Vocals – Kate MacRoss
Guitar, Vocals – Michael Lejeune
Bass, Vocals – Frank Schoonbeck
Violin, Accordion – Marnen Laibow-Koser
After the end of Son of Mourning’s busy time, I began to compose on the acoustic guitar more often. I found that in a Drop D tuning, I could play with a somewhat aggressive right hand and get a marvelous percussive, bangy sound out of the chords that I could only flirt with in a standard tuning. That and the resonant low end of the ringing low D were inspiring. In 2009, my friend Kate and I started putting some words and music together to form some kind of folky alt-rock thing, and quickly met Frank, whom I would later work with in Mother’s Mistakes.
I came up with The Featherheart while sitting around at home, playing a couple riffs I’d invented and looking through a book of poetry I’d been adding to for years. The song really grabbed me, and like others that had done this in the past, it would lead me toward other similar inspirations. The rest of the songs the group would take up proceeded from there, except for To Find Me and End of the World, which Frank wrote and I adapted to my guitar style. Kate worked her lyrics into most of the songs, finishing and leading the core feel that Daybloom developed.
With each track, I tried to use simplicity as a constructive tool rather than thinking of it as stripping down the music. I had become accustomed to not thinking in verse-chorus-verse from years of working in metal, and though my love affair with complex music did not wane, I wanted to see what I could do with purposefully uncomplicated arrangements. This can be heard immediately in the unconventional structure of songs like The Proof, Black on Black, and Wake. Years later, I am still proud of the arc of feeling that The Proof carries the listener through.
Over the next few years the three of us put together eleven songs, give or take, before the project came to a halt. We played a few shows, but didn’t get the chance to spend much time on stage, largely due to the mostly vacant position of band drummer. During the band’s active years, we had many, and I mean many, auditions for additional musicians, most often for a drummer. The process was endlessly frustrating, but fortunately we were having a good time. I have lots of fond memories of sitting on Frank’s couch, talking and laughing with the then-current Daybloom line-up.
After the group dissolved, the songs went silent. I was active in metal projects again and my acoustic compositions dwindled. When I began taking up recording seriously, I knew that one day I’d return to these pieces and give them their day in the sun. So, in spring of 2016 I started putting some serious miles on accomplishing that.
The drums, always a frustration in the past, were now able to be handled by sequencing. The drums you’ll hear on the record are all hand-instruments I keep at the studio, sampled, edited, and sequenced in long hours up late at night. It was quite a thrill to finally be able to make the Daybloom percussion happen the way I’d always wanted it to.
Currently, the album is still in principal recording. Kate, Frank, and I are working diligently on putting it together, and hopes are high for a relatively quick completion, but these things do take time. When the album drops, this will be the place to find out about it and how to get your hands on it. Keep checking back, bookmark, or perhaps sign up to receive my blog in your email.
For now, check out my other folk project, which actually does have an album available for listening: Orphic Elegy.