Autumnboy recently released his first album, Ghost Of A Broken Record, under his current name. Often referring to his personal and spiritual process, the album is made up of emotionally driven song writing and at times consulting very deep and intimate emotions. “The album addresses a lot of my issues,” Autumnboy starts, “so there’s a lot of feelings that are in there, and it ranges from hopelessness and isolation, to heartbreak, regret and self-deprecation and then hopefulness.” Opening song, ‘Kill Yourself, Become The Sky’ is a very immediate introduction to the album and the style of music that Autumnboy has taken on. The sense of honesty that the music holds is a very appealing attribute, and with the artist being so open about his inner demons, it’s a very intriguing look at another person’s release. While the intimacy can be quite bare and nakedly placed in front of us, the inspiration of honesty is remarkable. Ghost Of A Broken Record has, in a way, promoted the sense of honesty through its own reflective and growing nature. “The album itself runs almost like a story, the beginning of each track, I tend to express a lament over a certain issue; whether it be struggling with my relationship with God, or with a girl, or a sense of overall insecurity. This then all accumulates to a peak with the title [Ghost Of A Broken Record], in which I come into a call with Alex from HXVNTED, and he represents the voices in my head – the voices that aren’t from God – whilst I’m speaking truth into each statement and fighting back. Eventually it drops down into me repeating the truth over to myself again and again: “I am a child of the King.”
“As an individual and as an artist I am unashamedly a follower of Jesus Christ, and over the years I feel as if my relationship with God has come to bleed into every part of my life.” He says. “When I first had the idea of putting this album together it wasn’t my intention to have it be an articulation of my process, but as the process of collating the songs went on, I felt as if God really began to direct what it was going to be. It was a really cool process to watch unfold in front of me!” Second track, ‘Terrible,’ is a challenging self-reflective track, in which Autumnboy address his senses of insecurity, and reminiscing over the reasons why the Autumnboy project came to life, he says “It started from a friend of mine sending me a song by an artist called Nothing, Nowhere, in the summer of 2016. It introduced me to a new genre of music that’s popped up over the past few years that mixes emo with trap-style drums and I fell in love instantly! So, I decided to start up the project as something to experiment with since I’d been writing music under the emo genre previously.” Ghost Of A Broken Record is an interesting combination of both of those genre’s, but it’s a real grower. While being very extraordinary and breaking away from the normality of emo, Autumnboy has taken it upon himself to tackle the obscure genre of music and triumphantly succeeded in making it work.
An example of Autumnboy’s honesty and intimacy is through the fifth track, ‘I Never Meant To Hurt You’ that shows the brutality that self-reflection can have, but through acceptance can help the path towards a better understanding of behaviour. “It was a hard track for me to write in many ways. A while down the line after the breakdown of a romantic relationship and close friendship, I ended up finding out a lot of things that this person thought of me and many things that they accused me of, all of which were negative. It was scary and induced a lot of anger in me at first, but after a few days of cooling down I felt an overwhelming sense of gratefulness,” he says. “I was grateful that through this situation I had been given a chance to be introspective and understand more of the things about myself that needed to change, and I did it through by putting myself in her shoes and try and understand her viewpoint. To some extent, I began to understand how I had negatively treated people in the past, and gained a desire to change that.” The four-and-a-half-minute track is a very storytelling track, being outright rather than vague – an emphasis on the reaction that the writer had when looking at the bigger picture, and through acceptance, moving on to truly recreate himself. “A dude called Louis C.K. once said “When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t,” and it really stuck with me throughout this whole process. Regardless of what I thought was right or wrong in the situation – truth or lies – I had hurt her, and that wasn’t okay. The song was me swallowing my pride, trying to explain myself and apologising. There’s no passive aggression; there’s no ‘oh I’m sorry but you said this about me,’ but just an understanding that this person was hurting, and I was the one that had caused it and I needed to own up for that, regardless of circumstance.”
One of the most intimate songs that really addresses Autumnboy’s faith is ‘Lose You,’ a song that features Hands & Feet and discusses the troubles he faces being a man of God and a victim of his own mental health. “I’m an extremely expressive person, so I began to write more and more as Autumnboy to express my emotions which eventually collated into the album that is out now.” The music, though, is more than just music for the songwriter, “I think through a lot of it I felt excitement though, despite how I was feeling, it brings me an immense joy to manifest my feelings in sound, and performing them on the record just backed up that joy because I was able to articulate that in a way that I saw fit,” he says, “it’s always incredibly helpful for me to express myself through song and it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was very young and I am ecstatic now that I have the skill set to do so. It’s almost therapeutic, being able to express myself not only through lyrics but through the instrumentals I write too.” During the writing of Ghost Of A Broken Record, Autumnboy travelled to places such as New Jersey and Texas, and creating his ideas in various places. “I started writing for Autumnboy towards the end of summer. I spent just under a month in the USA overall, and during that time I worked on the demos for ‘Lose You’ and ‘Moonlight.’ I won’t go into too much detail, but if weren’t for that trip, I wouldn’t have written ‘Moonlight’ at all,” he says.
The fourth track of the album is certainly a different feeling to the previous tracks, being laced with optimism and giving a sense of overall euphoria, and a potential turning point in the Ghost Of A Broken Record story. Autumnboy has thrived in his creativity, taking influence from not only his emotions but his environments to create a very unique kind of masterpiece. “I wrote the majority of both of those songs [‘Moonlight’ & ‘Lose You’] on my friends’ bedroom floor while the people I was visiting were at work. That trip will always have a special place in my heart, so knowing that these songs were almost a bit of an outpouring of the trip is really cool for me.”
“In the final song, ‘Towers’, I begin to ask God to become the strength in all of my weaknesses, understanding that he fills in all the gaps and can fix all the issues that I’d previously been lamenting over throughout the album. The track itself wasn’t something I was incredibly excited about,” Autumnboy begins, discussing the final chapter of Ghost Of A Broken Record, “that was until Chris Bernstorf sent in the recording for his guest spot. It was actually at that point that I felt that God really confirmed that he was at work amongst this album. Every word that Chris spoke over the music I wrote not only related to me, but it shined a light to where I needed to be going next in my journey.” The song in question, ‘Towers’ has a cinematic and almost choreographed atmosphere surrounding it. It’s quite elegant in its presentation, as it moves gently and subtly into bass induced reminiscent. The guest vocals of Chris Bernstorf are passionate, adding that flourishing honesty to compliment the works of Autumnboy.
Being not only a debut, but a journey of experience for Autumnboy that has allowed him to express his emotions in a therapeutic way, looking to the future of the project is rather vague. “I’ve actually started the writing process for my second album, and at the moment it’s just jotting down ideas and recording rough guitar parts,” he says. “I don’t intend to release anything for a very long time though, because I want to be able to live and experience things that will truly inspire me. Not to mention the fact that I really want to relish and push the stuff I have out already – the album completely exceeded my expectations,” he starts. “A lot of it was written before I went into the studio, but some stuff worked and some stuff just flat out didn’t. I sincerely believe that every track turned out the way it was supposed to, and with the help of Realmskip, it sounds much better than I ever could have imagined, production wise. He’s truly made my music shine, and I would be doing myself a disservice to just let Ghost Of A Broken Record fall to the wayside.”