Recorded in the space of three months at North London’s Orgone Studios with drummer Jaime Gomez-Arellano handling production duties, London quintet Messenger released their second full-length album last Friday.
It’s rarely been off the TeamRock stereo in recent weeks, so naturally we wanted to know more. Here then, is frontman Khaled Lowe’s track-by-track guide to Threnodies…
Khaled: “This track started life as a section of piano music originally composed by Dan. Its introduction sounded so fragile and beautiful that it reminded me of the petals of a flower. The word ‘calyx’ sprung to mind and has a nice quality to it, linguistically and aesthetically, that seemed to tie in with the music and in turn inspired a music video. The synthesizers and sequencer pattern later in the song always made me think of the beginning of a dream sequence, which in turn inspired the lyrics. They are about nature, fragility and the wonder of creation.”
ORACLES OF WAR
“By far the heaviest thing we’ve written as a band. The intro makes me thing of bombs being dropped and buildings being ripped apart; the horrors of War in general. The lyrics deal with the confusion and the desperation and the futility of war: some people cannot help having their opinions swayed and their ideologies formed by their governments, their religious establishments, their education systems and their media; frequently to the detriment of their own common sense, in turn creating even more expansive rifts between them and their fellow human beings. The second half of the song conveys a post-war apocalypse, where artificial intelligence roams the land, searching for some sign of human life…”
“A beautiful tribute to someone very close to the band that is no longer with us. It is set in the lush green valleys of the Balearic Islands; with the majesty of the pastures, the sea and the mountains reminding us that when the body expires in this plain, the journey of the soul begins anew in another; riding away on the currents of the wind, upwards to claim a position amongst the stars that look on us from overhead.”
“Certain things are never healthy for you, physically or emotionally, but we still seem to be accustomed to them; sometimes we need them. This is a song about realising what those things are and the seemingly endless cycle of trying to get away from them. It’s also been nicknamed ‘Space Balls’ recently… Though I don’t see any particular connection between that new title and the lyrical content!”
“Simply a song about poor decisions, repeated mistakes, being used and abused by people who don’t care about you and repeatedly shunning those in life that are closest to you. It’s about the inability to express or accept warm, genuine and sincere emotions to/from those that love you unconditionally and instead to seek acceptance and gratification from strangers, toxic habits and people you know have vested interests.”
“Sometimes it feels like a huge effort to just feel happy and satisfied. This song’s lyrics were inspired by a hermit-like character, who feels the need to physically hide himself away from what might be a beautiful existence filled with opportunity and joy, because his conditioning from a young age has left him scarred. It’s about personal choice, identity, sacrifice and acceptance. The word ‘pareidolia’ is a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct; I think this fits perfectly.”
CROWN OF ASHES
“I think it is very important to be aware, in this day and age, that certain practices and belief systems can be very dangerous. Especially when put in the hands of people who have skewed agendas, and particularly when these tools are not used for intellectual or spiritual growth, but for more sinister purposes; control, fear and corruption, for example. It’s a reminder to the self to look inside you as well as around you for answers and for the truth.”
Messenger’s album Threnodies is out now through Inside Out.
Messenger play Stone Free at London’s O2 Arena on June 18 and 19. Day, weekend and Rock Royalty tickets (including artist meet & greets and signing sessions), are on sale now.