music by Ian Young


Status: in progress

Originally planned as an EP, this album contains songs inspired by my move to the west coast. You could think of it as the sequel to "California," from my previous album. The entire work is thematically bound by the concept of departure and borrows imagery from the Southwestern US. It is also a departure in my writing technique. When I arrived in California with only my acoustic guitar, I realized that the Kill the Painter material wasn't especially suited to a singer/songwriter format, and I would need a band again if I wanted to play live. So I began writing songs by focusing on their core components--lyrics and melody. The result is my most concise and portable body of work to date.

So far, I've written twelve songs and recorded preliminary demos for each one. The demo-recording process represents another shift in my writing technique. In the past, I recorded music in short segments as I wrote it and then pasted them all together, which resulted in a colorful but fragmented collage of textures. This time I've worked out all the technicalities of song structure and tempo during the demo stage, and now I'm ready to re-record a final version in a single pass, having had the opportunity to listen to and critique the early material. I feel this will give the master recordings a more natural, cohesive, and dynamic feel.

As the recordings take form, I'll be posting samples and blogging here, and hopefully playing some live shows in the near future.

Kill the Painter (2003)

Kill the Painter was my first solo project. Written during my days at UMass, these songs were recorded mostly in my dorm room, with a few tracks done at home. My approach was to take all the pop music tropes that I thought were cool--everything from a delicate celesta lullaby to video game samples to windshield-shattering breakbeats--and cram as many of them as I could into a three minute song. I also experimented with layering my vocal tracks to create dense harmonies. When the album was complete, I put together a live band with Robbie Hyde, Seth Adams, Jay DeFuria, and Mike Seluk and we played the UML Battle of the Bands as well as local mainstays The Sugar Shack and Fox Commons. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to utilize the music department's brand-new recording studio when it opened, yielding a couple of new tracks which are as of yet unreleased. With finals and graduation approaching, the members of KTP disbanded and moved on to other projects.