Embrace the Hiss
Accept that which is flawed as perfect
Forgive Adam, forgive Eve
But most of all forgive the Snake
Born cold blooded
A cruel mistake
Forced to seek heat
An s-shaped missile
But he has coiled himself around the human soul
Like tape around a spool
A magnetic force
Forked-tongue whispering secret songs
Music of discovery and tragedy
One cannot resist
Embrace the Hiss
Embrace the Hiss is an art project, an experiment in anachronisms, and a selective narrowing of freedom through self-imposed technological restrictions. Eschewing perfectionism in favour of honesty and purity of spirit, we decided to document these songs in the rawest possible form, often after only a few practice takes. Listen closely and you will hear mistakes. To us, this is exciting; a musical tight wire act. A sound wave limbo between +/- 1.0.
You will hear the static of our rehearsal room, you will hear drums rattling and amps buzzing. You will hear singing that is blighted with emotional human imperfections, a cardinal sin in the technocratic world which we now inhabit. We wanted to make something that would be antithetical to the modern methods of record-making, something nasty and flawed that crawls up your leg, around your face and into your brain like a benign, but undoubtedly parasitic, organism. Like when you first heard a scratchy old 78, and you could barely discern the emanations as music, so foreign was it to your lazy modern ears. But slowly it works its way to your core and sets up a nest in your consciousness. Snakes are reactive, but they know when to strike.
And there's no brickwalling here. Don't get us wrong, just because we're not fighting in the loudness war doesn't mean we don't want you to listen to these songs loudly. Crank it up and enjoy the dynamic range. That's what we like to do.
Embrace the Hiss was recorded without Dolby noise reduction to cassette via a Fostex 4-track and then transferred digitally via a Focusrite interface and mixed into mono through the open source program Audacity. It may not be the simplest or cleanest way to record, but it was possibly the cheapest— with the richest results. Consider the Embrace the Hiss EPs as a series of Stormalongs mixtapes, live memos from inside our band, a glimpse at our fruitful but erratic process.
We could never have afforded to record all this stuff in a traditional studio, even with the efficiency and parsimony we’ve developed with our productions. And the truth is, very few people want to hear this much music from a largely unknown band these days. But that’s okay, and it shouldn’t stop anyone from trying to make big statements. If you’re down, then hop on the serpent and ride—you can hop on and off any time you want to. Follow the spiral, dance on the edge of the volcano, and embrace the hiss.
released April 1, 2017
Colin James Gibson: guitar, vocals
Matthew Tyler Thompson: bass, vocals
Rev. Nick Gaiser: drums
Recorded at the B Space, Toronto, May-August 2016
Engineered and produced by The Stormalongs
Mixed by Matthew Tyler Thompson
Cover design by Scott Farris, twitter.com/dynamitescott
Track 1-3 written by Colin James Gibson
Track 4 written by Matthew Tyler Thompson