This record a piteous consolation. It was a record that, frankly, I didn't want to make. I said I wasn't going to give any energy toward new material on what had happened the last couple of years. I find taking one’s hurt and turning into art of any kind both derivative and cliché. Some people thrive off of heartache, and I am vehemently opposed to this gross misconception that torture makes good art. I’d trade my art for peace of mind any day. I didn't want a new record. I wanted it all to sort itself out. I wanted the dreams I had been promised. I wanted hope and home and family. I wanted all of my friends to be friends forever and grow old and raise all of our families together. I wanted nostalgia to be enough to save us all.
One of the fundamental aspects of making this record was letting go of my perfectionism without sacrificing any of my production values. Channeling lo-fi, 70's, early 80's grit and aesthetics, and self-made records like "An Ideal for Living" (Joy Division) and "Touch" (The Eurythmics), I chose less perfect, more earnest takes. I never autotune or retouch my vocals, but I will do as many takes as needed to achieve what I'm looking for. This was not the case. With this record I took one or two takes, let myself hit bad notes, cried during takes, and I kept them."What's the Use of Wond'rin'?" is recorded on a rotting cassette tape with a rotting cassette player, in a single take as a vocal warm up. You can hear me physically shaking at the end of "RINGSIDE (La Brea Version)." I tried to capture what it was like letting my dreams die with my perfectionism. I wanted this record to feel like a raw, festering, open wound; I wanted it to feel like the rotting fruit on the cover.
I saw the ugliest parts of people I loved---people I had known for years, decades--- and it broke me. It shook me to my core, that I could know someone for decades and then realize I didn't know them at all. People could act in such a shocking ugliness for seemingly no reason. Things that I loved so dearly just rotted before my eyes and I couldn't save them. I couldn't do the right thing no matter what I tried. I wanted to do the right things and make everyone happy. I sacrificed a lot of myself and my own needs to prioritize the needs and happiness of other people. It wasn't enough.
I wasn't enough.
With everything that happened came unexpected resurgences of sexual trauma. This record is coming to terms with the fact that there are seminal experiences from which you never completely recover. You don't always get to come out stronger on the other side. I've accepted that I will never completely heal from these last couple years, as much as I know now that I will never completely heal from my childhood sexual trauma. Sometimes you break and you don't get to bounce back.
I now have to take the coming to terms with now knowing I will never completely heal, and now go on into the rest of my life.
Executive Producer: Melody Pilotte
Mixed and mastered by Melody Pilotte
All songs written and produced by Melody Pilotte, except for:
“Great Expectations” which was written by Melody Pilotte (BMI) and Will Curry(ASCAP); co-produced by Will Curry
“RINGSIDE (La Brea Version)” written by Melody Pilotte, with new arrangements by Jason Yeager; co-produced by Jason Yeager. "Jason Yeager appears courtesy of Inner Circle Music."
“What’s the Use of Wond’rin’?” from the musical CAROUSEL, written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rogers (Imagem Music Inc)
Vocals, synths, programming, piano: Melody Pilotte
Violin, Viola & Their Arrangements: Will Curry
Wurlitzer Electric Piano and synth pad: Jason Yeager
Promotional Photography: Shawna Hamic
CD Packaging and Design: Lauren Howard
Cover painting: "Still-Life with Fruits," ( circa 1660's) Mignon, Abraham: German, 1640 - 1679
Emotional Support (what a team): Charlotte Martin, Heather Clough, Anthony Graham, Anthony Logan Cole, Catherine Richers, Melanie Montgomery, Rebecca Curran, K. Zander, Sarah Merry, Shannon Ford, Lauren Howard and Tyler Hamilton.
With Endless Gratitude: The Great Spirit and All The Ancestors, La Familia, The Garner/Hughes/ Graham/ Chin/ Stofan/ Reyes/ Gaus/ Clough/ Quirk families, Will Curry, The Roseberrys, [O] Catherine [, My Catherine,] the Great, Lauren Howard, Becca, The Fats: Mocha, Beatrice & Santa Baby, The Merry Rah-Rah, M. & F. Steffanses, Kevin & Kara Massey, Jason&Joe, Anthony Logan Cole, Matt Leisy, Jordan Nichols, Sarla Nichols, Kiki Peace, zot Megan, Walter & Jo (Ka-KAW!), Lauren Worsham, Kyle Jarrow, & Bunny Princess Oona-fishie, Freya, The Coven, Julie Benko, Jason Yeager, Jules Ho (“I wish I was at this Char show… OH WAIT!”), Morgan Kibby, ShellE Productions, Gabbie!, Kristin Allen, Ing, Mary, Mark Uhre & all our watercolour friends, Apes and Bunzy, Kate Barr, Franny Losada, [“It can’t go any faster, it’s a Geo]ffrey Fisicaro[“](TALLY HO), Charlotte Martin, Dr. Guillermo Paredes, Shannon Ford (hi ho T-rex, AWAY), The Shannons, Vienna Teng,Samantha Sandy, Daniel Zaitchik, Shawna Hamic, Lisa Claybaugh and her family, Stina Bina Pinot Noir, Daena, Sarah Copeland, Dani, Denise & Fam, Chris “Henry” (“we’ve been HAD!”) Johnston, Chris Mayer, Peter Newturkey, Arbender Robinson, Zahra Era
For Grandpa and Grandma. I love you both so much, and still believe, even when I don’t understand.
Charlotte Martin is one of the greatest artists of the last 15 years, and every time she releases a new record, it is utterly groundbreaking. This one is no exception. 12 Years is absolute perfection. Le Bas-fond