.

I could be drifting off again please excuse my thoughts.
They don’t seem to fit this occasioned equation.
Problems fate couldn’t…

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Mental Illness Through Photography: Anxiety

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Check out my buddy Paul’s new amazing project that depicts mental illness through photography. SHARE SHARE SHARE

Dear Hope

Consumed Logo Edit

What if mental illnesses were shown on the outside? 

Would we still be afraid to ask for help?


The slideshow below is showcasing some of the shots that were taken during my last photo shoot for my project ConsumedAs someone who has personally fought both depression and anxiety I looked for a way to personify this invisible illness that no one can see.

How does anxiety feel? 

Anxiety creeps up on you and suffocates the surrounding air. You can feel it approaching but theres nothing you can do to stop it. It consumes you with the idea that what could go wrong, will, and leaves you stuck in your tracks. As the thoughts continue a depression sinks in as you realize that you are not the one in control of you thoughts. 

And then you start to feel alone.

Consumed by your illness.


I hope these photos help you represent…

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Farewell to Sound

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Conceptz was a blog about concept albums and the stories they tell. It also told the tale of the music industry today.

While this isn’t the last you’ll see from my writing, I decided not to go ahead and blog about music anymore. 

I would love to stick to poetry and creative writing so if you could share my blog, I hope that I could build a fan base that appreciates my crazy experimental work.

FAREWELL TO SOUND

final-fantasy-ix-zidane-2

Revive

Writing

The relics sat in the petals scattered amongst wildflowers. Elder geese flock from the Indian lakes tribbing conquest in their sun burnt trails. When did these seasons go? Could they decide the sacrifices we relinquish when this life splattered bitter hawthorns?

You could stay happy there in the shrubbery where I broke your heart as transgression. Can we get some more yellow in here so the moonlight can reflect our broken glasses that fill the bartender’s requests past 2 AM?The medicine never helped to prove all of my hidden confessions.

Sustaining yourself in galaxies

where the radiance in your eye

was fair enough for conquest

afar The Conde Petie Mountain Path

The lingering smell of hazelnut

faltered my longing for a better life.

Similar to the broken pottery in your

apartment, a delicacy out of spite.

Cross-cutting our way past this final tempest a fantasy like no other, where the music plays a decadence in our touch.  Promising the writing into the night through star-crossed survival. Poetry in motion streams amongst the different colors that float in the recognition of our interests.

I enjoyed the little things about you

and I hated them too.

Bring me to life in hope that we are

everlasting when we die.

Phoenix

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Phoenix

Act I:

P:  The outside world perceives me as an uncracked nut waiting to be opened up

in the life I had not yet known.  My arms curled securely at the surface that enclosed my dwellings. Eyes closed in anticipation of new beginnings.

P: I wonder what they would be like. I want to know how they would care for me in the late utterances of the night, where my cries of adolescence spark interests of caring souls.  Nightingales spin the bed toys of so many little critters, hovering over like constellations.  Make a wish and say goodnight.

P: What would they say when they saw me? Was it everything they could muster when they picked me up in disbelief? Fingertips quivering for fear that the time would never reach the destination of that day.

P: Tell me something.  Have you ever felt so alone in the corner of your room where the shadows change patterns all over the blank walls. Your hand slides down its rough contents, but still not real. The watchtower clock ticks vivaciously over the months, but still nothing close to what you seek because it’s not the touch you feel when you’re alive.  But at the very same time, as you commenced your darkest hour, you were inches… no centimeters from being whole. I swore I would never be the same again because you both were never there.

Act 2:

  1. I was terrified when I called you and there was no answer. I wonder if they heard anything in particular.  The response of wavelengths disappearing into the nothingness of that bug you couldn’t catch. A net only familiar with wind as it slips through gridded openings.

P: My parents, Alexandra and Bryce continued a conversation. I wasn’t sure of this location, but there were so many people.  So many faces.  I saw their expression and how they talked to each other.

B: “Are you ready sweetie?  This is what’s best for us.” Bryce said discreetly as he scratched his beard and looked sincerely into my mother’s eyes that bled of hazel and dismay.

Act 3:

Their wedding was a tale of distant love. The man, my father from Michigan worked at his family’s ranch in hope that his dreams surpassed the cattle’s scattered hay. His flannel lay sweaty in the fields of complacency, but never turned back to these actions unfamiliar to his shelter.

Her story, my mother originated in the depths of forsaken love. Her memories of past relationships run parallel to broken hearts, stinging bitter of arrow dart perversions. Alexandra swore that nobody was worth the healing of her wounds that repeatedly scraped the surface.

A local bar was a pathetic place to meet.  After work through curiosity they decided to greet.  Eyes met from across the room like the awkward contacts, removing themselves from the bar’s wooden stools that shook like the foaming beer ale.

A one night stand led to more on the balcony where the grapevines tangled the web they weave.

Act 4:

P: There was a moment of suspense.  Almost as if the room stood still in the wilderness with nothing moving.  Like the foliage falling from an evergreen tree, as it hits the ground time passed, but the leaves never did…then the wind picked up.

P: I could see my mother started to tear up, but I was confused where her emotions came from.

A: “I remember we talked about it so many times, but now that I’m here it just seems so surreal. I feel like my body is frozen and I just don’t know”, my mother exclaimed.  Her hands now covered her eyes and my father was there to comfort her as he sat in the chair next to her with sympathizing arms.

P: She continued whimpering, almost as if she lost all hope in seeing me. Almost as if I was a broken memory.  I was so close to her.

B: “We can get through this together.  What happened has happened and we’re here now to right our wrongs” Bryce said.

A: “I just want to see his face and the joy he could bring to our family.  I don’t want to say goodbye” Alexandra gasped.

B: “This is the hardest step Alex”, Bryce admitted.

(His hand now clenched to her palm as she held her head back in agony)

Act 5:

P: I never saw this coming. I’m scared I can’t be fixed. This couldn’t be the end for me.  The end for us. I never began my journey and I never took my first step.  A crawling movement, no my first words never left my toothless mouth.  The lies you told, they poured into the cobwebs of the forgotten shed, building up for me to fall down this slanting slope I travel. I just wanted to be human. Was this too much to ask?

P: I saw the suction tool progressively slither closer to where I was in pink matter.

My time was up and I had no answers.  No reason for believing in these people if you could even call them that. Monsters that hid my destiny. The doctor steadily approached the region I was in.  The currents were harsh and I couldn’t stand my ground.  A storm was brewing as the tea kettle hisses.  You could see it all.

P: Goodbye ever-long, may we never meet again.

(My body ripped into the pieces that never fully developed as the tubes sucked me in with piercing sounds. Feeling it never coming back, as I painfully drifted into the unknown.

A: Alexandra in shock screamed, “My baby”!

American Idiot

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Music and sports are easily my two favorite luxuries in life.  Both serve as entertainment and arts that can be perfected by talent and hard-work.  There’s something similar to sports teams and bands because they all have a common goal and that’s to be successful either by selling a ton of albums, or winning championships.

We see it all the time.  Where are my Patriots fans at? Ever here “Welcome to the Jungle” during the kick off, as Stephen Gostkowski steps back to boot it.  I think we all get chills running down our spine anticipating a monster hit and crappy field position for the other team.

What about your favorite fighter like Floyd Mayweather coming out to the ring with old school 50 Cent bumping for the crowd to get excited about?  When you hear it you start to crack a smile as he slowly proceeds with unmatched focus of a fighter’s spirit.

Heck we even have Halftime shows at the Super Bowls where artists like Katy Perry and Missy Elliot put on routines to keep the crowd involved and excited.

Music is the extra cherry on top when it is used in spots effectively.

In a post on the Billboard site Cathy Applefeld Olson comments on the correlation between the two arts. “It all comes down to the song and the message the team is looking to relay. Certainly a superstar is going to get much more consideration than an unknown band, but the playing field is pretty even. If there’s an artist no one’s heard of but the song is perfect, that’s going to win out over a superstar.”

Music and sports combined is unexplainable. The music serves as motivation through the lyrics and amplifying riffs.  The sports acts as the execution through every move and every mental not to never give up and conquer your fears on the field.

Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie

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Check out this great review of Death Cab For Cutie, a band that always seems consistent and has been doing it for many years.

The CD Critic

Indie-rock band Death Cab For Cutie offer up their latest album ‘Kintsugi’, their first album in their long career featuring a different producer following on from the departure of member Chris Walla. On ‘Kintsugi’, we see Death Cab for Cutie offering up more of their quintessential and charming indie-rock music, partnering together lead singer Benjamin Gibbard’s introspective lyrical style with enjoyable instrumentals. In many ways, it’s a very typical Death Cab for Cutie album, featuring accessible and enjoyable tracks that are certain to become popular fan favourites, though there’s elements of experimentation here and there, showcasing the band as one who are always looking forward and making attempts to broaden their own style in any way they can. 

There’s a lovely element running throughout ‘Kintsugi’, which seems to push forward a forlorn and somewhat diminished perspective on love once again (differing from the bands’ previous 2012 album ‘Codes & Keys’)…

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