While Seasons represented what Myles describes as a “sounding board of general ideas” he had during his initial metamorphosis to songwriter, the songs that made up the collection hinted at the austere soundscapes and fully formed string-and-horn arrangements that the band utilizes to crisp precision on Procession.
“Seasons/Specters was the great starting point, but now it’s going into where I feel the songs are more realized because we are bringing in these distorted tones,” says Myles. “I always felt like distortion and dissonance was a really beautiful thing.”
Myles’ Buddhist school upbringing, and his meditations on space, community, dialogue and abstraction account for major sub-themes on Procession. “Colfax,” the album’s opener, emerges an ominous foreshadowing of the shape-shifting panorama found throughout the record. Disparate snapshots of pensive scenes are back-dropped by beautifully lilting cello and violin, while driving acoustic guitars, French horn and trumpet provide spacious reservoirs for Myles’ deliberate vocal phrasing. The contrasts on similarly broad-reaching opuses like “Slow Beginnings” provide equally gilded and gloomy similes of war and peace, light and dark, the gristle and glare of life.
“The intention of this album was looking at and going in and out of perspective. I’ve really been fascinated with looking at moments in media res, moments in time,” explains Myles. “You enter in the middle, exit in the middle. Some songs blow it up into general emotions of different aspects of what a procession is in different contexts, but it also goes into very specific things as well.”
Myles’ desires to open dialogue and to embrace the natural byproducts of communal space within his music adds a familial presence to more unrestrained tunes such as the slowly building “Swollen Light” or the briskly delivered, vaguely Sam Beam-ish folk ditty “Summer Dharma.” The result of this symbiosis, as you’ll hear, is a uniquely honest and vibrant listen.
Recorded by Skyler Norwood at Miracle Lake Studios, the band continued its collaborative approach on Procession, bringing in friends Nate Crockett (violinist for Horse Feathers), multi-instrumentalist Dan Pisarcik, and Ages and Ages’ drummer Dan Hunt, among others, to round out production.
“This album is very community oriented, and in some ways it just happened to be that way,” says Myles. “It happened organically. I think you can hear everyone’s enthusiasm.”