Intro – An improvisation born in the shower, with a middle-eastern influence combined with Gregorian chant. Both vocal tracks were recorded while not listening to the other. The two were then put together with a drone backing them up, making for the introduction to “Identity.”
The End – A track that was written in about 45 mins. While the recording of this piece took far longer, the song itself fell out of the mind and onto the paper. A piece filled with anger, frustration and a promise is also joined with menacing whispers, driving piano and a twisted ending. This lead off track grabs the listener’s attention and prepares them for the “Identity” ride that is in store.
If You Want Me – A perky pop-broadway song that intentionally follows the previous track, giving the listener an idea of what Identity is all about. This song was written in two parts about a year separate from one another. Being the only track on the album with this feel, If You Want Me adds an element that the rest of the tracks do not.
Black and White – Tight harmonies, a floating piano part fused with electronic percussion and a choir. Just when you think it’s over, a full choir and strings section come back in with a repeat of the chorus stripped of everything.
Carry On – While there are definite elements of Jazz and Blues on this track, the harmonies in the chorus echo the style of “doo-wop” taken from the 50’s. Pop and rock are also combined on this song to make for one of the favorites for Identity.
Breathe – Peaceful and slow, Breathe literally gives the listener a “breath” before diving into the rest of the album. “I see the face of an angel, watching me, warning me. My heart wants you to leave me alone, so I can breathe for tonight.”
Truth – Short, sweet and to the point. Choir back-up for this track was influenced by African choral music.
Identity – This song has a little of everything. Rock, strong piano and an insane bridge with grunt-like chanting mixed with a men’s choir in the background. A ragtime piano solo followed by a build up to the end where the main vocals are “letting go,” while a full choir, electric guitars, piano, percussion and orchestral strings all fill in the not so silence. Being the title track of the album, Identity throws everything to the wind.
Leatherman – A highly orchestrated folk song. The lyrics and melody to this song are based off of a legend that is a part of Connecticut and New York history. The end of this track however, is probably Derek’s favorite part of the entire CD. A full Children’s choir joins him in singing the final chorus along with all the other instruments. Actual kids were recorded to make this, giving the song a real story-like quality, while adding the sometimes haunting nature of children singing.
Magical Snowman – A ridiculous song written about the trials and tribulations of said Magical Snowman. Bound to make you ponder….what’s up with this Derek guy?
I Will Rise – Like two songs in one. A forceful rock song with a soulful bridge with almost gospel like harmonies, this is the last track in which all the instruments appear. However, in the last few minuets of the song, the tempo completely changes and goes out with the tag, “I Will Rise,” leaving the listener with that being said before the final track.
In Your Eyes – The only track in which it is only piano and vocals. Emotional and special, this song is the last of the album, providing the listener with its closing bookend. An outro appears seconds after the song is over, and is meant as a precursor for the next CD.
I hope these descriptions get you into the music a little, and also help show you what I am all about. Thank you so much for reading, and thank you even more for listening.
Derek Waldron – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
Jim Wheeler – Guitars, Keyboards, Drums
Chance Gardreau, Nakitta Russell, Joey and Rachel Wojtkiewiecz – Kid vocals on Leatherman
All Songs Written by Derek Waldron
Produced by Derek Waldron and Jim Wheeler
Mixed and Mastered by Jim Wheeler
Recorded at Woodnote Studios
Photos by Christine Bartolucci
CD Art and Design by Erik Huggins