After almost two and a half years, I present to you my 3rd and final The Answer Page album, "The Nightmares of my Dearest Cardinal". I've been working on this album since 2012 and have spoken on many occasions about its importance to me in artistic and cathartic ways. What many of you likely do not know, however, is that this album in particular is what started and sustained The Answer Page project from the beginning.
I moved to Houston in 2008 with my partner and in doing so, I left behind a band of friends and musicians with whom I created and performed music for years. Inspired by other one-man-bands I set out to create my own music and experimented with writing and performing all instrumental parts myself. I wrote and released "Orca" in 2011 after a few years of playing around with ideas, practicing recording, and learning what I could about audio production. In all honesty, I never really expected anyone to care much about it other than my partner, my close friends, and my family back home. Fortunately, I caught the ears of a few writer friends on the internet and they spoke highly of the album and helped to expose me to the people who would become my fans and supporters.
I wrote "Featureless Beast" in 2012 and made an endless list of mistakes with it. First and foremost, I focused too much on perfecting the production of the album and not enough on refining the ideas I wanted to convey. The album itself was well received, but I walked away from it feeling disappointed in myself and my abilities because I rushed it, I released it poorly, and I feel like I wrote it for the wrong people. I was proud of the instrumentation and I loved the songs themselves, but ultimately I allowed my fear of rejection and thirst for validation turn the album into something I still feel like I should correct. Perhaps one of these days I'll revisit it and rebuild it as the vision I had intended. Perhaps I'll let it be what it is and move forward.
This 3rd and final album is the album that I wrote about my mother's suicide and the irreversible impact it had upon my life. I spent a few years having recurring PTSD nightmares about her death and when I finally had control of the uncontrollable things in my life, I imagined turning the experience into music. When I began this project years ago, I knew that I wanted to write an album to memorialize her and pay tribute to the woman that I loved and miss so dearly. I knew that I wouldn't be able to pull it off without practice and experience so I told myself that I would do two other ones first so that by the time I was ready to release it, I'd at least know what I was doing. Unfortunately, I didn't think about things that might be different by the time I was ready to focus on this creation. I didn't know that I would worry about whether my fans still cared or if they ever did to begin with. I didn't realize I'd be packing up my life and moving it across the country. I had no idea anyone would ever write nice things about my work, let alone in newspapers and blogs around the world. All of these forces changed the process and it took me time to regain the control I needed to make this album.
I've chosen not to do anything grandiose or special for this release, not because I am not proud of the work or because I don't believe it is worth it. Rather, I've chosen to let this be what it is. I don't want to convince anyone to listen to it this time. I don't want to make money from it unless the listener wants to pay towards helping me invest in better equipment or press it on vinyl, something I've always dreamt of. I want this album to be the honest story about the loss of a beautiful woman and the reality of what her absence did to me as a person and an artist. I want you to listen to it so I can tell you the things I've struggled to say out loud. I'd love for you to share it with someone you think may understand it, or someone who might need your help.
I've left the album as a free download though you may pay if you wish. If you do pay, the money will go towards my savings for pressing this on vinyl and/or equipment upgrades so that I can continue to grow as a recording artist. If you'd rather not pay at all, that's ok with me too. If you'd like to do something extra special, please consider donating money to organizations that work to prevent suicide and care for loved ones affected by its wake. Frankly, the most valuable thing you could do would be to focus love and care on those around you. You never know who might be in need.
Thank you for your endless support and love. If the vinyl pressing every comes together, I'll return to you again to offer the complete package of artwork, music, and some handmade/handwritten something or other, because well, that's my style.
Thanks for listening,
released December 28, 2014
All instrumentation and production by Nate McKee
Artwork by Josh Denby
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