Hello Our Basement,

“Cheap String Lights” offers a preview of my upcoming record; a song about rediscovering the magic in the places and people you see every day, something I think a lot of us have had to try and do to just maintain sanity over the past year.

Produced by James Bunton (Donovan Woods, Joey Landereth), we had discussed the interlude of the song having this psychedelic vibe, where the listener travels into the narrator’s backyard where suddenly everything has come alive, as showcased in the single artwork above. I hope that someone will throw this on a tiny bluetooth speaker in their backyard at night sitting by a propane fire pit and have the sense that their backyard has come alive, too.

I can have a really tough time falling asleep at night. It seems the minute I’m horizontal my brain decides to kick into overdrive. Sometimes, well, most of the time – it’s worrying about what I have to get done. On occasion, there’s this kid on Christmas thing that happens where I feel like there’s still life left in the day that’s worth exploring, but other times, I just can’t slow my mind knowing that there’s still life left in the day to be explored. In those moments, it’s all I can do to keep from jumping out of bed and heading out into the world to see what I can find.

We tried to craft “Cheap String Lights” in a way that keeps the listener guessing as to whether the narrator actually gets up out of bed, or just fantasizes the whole thing. As we were nearing the end of mixing, the idea came up to bring in a guest vocalist on that last chorus to show that this guy managed to coax whoever he’s with out of bed. Even if she’s just humouring him, I think the sentiment is very sweet to suggest that the narrator did, in fact, manage to coax his partner up out of bed and into the yard. But who’s to say for sure?

Brendan Scott Friel