Photo credit: Tyler Shores
Singer-songwriter Andi Rogers is a prolific musician. Her latest record under the nom-de-plume andi. is a catalog of dark narratives with augmented panoramas of drums, and pianos. “Eternal Sunshine” verses center around modulating piano chords with expansive choruses that shift time signatures held together by a gossamer violin line. The highly imaginative track is braided with andi.’s rhetorical questions “if I get beyond the path / will you pull me back? If we both forget the past will we go right back”? “Eternal Sunshine” features a bridge passage with no words save for the solitary voicing of a heart, breaking.
You buy a copy of the blackout sessions here.
SC: I love the dramatic difference between the clipped verses and the sweeping arpeggio-led choruses. What led to this choice for the song when you were writing it?
AR: I had just finished re-watching the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and was just so emotionally annihilated by it. It's a film that's full of stark contrasts and juxtapositions (memory vs. reality, past vs. present/future, man vs. science, emotion vs. reason, etc.), and I guess that subconsciously made its way into the structure of the song.
SC: Each verse begins a new question that furthers the narrative. How do you see the interrogative working in the song?
AR: Again, the film really influenced me in this regard. Each verse begins with a conditional and ends with a question (i.e., "If I get beyond the path, will you pull me back? If we both forget the past, will we go right back?") Those images come directly from the film. When Joel's memories are being erased, he literally pulls Clementine along the escape route (path) with him because he subconsciously wants to take the kernel of her memory with him. I am just continually overwhelmed by this idea: that these two people literally erased their memories of each other, but their bodies fought against it. That some force brought them back together. That they knew their relationship was doomed to fall apart again in the same exact way, and they still wanted to try. That they still ended that conversation, and thus the film, by saying, in so many words, this is worth it, this human thing. That they ended with that knowledge, and by saying "OK.
SC: Tell me about your normal writing process. Do you keep a songwriting schedule? Or do you wait for inspiration?
AR: I've tried to keep a schedule, and I just can't. It's corny, but I can't force it. Something overwhelming has to happen, or I have to have the time to sit down and access something that's happened. I call the latter "capsule writing"—breaking open a capsule and accessing the emotional memory of the body.
SC: How does your community of songwriters influence your work?
AR: I love going to see other musicians play in town, but if I'm being honest, I can't say that it influences me much. If anything, I'm influenced by other poets in my community more than I am musicians. I don't write songs much with other people, with the exception of Colby Wright, who's my other half, musically. When I write for my solo project, it's just me frankly being a little bit extra. Colby comes in and brings something else to it—a technical and polished element, a level of sophistication, and a really intuitive knowledge of what it is that I am going for, which can only come from working with someone for over a decade. In the case of this record, Marlon Patton also came in afterwards and brought a largeness, just a huge textured sound, to the record. I am nothing—and my music is nothing—without other people in that respect.
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