Today marks three months since the release of my most recent album An Unseen Sky. I figured this would be a perfect time to look back at the songs on the album (something I planned to do right after the release but never got around to it), and the reaction the album and its music videos has received.
An Unseen Sky is my second full length release, and in a lot of ways, for me, is the thing I’m most proud of in my career so far. Part of that is because it actually has so much in it from my influences like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and other alternative groups that were a huge reason I got into making music. It even has a lot of elements of the industrial music that was the real reason I got a keyboard and some music software and started to learn how to do what I do. I also just love the album. I listen to it constantly. It’s not that I didn’t love my first album, Echoes In The Dark, too. But this album has everything I loved about Echoes In The Dark, and adds so many new kinds of organic layers that just makes the music sit side by side in playlists with my favorite bands’ songs so well.
Here’s some back-story on the songs:
- The Lie – I knew I wanted to start the album off with a creeping, dark piece of music, kind of like the last song on Echoes In The Dark, “The Dark.” It came together so perfectly. Sometimes I surprise myself, and I don’t know where those drum fills came from, but I love them.
- An Unseen Sky – I actually named a couple of other songs “An Unseen Sky” (the album title actually came to me before Echoes In The Dark was released) before settling on this one. I had a bunch of songs that the title just seemed to fit so well with, but when I made this one, it was just perfect. It also worked great as the music for the amazing Virtual Reality Music Video that Elemental Spark made for me, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience.” For those that didn’t hear about it (you can read more in this blog post), it’s one of the first of its kind, ever, and got a ton of attention. It’s been downloaded 1000s of times and put me in front of a lot of people at various events
- Forgotten – This was my early favorite track on the album. I knew a 2nd album would be coming sooner rather than later after I made this one. A lot of the extra layers that come in at the end got added only in the last couple weeks before finalizing the album.
- Dreams Like These – This was sort of the first “single” off the album, since I put out the music video on New Years Day. It’s just such a cool track and so different for me. I’m really proud of it, and really proud of the music video. I didn’t do a big festival push with it because I’ve already done that with two of my public domain footage-based videos, but I did just submit it to a couple fests, so who knows, maybe it will get some extra attention soon.
- Last Kiss – I absolutely love this song. I actually have a very in-depth music video idea for it… I just need the right people (and some money) to make it with. This is just one of those songs that I listen to and can’t believe I made.
- Cut Open – This one changed a million times during the making of it. There’s seriously like 20 different versions floating around on my hard drive. I’m hoping that a music video will happen for it because it is probably the biggest, most exciting piece of music I’ve ever made. I’ve had 3 filmmaker friends discuss doing a video for it, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see one happen…
- Shadows on the Ceiling – The music video for this one, directed by A.R. Kagan has already been accepted into 5 film festivals and won the Global Independent Film Awards “Best Music Video” award. It’s also the track that stands out to most people as their favorite on the album.
- The Fallout – An early version of this track actually placed in a contest for Rekkerd.org to make a song that is inspired by your favorite band. I of course picked The Cure, and the response was really great. I added a lot more electronic flourishes for the final version, but the main melody and overall feel of the music I think really captured mid/late era Cure in a way that I’m really proud of.
- Phantom – I actually started this song BEFORE Echoes In The Dark was released. It was kind of a mess though, but the main driving rhythm I thought was too cool to just let go. I kept going back to it over and over to try to turn it into something, and while it took a long, long time, I think I got it.
- Into The Black – The last track I made for the album. I actually took a break from mastering the album to play with this new synth called u-He Hive (which I reviewed in my This Thing Rules blog series), as well as some expansion packs I had bought for iZotope’s Break Tweaker. This track happened and right away I knew that it needed to be on the album. It’s super dark, and has a really cool feel to it.
- A Decision – For those that really pay attention to all the music I put online, you may have heard this track a while back. For a little while I was planning on my 2nd album being more of a very ambient, lighter album (that will happen eventually, just not this time around). To start getting the buzz going for that idea, I released this track on my new music player on the homepage of this website. I still really like the track so I decided to keep it on An Unseen Sky, even though the full album changed direction. I still think it fits really well as a place of calm, especially in the play order between “Into The Black” and “Dead Battery,” two of the heaviest, darkest songs on the album.
- Dead Battery – I made this one with the specific goal in mind of doing something like Nine Inch Nails so that Doug Farra, a huge NIN fan and the director of my “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” music video could have something to work with for our next collaboration. While a start date on the video has been pushed back for now due to other projects, we have a really awesome idea for it, and it will happen eventually, and it’s going to be insane.
- A Stranger – Another early track that grew and changed as time went on. With the album out now for a few months and letting the whole thing really settle in, this has become my personal favorite track. Something about it is just so cool to me. Part of it may be that it doesn’t feel like I made it… Which is fitting given the title haha. But yea, it’s hard to put my finger on it, but I love this track.
- Fragile Things – I knew I wanted a track that was upbeat but still very quiet and hushed in a way that would make for great tension. This is definitely the one track on the album that doesn’t quite sound the same as the others, but I think it works regardless, and definitely captured a specific sound I wanted to try to make.
- Every Little Bit – As I was finishing the album, I realized that there wasn’t enough songs with a heavy electronic influence. I spent so much time trying to capture more of an alternative feel, I left behind a lot of the electronic sounds that made Echoes In The Dark such a success. So “Every Little Bit,” was the place for me to go for straight up electronic music and try to make something that still fit the album, but brought back some more of that influence.
- Never – I don’t care how many albums I make in my lifetime, I’m always gonna end with a big huge dramatic finish. “The Dark,” on the last album did it, and I ended An Unseen Sky with this over the top, meant to be played LOUD, burner of a track. A music video is actually being made for it by Free Your Mind Films, a company out of New York who I’ve scored two short films for (“Unrequited” which was just released today, and “The Usher“). It’s really exciting because I never would have pictured this song as one that would get a video, but I think it’s going to come out great.
And that’s the album! The reaction so far to it has been really great. My only real disappointment has been the lack of press I’ve gotten (thank you to the few outlets that have reviewed the album or talked about it and my music). It really is tough getting the word out, but I keep pushing, every day, every week to get these songs the notice that I believe they deserve. During the Las Vegas Lift-Off Film Festival (where both “Shadows on the Ceiling” and “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” were official selections and had screenings), FOX 5 News More Access aired an interview about the festival where they specifically spoke to me and April Kagan, the director of “Shadows on the Ceiling.” You can watch that here. That was a great piece of press. With each new music video, I get a chance to start pushing the album more and more. If you’re a writer or blogger or podcaster and I sent you my album and you didn’t review it… You better believe I’m going to be following up with you haha.
So what’s next for An Unseen Sky? Well aside from the “Never” music video, more festival notifications for “Shadows on the Ceiling,” and more promotional events for “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience…” You may remember that with Echoes In The Dark, I released a special, FREE downloadable bonus album of B-Sides (really just extra tracks that didn’t fit on the regular release) and remixes called Further Into The Dark. It was sent, for free, to people who purchased the CD version of the album and/or people who supported my “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Fundraiser… Well I’m doing it again.
I don’t have an exact release date picked out, and the track list and album cover are still in the works, but I’m proud to announce that Another Sky will be the next bonus album of B-Sides & Remixes. Again, people who pre-ordered and/or purchased the CD version of An Unseen Sky will get a copy for free when it’s ready. There will also be other ways to get your hands on this bonus album, which let me tell you, is coming out awesome. I’ve already got 4 amazing remixes from some great musicians, and the bonus tracks are definitely stuff you’re going to want to hear… I’m aiming for a late-August / early-September release… But we’ll see what happens. Just know that it’s coming. Soon.
So I think this blog ended up being much, much longer than I anticipated. I guess I like writing about my music. What can I say? Hope you enjoyed reading. Hope you enjoyed An Unseen Sky. If you did, please make sure to go to the digital music store of your choice (mainly, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby or Google Play) and leave a review of the album. It helps get it seen if the album is getting action on those sites. So get to it and let me know how you liked it. I’m done typing for now.
David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.