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“Victory in a Landlocked Sea” is music for an ambitious generation in an uncertain era. Ours is a generation of dream-seekers, adrift in a landlocked sea of limited possibility, but in search of the victory we have promised to ourselves.
Each track on this album examines questions of love, place, and meaning within the context of a quest for beauty and happiness. We want that more perfect, fulfilling life just as the systems we depend upon are beginning to fail us. But rather than offering easy answers, the album sets out only to examine those never-ending struggles between planning and being, between commitment and freedom, and between practicality and desire.
The first track, “I’ll Die Smiling”, lays out the album concept both lyrically and sonically as it describes a search for that place of belonging, a search for the truth and bliss that can only be found in love, and a hunger that lasts until the day we die. “I’ll Die Smiling” presents Abscondo’s radical stylistic departure from his successful 2008 acoustic release, “Midnight Snow.” The album “Victory in a Landlocked Sea” is lush with piano, layers of weeping acoustic and electric guitars, nostalgic synths, ample sampling from Abscondo’s own life in Europe, and percussion sounds that were recorded in places around the world.
The next track, “I Created”, playfully manages to ponder the meaning of life within the context of religion and love. “Running Wild” features Abscondo’s more acoustic style with a song that was written hours after his daughter was born. “Different Future” describes the positive future that will eventually follow the financial and systemic crash that has already begun. The album’s metaphorical title track, “Victory in a Landlocked Sea”, illustrates the insignificance of both our fear of the unknown and our desire for security by offering up the simple idea that “each moment is the only thing that ever means anything to me”. As if to prove this point, the album’s next few tracks sweep us away from ideas and into the moment.
“Consciousness” describes an uneventful Saturday that is filled with the comforts and joys of love. “86 Reasons” goes on to extend that Saturday well into the evening by describing the scene at some Abscondo solo performance in a smoky bar.
“Truth Is” is a more upbeat rock song celebrating the unique bliss that can only be found in a relationship that achieves both full honesty and unconditional acceptance. “Forbidden Curiosities” reminds us that, even in the best relationship, this state is often temporary. It is easy to slip into moments of misunderstanding and loneliness. “Lost in this Town” further acknowledges the feeling that we are all alone in a world where we don’t always belong. “The Frost” offers a dark, dreamy soundscape that explores the pain felt by an artist who vividly perceives art and beauty just as real life relentlessly attempts to cloud that perception. Finally, the book-end to the album is “Books Fall Apart”, which is a playful, melodic song celebrating how rare moments of beauty, love, bliss, and sunshine can so quickly and easily change all of our life structure and all of our life plans.
This is an album for an ambitious but uncertain generation. Yet this recording project, itself, acknowledges the unique possibility of our times. Even while our legacy institutions and systems are beginning to crash, we are empowered by new technological possibilities that are changing our content and our relationships. We are only beginning to tap into the extraordinary intelligence of the networked collective. One example is the extraordinary, unrealized potential of Creative Commons.
Creative Commons isn’t just about releasing content for free; rather, it is about the idea that talent, hard work, and intelligence can produce better content than that which is well-funded and commercial. Just like the folk music that existed long before the music industry came into being, good songs should live and evolve. This album represents one artist’s vision for these songs, but we might all be curious to hear yours. All of the source material has been made available to other artists here: http://www.abscondo.com/source. If these songs inspire you, then make them your own! Re-release them on Jamendo or work with me to find the right commercial channel for our creation. The best version of each track on the album will be selected for the commercial release of the album on February 28th, 2012. Enjoy!