dné – These Semi Feelings, They Are Everywhere

Ondrej (dné) almost left music behind. His desire and determination was, at the time, faltering, incomprehensibly shredding right in front of his eyes. Creative strands that were once so confident began to disappear, and possible ideas soon joined this erasure, losing any and all of their potential. The magic was fading; it wasn’t in doubt. Personal issues with his health added to the growing list of setbacks, making the long process of finishing the scribbled, half-written tracks all the more exhausting. As is so often the case, though, a passionate, undying love for music brought him back – clawed him back – from the edge. During the struggle, he went back to the beginning with the purity of a snowflake-white page, giving the music an initial air of simplicity and using it as a way to dive back into her heart. These tentative openings were half-open windows which made an eventual reentry possible. Soon, he returned to her waiting spirit. Soon, he became completely enveloped.

Young and innocent moves began to take shape on the chessboard of his life. They reverberated and became innate, introverted melodies. He slowly worked his way back, baby-step by baby-step, until he walked fully back into her valleys and tapestries of sound. These Semi Feelings, They Are Everywhere is the sound of something that was once half completed finally being fully realised, the clean energy flowing like water back into the eternal glass. His cup overflows.

These are the lonely, late night texts that light up an otherwise lifeless phone, where every single word can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. Thoughts of whether it ever went through or if she’ll even reply are able to drain the mind of all logic and reason. This is the disembodied phone call, the never-there and passionless intimacy of sexting, where there’s nothing more than a lover’s invisible presence, their ghost, gracing the bedroom; this is the covert eavesdropping on social media; the digital world of online dating and long-distance relationships, taking place via a glowing screen and a chat-box that blinks and bleeps at two in the morning (‘Meeting Points at 2AM’). These tired experiences leave behind gaps in a soul that wants nothing more than to feel accepted – hollow holes that lead to unfulfilled feelings…semi feelings. We were taught to live happily ever after, but does that really happen? Sometimes, it feels like true romance is just a myth, and a heartfelt relationship – one genuinely shared between two people – can appear to be all the more elusive in the modern age. The beats are dropped into the shallow end, at first entering on ‘Public Making Out Is Like Ugh’. The superficial scatter-shots are insubstantial, at first over here and then over there, perhaps a grab for attention from the inner drizzle of a lonely core.

“What if I limit myself, and just base the album on piano and a human clap? You don’t have to find a right sound for either of them, they have had one for centuries”

You don’t need a degree or knowledge of music theory to create music…that’s part of her beauty. And besides, theory is exactly that: just a theory, a rule book to be read occasionally, but a rule book to be bravely ripped apart, nonetheless. The piano is slightly melancholic here – it yearns for the true touch of another soul. Perhaps music herself is that understanding, compassionate someone, the ‘one’ that hasn’t been found. The contemplative prose of C.Monts is poetry through lyricism, but this statement stands out in the cold, too. The instrumentals bookend the message, squeezing its voice with a thousand other thoughts. Found sounds and recyclable snippets populate but never clutter the music.

String sections glide through the opener, and, like people passing through the piano’s life, they soon vanish, leaving behind a distant scent. Like an old car that’s slowly breaking down, the cut-up tones can’t be sustained, and the music sputters in the wake of dry relationships. Sample techniques and orchestrations help to fragment the phrases and the decaying decadence of romance. The lighter guitar of ‘Friends Cleanse’ is more optimistic; a soft friend-zone of a song. The sunny melody has been layered, and as other sounds converge, the song begins to spiral upwards, caught in a whirlwind of smiling thoughts. They aren’t love songs at all, but ruminations on relationships; the way you try to keep unnecessary conversations going by asking questions is like trying to balance on a high-wire, with friendship on one side and romance on the other. One slip up can lead to a fatal fall. ‘More Like It’ breaks out of the depressing cycle. But most of the time the piano’s notes are frozen and alone. Those blue notes are played one by one, not embracing as a chord would do. These feelings are incomplete – they always will be – never fully satisfying or finalizing anything, but, paradoxically, the music is more than wholesome.


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