Hello everybody! My name is Alex Lunstead, this is my only friend at the moment and coproducer Leo the Bearded Dragon. First off I would like to say welcome to my room/studio that I have been working in for the last few moments. This is where I made all the tracks that you will hear on sincerely, demos. Initially designed to be a creative collaborative experience. My thesis project allowed me to work closely with TCNJ students and my South Jersey musical contemporaries. However, coronavirus and quarantine ended up shifting my project from being a community event into a one-man job. The themes, sonic elements, and story, for the most part, are all still here just adjusted slightly to accommodate the recent change. This means that originally planned features or collaborations scheduled to appear on the project will no longer be listed on the tracklist. These songs have been scrapped or delayed for a later date.
This is also the case for engineering the project. That is why sincerely, is no longer sincerely, and is now sincerely, demos. It has some smaller reference tracks that can be further expanded upon and improved once graduation and this semester is said and done with. However, that does not mean I’m not gonna give you some good music to listen to. Tracks that were always featureless still show up such as remember april* and van saun. Songs that include a bunch of rough ideas are b_sides.wav. Instead of showcasing a dozen half baked ideas, I trimmed the project down from roughly 10 songs to a solid 8 that sits nicely at around 15 minutes. These tracks allow me to jump from genre to genre with creative freedom and hopefully offer each listener a song that they thoroughly enjoy. sincerely, demos sees me tackle a bunch of different aspects when it comes to song creation. From things I am completely comfortable with such as producing and arranging to those, I am not so familiar with including performing and engineering. No matter how loose or rough some of the ideas may be, I hope that everybody enjoys the project. Thank you for listening!
It has been quite a hectic few months, but finally, I can share sincerely, demos with you all. Originally planned as a full release entitled sincerely, with a total of 9 tracks, it has been reduced to a demo tape including some references that will be further expanded upon post-graduation. However, narratively as well as sonically, the themes discussed up until this moment are still present and represent the past four years of my life.
nights on echo
The first track on the project sets the stage for the more somber elements of the record. An instrumental created strictly from using sounds that were recorded in my neighborhood or house. The project opens with nightfall and a dream state that allows for the story to unfold.
The title track of the project was created as a thank you to my family. Over the past four years of my life (not to mention the other 18), they have been there for me through thick and thin. Through every rough patch that was either out of my hands or self-induced they guided me. I wanted this piece to initially be longer and highlight my relationship with each member of my direct family and how they have assisted in my growth, but creating a low-fi piece that was not too sonically complex and went on for an extended amount of time ended up seeming tedious to listen to. Nonetheless, I hope that this track serves as a small thank you and expresses my love for them clearly.
Originally meant to be a brief interlude followed by a heavy trap beat with my friends from the South Jersey area rapping over it, this section of the mixtape was reinvented to be somber and fit nicely with the first half of the project. Continuing the theme of family from the previous song, I sample a rough take of my uncle playing guitar from 2007 and added some layers to it to give it a bit more life. Overall I wanted to keep the song relatively simple so I tried not to do too much with the piece. The track also features voicemails that I have collected from my friends. I wanted to still feature them somewhere in the project because without them I would not be where I am today.
52nd street [reference_mix]
This track was originally meant to have two different vocalists perform over the instrumental. However, I was unable to track their vocals in time and I did not want them to send rough recordings of themselves performing over the piece. Instead, my friend Jared and I turned the piece into a reference mix with guitar and very sparse vocal refrains. This way emotion can still be felt and does not seem vacant without vocalists.
This song has gone through so many interactions over the past few months. The fifth track off the project was going to be a more somber piece originally. However, I thought that the record lacked some high energy tracks so I wanted to add another upbeat song. Composed two different times and rewritten three times, this track is merely me just getting things off of my chest. I wanted to create a reasonably relatable song. This is why my friend and I made a flip (rough remix) of Rich Brians summer hit 100 Degrees. With feel-good energy, I name drop a few things that are notable to my life. This includes things such as the boro, my Nissan, and a couple of friends, however, I feel that these items could easily be replaced by something that is meaningful in the listener’s life.
The final lyrically charged piece sees me look back on the last year of my life. Reflecting on the times I now feel like I took for granted I dream of easier days. Days that were full of happiness, ignorance, and empty pockets. During this time I had no care in the world, I did not even care enough to work on music. I lived 2019 like it was my last year alive, and experience as much as I could during my junior year of college. Inspired by Dominic Fikes 3 Nights, this track is filled to the brim with guitar and bass and contrasts nicely with the previously played calmer tracks.
The second to last instrumental allows me to show snippets of other ideas that I was working on for the project. Some of these ideas include my first few songs for the assignment or files meant for other people that could not be completed due to the stay at home order. Instead of just trashing the tracks I figured I would allow the listener to look into my creative process and see what still may come next. It also serves as a seamless transition from van saun to mornings of. This composition full of glitchy effects allows me to take a few more liberties when crafting sounds. It shows my interest in sound design and a different approach to song structure/creation. It also flows with the idea of dreams presented in the soundscapes of some earlier songs. If some songs are dreamy and relaxing this is the complete opposite by being a little nightmarish and jarring.
The final song of my first musical journey ends with the beginning of a new day. After reflecting on what has happened over the past four years of my life, I feel that I am now ready to close this chapter and start a fresh one. Recalling elements from the intro piece allows the story to come full circle. Ending the musical journey with a reference of morning highlights the brighter tomorrow that starts each day.
“songs that inspired ‘sincerely, demos’ ”: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/21ilFPuOk4TyEn1JNpPFr0?si=X5-WC-GSQ1OnMrpgsfXNtA