Semaphore is an eclectic rock band based out of New York City led by Siddhu Anandalingam, who brings influences from several genres together to write music that is both hard-hitting and lush. Their new EP, Leave With the Season comes out this Friday and we asked the band to tell us about each track. Their commentary on the album can be seen below.
This song and video deal with the central themes of the album: lack of trust in our selves, our friends and the city we live in. If all these things work harmoniously, they could bring us happiness, and yet they are so often the things that fail us and leave us dejected. Central to the video is the old tale of how the prevalence of technology should make us feel closer to one another but instead amplifies loneliness. I wrote the first three songs to the EP in one week, and Emmett and I spent 24 hours in a practice room arranging the tracks. The outro for "Unreliable" came to me when Emmett thought that the song should end with more of a “bang” than my version. I was at loss, but just started playing a random six-measure phrase, and we stuck with it for the ending; it’s probably my favorite part of the song!
It's about lacking direction and purpose, looking for meaning while battling vices and depression. Musically it was very much influenced by Deftones, Alice in Chains, and Gojira. The ending to this song came about when I was feeling frustrated while writing and tried to break my guitar strings. I was holding a chord, and the effect ended up sounding pretty cool, so we stuck with it. Semaphore is not a real “math rock” band or anything, but we all come from that background; the ending of this song is an indication of that.
This song is about feeling used by people. Slowly by slowly pieces of you are taken until there’s nothing left. Sonically, Pie is a very different Semaphore track, with more direct influences from Tycho and post-rock and IDM artists rather than post-hardcore or shoegaze. This song was born out of experiments with a DL4 guitar pedal, which has been a good writing tool. Usually, I loop small sections until I can figure out how to layer them, but also constantly came up with ambient loops while playing around with the pedal, never thinking about incorporating those into songs. This was the first time I decided to record one of the ambient loops I made and create a song around it!
Leave With the Season:
"Leave With the Season" is our hate letter to Brooklyn. It reflects the feeling of being attacked by one’s surroundings and city, dealing with annoying neighbors, construction, and having no where to run when your small apartment provides no respite. Originally this song was written for a 24 hour songwriting challenge and was the first completely collaborative song that we wrote together with our current band line-up!
Didn’t You Dream?:
This song is influenced by all my friends who seem to be lost in life yet caught up in a sort of rat race. Some of them don’t seem too happy yet they trudge on hoping that things will change. This is the one song where Emmett wrote all the instrumentals and I wrote the melodies. We worked on the lyrics together. Emmett told me the main influence for the song was the band Thursday, so I spent two weeks only listening to them and then went to see them live. I wrote the vocal line on the bus home while singing into an iPhone, and it is mostly what stuck!