Dealing with themes of loss and the reconciliations that come in trying to process it all, Life After reveals itself in waves of minimal, downtempo electronic movements, sparse keys and swelling strings. Just in time for the colder weather, the latest from Hoeksema is ready to envelope you in its expansive sonic universe.
To celebrate the release of Life After, we had Hoeksema break it down for us track by track. Check it all out below while streaming the EP and be sure to order your copy here.
I think I originally came up with the chord progression on my good friend Anthime’s keyboard one time when I was over at his place recording Cello for another one of my songs. It stuck with me, so I played around with the part a bit a couple weeks later at my apartment and the sentiment of the song came out pretty fast. It was the last song I wrote in this period, and the last song I wrote in general for a while.
As a result, it sort of turned into a bit of a meditation on that whole time for me, and a reflection on living in New York through my own experiences and the experiences of close friends. It was fitting then, that basically everyone I had played with or encountered musically during that time in my life ended up having some involvement in this song, in front of, or behind the mic. It’s special to me for that reason.
I’m not sure if this is an entirely common dream or not, but I sometimes used to get this dream that I was high up in the sky, falling through the clouds. I would never see or even come close to hitting the Earth, so it wasn’t really a nightmare… it was just the sensation of falling through the clouds, falling through this disarming environment, fixed in a sort of time loop that never seemed to actually loop… The image has always stuck with me and it ended up channeling into this song. That suspension.
This song was a collaboration between me and my buddy Mark. He had sent me the bones of what ended up becoming the foundation of the tune, and I just riffed on it. There’s this letter Rilke wrote, and he talks about how even if you found yourself in some prison, and the walls let in none of the world’s sound, you’d still have your childhood, that “treasure house of memories”.
At the time my friend sent me this, I was living alone in this classic shoe-box sized Manhattan apartment just missing where I grew up, and walking through this piece really took me back to this park in Calgary called Fish Creek that I’m really fond of and have had a lot of amazing times getting lost in… It wasn’t the real thing, but it was close enough.
This song has probably gone through four or five (or six) iterations over the years, and has been called a lot of different names. It was one of the first songs I ever wrote, when I was just a young lad plucking around on the guitar and trying to take the idea of writing some music “seriously”. I was pretty hard on myself back then, so it’s just a relief that after all the times I gave up and came back to this song, it actually managed to see the light of day.
I think maybe on the fourth iteration of this track my very dear friend Morgan came up with the beat for it and some of the drone/ambient parts of the song, and it totally saved the song from certain death and took it into this whole other world… Morgan was also one of the first people to ever hear this song when I first wrote it.
It’s funny, sometimes when you’re working on stuff like this, the thing you end up with can have this secondary utility function, and serve as a little snapshot of that time in your life, or a relationship, etc. This song will probably always be special to me, because it makes me think of Mo.