Friday, 25 April 2014

The places of Traces

When describing Traces as a reflective album, one of the many elements that influenced that mood was the idea of following the traces of your own past and the places you've been.

When you live or work in the same city for a long time, you gradually see it evolve. Places come and go, new buildings shoot up to the sky, old buildings get cleaned up and ruins come crumbling down. But even with all the changes that a city undergoes, you can still always pick out traces of the past, whether it's a poster stuck in an abandoned upstairs record shop window or a bit of graffiti that always seems to have escaped erasure.

And when you start looking closely, traces of history start to emerge – the imprint of old signs, remnants of old brickwork, a rusty street sign, old factory names still adoring buildings that now house flats and caf├ęs, and bits of architectural detail high up at the tops of the buildings which have survived wars.

Once you start observing these things, you end up constantly noticing what used to be. A childhood cinema that’s now a clothes shop. A place where you bought your favourite albums that’s now an opticians or a place you enjoyed many meals that’s now long boarded up. 

It’s inevitable that you end up picking up your own traces of the places you’ve been and the memories of the people you were with. You walk past the office of your first job; now no longer in use, and think about the 20-year-old version of yourself that used to frequent there. The music you played at the time, the faces you knew and the life you had then, which has evolved along with the city in the intervening decades. It’s not that you wish to spend your time chasing ghosts but almost by default there’s a part of our brains that enjoy these reflections, triggered by our own invisible footprints and little fragments of personal history.

Traces is out now on Bandcamp.

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