In Svbterranean’s Album Dissections, artists break down the construction and/or lyrical themes of their records track by track.
Back in November, indie folk artist Crosby Morgan released her new EP titled Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah. In comparison to her Patrons of Silence EP that was released back in May, Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah sees Morgan delving deeper into her ambient influences to produce an acoustic-driven, atmospheric sound that is reminiscent of the more brooding of Low‘s material and the more stripped-down moments in Chelsea Wolfe‘s discography.
Crosby Morgan was kind enough to take part in our Album Dissections series to talk in depth about the stories behind the songs. Check out what she had to say below.
“Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah” is a project that was formulated a few years ago, but finally released this winter. I am proud to have put the album out under Dark Martha Records/Handsmade. While the EP is very short, I pieced it together as artfully and carefully as I could.
The first song, “No Pain”, depicts the struggle between the powers that be versus the self. Those who have power in our society often paint an idealistic picture of reality, and unfortunately, the rest of society can sometimes be numb to the pain and problems in life. Even though we know life is unpredictable and uncontrollable, it’s sometimes easy to fall into a state of comfort and complacency. The song reflects my outlook on society as its own macro organism—one with a tendency to continually avoid the unknown and problematic. I believe that in many ways we’ve built our world around fear but disguised it as comfort.
The next song, “Rain”, is about breaking oneself into pieces and reconstructing the self. I believe that finding and accepting one’s life direction entails hard work—both mentally and physically. Because nothing we see, know, touch, or hear in this world is intrinsically meaningful, we must infuse meaning into our lives. There is a path, but only if you make one.
“Teacher” is peaceful agony. I wanted to write something that was emotive without lyrics, and the goal for this song was to portray pain and regret. I purposely made the lead vocal a bit louder in the mix so that it acts as a guide through the song (the teacher). This song is a glimpse into the perspective of the pariah.
And lastly, “Systematic Sadness” is a love song. It is about having unrequited love for someone and longing to be remembered by that person. As loneliness is better than experiencing the misery of being with someone who is indifferent, the song is a commentary on how love can be painful and complicated. “Systematic Sadness” ends with a single, simple vocal line of humming—my intention with this was to bring the album to a close by grounding the listener with a simple mantra, in contrast with the convoluted nature of the first half of the song.
My goal for “Rain Games for the Natural Born Pariah” was to tell a story felt by almost everyone at some point in their lives. Though we may feel we are alone, it is good to know that it is possible we are alone together.