Q: What was your inspiration behind the song - both lyrically and sonically? What do you want people to walk away with after listening?
I think the narrative dealing with an escalation of abuse from emotional to physical violence and the desire for the victim to retaliate is what I would hope a listener would grab onto. Sonically, the intention was to be lush on the verses and very aggressive on the choruses. The use of auxiliary vocal hooks, the volume and attack of the drums, the synth engines used, the heavy nature of the lyric content, and the juxtaposition of the vocal delivery in different sections are also setting up a theme that will thread together “Echo” with the next couple of singles, most of which have more traditional guitar and bass and roles.
Q: There seems to be a warrior theme to this song, a sort of retribution, if that makes sense. Would you agree?
I hadn’t thought of that, but I can definitely see that angle. Interestingly enough, the woman who created the painting for “Echo” responded to the song in the same way you did. I think for me I was really trying to explore violence between partners and while writing I was thinking about the difference (if there is any) between heat of the moment violence and more systematic abuse leading to a pattern of violence by the abuser that ultimately inspires a conscious willingness to reciprocate violence by the one being abused. Whether the character is looking for redemption or just reaching a place where survival is imperative is left up to however the listener interprets it.
Q: This song has multiple separate parts that can be heard, and a lot of space that reflects its "Echo" title. Was that done intentionally?
Yes. In the mixing Swaff and I were attempting to creatively represent many different types of echoes and delays. Motion, space, and 3d width is something we shoot for in all of our songs and you’ll notice that in addition to the echo there are also dips, builds, and fake out lifts (from the verses to the pre choruses) in the vocals and instruments. There are also parts where we intentionally chose not to use delays on the vocals or slightly altered the reverb on specific words for added emphasis. The intention was to create moments and angles, while still maintaining very seamless transitions throughout the entire song.
Q: Meg, the vocalist, sings, but you are the writer. Can you explain the dynamic of writing for someone else's voice and interpretation during recording?
Meg has final say on all the melodies and lyrics. It’s really important to me that she feels confident and comfortable with what she’s singing. We talk through the lyrics together and make sure there is meaning that resonates with her. Melodically we’re always trying to highlight different qualities of her voice. The track itself is meant to be like a pillow of comfort for her to sing from.
Q: Describe the bass and guitar contributions and how they played into your original intention for the flow of the song.
Nick and Pat really helped to create moments in the recording. The instrumental was put together in way where different instruments are handing off focus from one section to another. Fills may start on one instrument and end on another, and the EQ space that an instrument holds might be different in one section to the next. For this song the guitars tones and placement in the mix were a little less traditional than they will be in many of the future singles, but the airiness worked to create an atmosphere and energy that was often dictated by the intensity of the vocals at any given point. Nick’s bass work on the bridge helps to build tension by being super in the pocket and behind the beat.