Silk Screens: Cemeteries – “A Real Gust of Wind”
In the sixteenth installment of our Silk Screens series, Kyle Reigle of Cemeteries, guides us through the creation process of “A Real Gust of Wind”. One of the hauntingly gorgeous gems featured on his newly released, record label debut, The Wilderness.
When I was done with the initial writing process for ‘The Wilderness’, I had about fifteen songs to sift through but I didn’t have a satisfactory closer. I attempted to write a handful of “closing songs” but they all fell short of what I had in mind until I started going through old demos and came across “A Real Gust of Wind”, which I had written more than a year before.
The demo was recorded when I was both homesick and literally home sick. I spent the miserable day creating rough sketches in an open D tuning, writing quick lyrics and recording them in one or two takes. It was an exercise in stream of consciousness and “Gust” was the only one that really came together.
Most of ‘The Wilderness’ is inspired by certain films and vague memories but “A Real Gust of Wind” is the most personally straight-forward. I had moved from my hometown to Pennsylvania, back home, and then to Buffalo. It was disorienting and I tried to put those feelings into the lyrics. It’s about loss. When I listen to it now, there’s this mental image of my childhood home growing more and more distant as the song progresses and coming to terms with it in the end. While the rest of the album is about wandering and feeling more lost than found, this was more about realizing certain things are gone, destroying and re-building. In a way, it ends things on an uplifting note.
When I decided to re-record it for the album, I had a tough time figuring out how to translate it (I’m still having trouble translating it) for a live setting. The original demo had this rhythm-setting acoustic guitar part that didn’t really fit the tone of the rest of the album, so I decided to strip the verses down to a half-drone so that the choruses could swell.
When the song was finished, I still didn’t feel like it ended correctly. Lyrically, “…this isthe end” (a coincidence) is the most conclusive you can get, but the song felt abrupt. I started going through more demos and found some test-recordings I did on my parents out-of-tune piano. The last thing you hear on ‘The Wilderness’ is me playing the chords of Deerhunter’s “Like New” on the first instrument I ever learned to play, so for me, it all really circles back around.
Curated by Flashlight Tag.