Week 11: The Echo Chamber

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Mount Everest - The Echo Chamber Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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Close your eyes
And in the dark behind your eyelids
You can stay there in the perfect silence
And the violence and the peace
And all the kindness and the grief
They are your friends

Take a look
Now pretend there’s no horizon
Now imagine there are no goodbyes
And in the end you’re gonna start
And from the start you’re bound to end
And start again

And on your struggle you depend
Oh now you’ve gotta let it go
And not to break you’d rather bend bend bend
And now it’s time to let it go

You are the risk
You are the burn
You are the light
You were built to learn
You are unheard of
You are unheard

And when it all adds up
It’s a beauty of a sight
And when they speak to you
When you lie awake at night
It’s a comfort and a curse
Yeah it’s a cry against the light
It’s a cry against my better side

And on your struggle you depend
Oh now you’ve gotta let it go
And not to break you’d rather bend bend bend
And now it’s time to let it go
And when you’re looking for the end
Come on you never let it go
When you’re alive you must pretend pretend pretend
And now it’s time to let it go

 width=I have a notebook, and in my notebook I scribble lyrics, and ideas for songs, and little phrases, and parts of phrases. This week I scribbled “A song about the alternating and contradictory nature of my internal monologue. Wide open possibility vs. crushing doubt.” This of course meant that I was to write a song about my mind, or as my illustration would have you believe, my brain. So that’s what I tried to do.

I don’t think I’m alone in that my mind tends to wander when I’m trying to fall asleep. This is the most active time of day for my internal monologue. During other parts of the day I usually have other things occupying my mind. But lying in bed at night with nothing to distract me from myself, my mind becomes sort of an echo chamber. Very quickly my internal monologue becomes an internal dialogue, and sometimes that internal dialogue becomes an argument. I think about all sorts of things, but mostly about the past and the future, two subjects on which my internal dialogue can be fiercely divided.

It seems that I have an optimist and a pessimist in me, and they never agree on anything. To the optimist, I’m on the right track. None of my mistakes have been so bad that I can’t recuperate and I’m bound for great success and a happy life no matter what I do. The pessimist never forgets anything, and every past indiscretion has lead me inexorably to an inevitable future filled with failure and misery, and it’s just around the corner. To be honest, I find both of these characters to be obnoxious and obstructive to a productive state of mind. When I’m not in my echo chamber they tend to blend together into a somewhat normal human being capable of real perspective on his own life. They say that everyone has more than one side to them. I guess that I’m just very well acquainted with two of mine. At least well enough acquainted to write a song for them.

Synths, and banjo. Guitar, and bass-guitar. Harmonica and piano. Rocks and rolls.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.


4 thoughts on “Week 11: The Echo Chamber”

  1. You so nicely express what I suspect many people experience, Jesse, eg, the tug of war that exists within ourselves. Especially those people who are really in touch with their inner voices. Remarkable!

  2. I love the concept and I love the title. The instrumental break down is sick! I really enjoy how your lyrics are delivered — you create a lot out of simplistic words. It can be really easy to write something to yourself but extremely difficult to put them into words for others. I think you do a really good job of that. Honestly I would really love to hear more songs without your vocal doubler. I prefer your voice as is without an octave pitch change or a higher register. I think you can do a lot of really cool things with just your natural voice. I am also interested to know why musically you have chosen on the majority of your songs to use your doubler. I think it is a fun effect, but sometimes I just want to hear the real Jesse, much like on the track “November”. Keep up the good work. I look forward to hearing week 12’s masterpiece. Aloha

    • Hey Dude,
      I appreciate your comment, both the praise and the criticism. Just to set the record straight, I do own a vocal double effect pedal, but I haven’t used it in weeks (months actually). If my memory serves me correctly I’ve used it on only 2 or 3 of these tunes. Off the top of my head I can only verify that I used it on (Week 4) “Katydid”, and (Week 2) “Made in Man’s Image”. Maybe (Week 1) “First impression”, but I can’t remember. I have been going for a doubling effect lately, but I’ve been doing it the old fashioned way: by singing everything twice. There’s no octave effect on on this, it’s the same pitches sung two separate times. On other songs where you hear a difference in pitch that’s an old fashioned technique called harmonies. The doubler is a neat toy, but I’ve come to think of it as just that. A toy. Plus it’s a pain in the ass to use.

      On this tune I did play around with having just a single voice, but I just liked it better this way. I felt that I’d been falling back on harmonies a lot lately, so I wanted to focus more on melody. That’s why I sang the backups as a double rather than a harmony.

      In the spirit of transparency, I do sometimes apply a light pitch correction, but everyone does, so sue me. This may have caused some detectable sonic remnants that you could have mistaken for the doubler. The second chorus (when it repeats) on (week 7) “Counting up from One” comes to mind. I probably could have ironed it out, but haste prevented me.

      I don’t know if this information changes the way you feel about the sound of the vocals, but you are getting pretty much the real Jesse (except for that thing I just said about pitch correction). I’m really looking forward to catching up with you guys in California in a month! Hope Hawaii is badass, and thanks for listening!


      • Correction: I double checked and I definitely didn’t use the doubler in (week one) First Impression, just a dillion vocal dubs. However, it was used in (week eight) Belief in Fiction, but only on the Ooos, not on any of the lead vocals. Since I recorded those Ooos last May I completely forgot about it. I did do a little trickery with the vocal sounds on the lead vocal but it didn’t involve that toy. For those vocals I copied the original take to a second track where I messed around with distortion, eq, and reverb quite aggressively and faded it low in the mix. I can definitely see why you would have heard that tune and assumed the entire thing was smothered in that double effect.


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