I’ve started this record dozens of times and each time I stalled, each time it fell to the wayside and didn’t go any further. There have been so many start/stops that I assumed this record would never get made. An attempt at this record was created under my own name from 2006, called Olagra… Originally, Olagra was an idea created in quiet room, then it was a band and then a record that had some allusion to the original ideas and some fragments of the band; but those were little more than sketches. After that Olagra was little more than a haunting sentiment floating in the aether nagging me, constantly reminding me of what could have been, maybe what should have been, but certainly, categorically what wasn’t… that is until it was: Olagra: Winter Eyes.
Winter Eyes, which I created under the Olagra pseudonym is the definitive recording of songs that I was writing in 2004 and 2005, and beyond with all of the psych folk, AM 70s light rock and mellow gold that I could mine. It, simultaneously, contains allusions to all these things, while being none of those things. I can find no category to put it in. It just is. I call it ‘psych folk’ as good of a label as any I can find, as it’s primarily acoustic and folky, but it’s also rich, sonically, as I chose not to pursue mutually exclusive paths of acoustic conservatism or strict synthesized sonics; instead, I’ve opted to pursue both, equally, simultaneously.
That period of the mid-aughts was special for me, because after a hiatus of more than ten years focusing on sound, rather than songs, I was quite compelled to go back to songwriting, which was where I started, as a wee pup, to begin with. Once I started getting going with the songs I found that they were too personal to commodify and bring to life as a “project” or a published recording. I couldn’t separate myself from them enough to do that with the work. Even now, I struggle with this. I think that’s why there were so many false starts. Eventually, I made peace with the “songs” as a creative path and through that catharsis realized that I was obligated to share this music out, as I had first envisioned it, but wasn’t quite able to capture, so many years before. I’ve done that now.
As I write this, I’d like to sit here and tell you that Olagra is my new direction. It may well be, or at least the songs may be, and I’ve been considering retiring my given name from my creative work and only working under pseudonyms for a long time, save maybe my work with Michael, so this may be the beginning of that. I have bunches of songs, and my ability to craft them has only increased, starting with this, those that made it to Winter Eyes. I don’t know. I know that I have another batch of songs I’ve been working on atop my writing desk and they’re indicative of the development of the craft, and I’ve always enjoyed watching an artist grow, improve and mature, so those will likely get out there at some point, but that’s a different discussion for a different time. For now, Winter Eyes, is one of the works that I’m most proud of, right up there with Convocation, and my work with Michael (Teager) which has been a real creative high-water mark for me. In any case, I hope you spend some time with the music. It’s different than past work of mine, but it’s as much “me” as anything I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy what you hear.