I thought I made up that word, but then a quick googling showed me that an ectophiliac is one who is infatuated with the works of Happy Rhodes, Kate Bush, or Peter Gabriel. So in other words, outsider pop for working professionals. Well, I tried anyway. I really wanted it to describe a lover of ghosts. But alas, it was not meant to be.
Long known as our "Velvet Underground" song during the working-title days (although the sum total of my life's decadence threefold is barely enough to fill a day in the life o' Lou) Candles was mayhap the biggest aesthetic leap for us, or at least for me as a vocalist.
I remember putting it together from a 4-track sketch out of something that had spawned in Aaron's brain, and I tried and tried for a long time to think of the most appropriate vocal melody for the verses. After multiple failures, I finally resolved to just talking the words. It felt strange at first, but after a few runs I realized that it was a lot of fun to sing, because it was less about singing it than it was about acting it. And I took it all the way, too, dropping all "proper diction" in favor of Indiana diphthongs and Hoosier-iffic syllable-adding. And maybe, just maybe, that's how I normally talk anyway… Here's a picture of me sippin' on the studio porch if you're unsure:
Some people have criticized Candles as being a bid for mainstream acceptance, and I can tell you that's far from the truth. Yes, it was written with the intention of being simple, and yes, the lyrics do recount a Neil Sedaka love story of sorts. But given that it's about a dead girl, it kind of loses its chance to be the soundtrack for this spring's prom. Plus, there's the part at the end where Aaron channels Adelaide the Ghost through his pickups. Let's see Maroon 5 do that.
Oh chorus, how I love thee. Sometimes in the studio, the best thing to do is just keep adding on layers and layers, not really knowing what's going to come out, and in the end you either have something brilliant or you have a pile of crap, and the chorus of Candles is one of the loveliest piles of crap I think we've ever created. I had this vision for when we played it live where there would be a marching band onstage with us, but it unfortunately never happened due to uncooperative band directors and stage dimensions. Ultimately, I would have been happy with these ladies:
But alas, it was not to be.
Oh, the story: a guy falls in love with a ghost named Adelaide who haunts his apartment. She was a 23 year-old who asphyxiated from a gas leak almost a hundred years ago (although I never really nailed when the song itself takes place in real time). It's fairly straightforward, and I'm sure anyone with a firm grasp of the English language could glean it. No analogies or moral lessons here, except maybe "ya cain't…al-ways….get…watcha wa-ant…"
One last thing, if you paid close attention to our goings-on a few months ago, or if you are a gamer, you probably already know that Candles was included in the last installment of SIMS. I looked around the house to try to post it on our player instead of the real version, but I couldn't find it. But it's really funny. I actually had to talk to a dialect coach to make sure I sung it correctly in Simlish. I will find it one day, and when I do, I will post it.
But for now, it's not meant to be.
Jonathon Christopher Newby of Brazil