A mainstay on the Rock Sound stereo in recent weeks, Tim Kasher gives his track by track guide to Cursive’s seventh album.
FYI: Click hear to stream the record, once you've got audio carry on reading...
01. This House Alive
"Cassius, the 'good' twin, first enters the inherited house of his deceased biological parents. He hears voices, wonders if it may be haunted. The song is built around a fairly basic, familiar sounding melody that follows a chord progression reminiscent of Pachelbel's Canon in D. A weird, dreamy lullaby."
02. Warmer, Warmer
"Sung from Pollock's perspective, the 'evil' twin, so to speak. He's taunting Cassius, playing the childhood game of 'hot and cold', as Cassius feverishly ransacks the house, looking for the culprit behind these voices. One of the poppier songs on the album, also one of the more sinister, as Pollock foreshadows a murderous agenda."
03. The Sun and Moon
"Pollock presents himself, jovially buttering up his long lost twin brother, claiming dependence and loyalty to him. A pop song that shifts back and forth from 5/4 to 4/4, a challenge we enjoy tackling from time to time. This song is extra theatrical; I had to pull back the reigns a bit vocally to avoid it sounding TOO much like a musical. Not that it would be such a bad thing, ahaha."
04. Drunken Birds
"Pollock takes Cassius under his wing. They rejoice, imbibing a special elixir Pollock had concocted for just such an occasion. It knocks Cassius on his ass. A synth laden song based on a roller coaster of ascending and descending musical half steps."
05. Lullaby for No Name
"The first of two instrumental interludes. This one is meant to reflect Cassius asleep, while suggesting an omen of things to come. It's based on the final song 'Eulogy For No Name', borrowing melody from 'This House Alive'."
06. Double Dead
"A rant by Pollock revealing his true intent as Cassius lies there, dead to the world. This song went through many different versions before Cully developed the straightforward beat for the choruses, offering a contrast to the swing of the verse."
"Halfway through the album, Gemini represents the turning point in the story, a shift from the lighter first half to the darker second half. The composition is a mirror image of itself, with a few cheats here and there to insure it still moved along well. One of our favorite songs on the album."
08. Twin Dragon/Hello Skeleton
"This one is so weird to me. It's a lot of pomp, Pollock prancing around, getting ready for a dastardly night on the town. He has become a full blown, egotistical monster. The song is written in three parts, Frankenstein-ed together, an intentional attempt to write a song in the fashion of Wings."
"Pollock is out on the town, chasing harlots, in search of a set of conjoined twin sisters, the Sisters Cecil. He finds them, unlocking a dark, repressed memory from his childhood. This is one of the compositions that attempts to make a 180 degree turn from jarring chaos into something beautiful, a tendency we lean toward at times."
10. This House a Lie
"The second instrumental interlude, this one represents Cassius chained up back at the house, deflated, downtrodden. It's a rewrite of 'This House Alive' with musical allusions of 'Eulogy for No Name'."
11. The Cat and Mouse
"The point in the story when Cassius fights back, recognizing Pollock for who/what he truly is. These were some of the more difficult lyrics to write, as the subject matter didn't want to conform to the music. At all. Lots and lots of rewrites before finally taking it in a different direction that seemed to work."
12. A Birthday Bash
"Cassius ties up Pollock and lights the house on fire, blurring the line of who the real protagonists/antagonists are in the story. Another song that plays with a 5/4 time signature, though only on a couple bridges. Or choruses; whatever you want to call them. Us at our most rock-riffiest. It was a lot of fun to write and work on."
13. Eulogy for No Name
"The closer to the album, was initially called the epilogue, as that's kind of what it is. A tragic ending to the tale, what Ted dubbed the 'Jacob's Ladder' finale. We chug on E minor for an awfully long time."
'I Am Gemini' is out now on Saddle Creek.