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Though it had been several years now of knowing Natalie, it was the first year I had lived with her that inspired me to take music back up in the first place.
Natalie is my very best friend, and that isn't exaggeration. Over the course of this year in particular, I feel like our bond has strengthened immensely, learning how to make decisions as a band while at the same time maintaining the time of teacher and student that initially spurred our collaboration.
Early into our summer performances, we considered what we might do after Mode of Being (which would drop in August). Natalie suggested we listen to some of her old work for inspiration, pieces that either were able to be revisited and reimagined or lines and chords that could be borrowed. It was during this search that we stumbled upon the song "Chemistry."
This song in particular was special to Natalie in that it was written originally 13 years ago, but the words for the song had constantly evaded her, despite several attempts over the years. I suggested, of course, that we give it another try, and she happily obliged. We attempted to approach it from the angle that most songs center around, love. "Chemistry" would keep its original name and the obvious play there would write itself.
One problem arose; obvious wasn't acceptable for a DreamStates album. As we continued to improve our production techniques, the lyrics quickly lost their fit. They were far too ordinary for a song that, we felt, is extraordinary. More revisions happened. Finally, we had words, but then we needed to record vocals and instrument tracks. More and more time was poured into this particular piece. Every time we thought it was done, another tweak would be necessary, or the possibility of more live sound arose. This would spur adjustments everywhere else.
It was laborious, at times frustratingly so, but a song that had waited 13 years deserved this attention. "The Best Complex" is a song about the unhealthy relationships we can find ourselves trapped in, but it's one born from the healthiest relationship I've ever had with someone platonically.
Happy belated birthday DreamStates. Year one was pretty great. Here's to a fantastic year two.