My Best Fiend - In Ghostlike Fading

Fred Coldwell gives us a run through of the record, track by track, as well as an exclusive stream.

Brookyn based My Best Fiend release their debut album ‘In Ghostlike Fading’ next week so DIY got the band’s frontman and lyricist Frederick Coldwell to give us a run through of the record, track by track, complete with a cheeky stream below. “Here are some thoughts on the Individual songs on ‘In Ghostlike Fading’. I am very happy to be able to do this. It is rare opportunity to really dig into your work and try to shed some light on it. It was also quite a nerve-wracking experience as well. When songs are written, it is seldom with a very clear intention. Songs are ways of expressing feelings that are desperate for a voice. These feelings are very often the direct result of some ambiguous or undefined intention lurking in the soul, and when they finally do see the light of expression, their meaning becomes visible.”

1. Higher Palms
I believe Kris wrote the guitar parts to this one while on a much needed vacation to the extraordinarily expensive city of St. Martaan. He returned with the verse and chorus pretty intact. Paul added the defining Rhodes piano and line the rest of us did our thing. Lyrically, the song is built around a sense hopeful of defiance, as the chorus declares that the ‘angels’ and ‘sun’ will be eventually rendered irrelevant, like some purposeful sense of Hubis. The opening line is meant to illustrate the feeling of being supervised, of your actions being overseen, and the suspense of an impending collapse, a vase wobbling on a shelf, about to topple, when actually the truth of the matter is that all things will settle. All things will endure.

2. Jesus Christ
This song was written when I was living in an apartment that was a bit of a revolving door for a few MBF members through the years (thanks Meagan). I played it for Kris and then promptly forgot all about it. Thankfully he remembered it a few weeks later at practice and we got it together. This song is phrased as a prayer, however, it is the prayer of the not-quite repentant. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the idea of some sort of holy blanket of forgiveness for repeat offenders. Like a half-assed apology. The idea of being saved or reaching some stainless quality of being regardless of your lack of conviction, your absolute knowledge of future transgressions, seems like absolute bullshit to me.

Another track written during some of the darker days of MBF’s collective history, but there’s something about ‘ODVIP’. Aside from the connection with those times, it’s still a favorite one to play live and let loose on a bit. ‘ODVIP’ is an acronym for Overdose Very Important Person. It was written in the wake of a dear friends passing. The original title was ‘RIPRSVPODVIP’ but we shortened it for convenience sake. The end of the song is a warning, I guess, that all things eventually get reconciled in the end. But who cares about warnings really? We are going to do what we are going to do. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ it all will end. Just a matter of ‘when’ it will stop.

4. One Velvet Day
This song is about perception. The opening lyric is about mistaking an earthly disaster for a sign from the heavens. It is opening the door for the possibility that what you perceive as a miracle is just the result of a blinking light of some ancillary object in the sky, bringing cable TV to the peoples.

5. In Ghostlike Fading
This song is also the title track of the album. We didn’t originally think of this as the album title but over time it seemed very fitting. As a song, it is meant to represent the fleeting or ethereal aspects of our lives. A way to embrace the momentary truths around us. The idea of having any concrete understanding of who we are and what our purpose is in this life seems a bit rose colored to me. This song is meant to express the idea that a person can hold and actively believe in an ephemeral existence without losing a sense of place, of harmony, with the world.

6. Cracking Eggs
This is one of the oldest songs on the record. The song is simple, but its complexity is to be found in its execution. Lyrically, it is meant to deal with the fundamental disconnect between revelation and belief. The lyrics at the end of the song are meant to illustrate the absolute truth that once something is seen, once something is witnessed, it can no longer be something that is ‘believed’ in. The idea of belief is built on faith, we believe in things that we cannot prove. For example, we don’t ‘believe’ that the Earth revolves around the sun, it’s a fact. But faith is dependant upon the idea that we cannot prove the existence of a certain thing. It is that truth that separates church-going folk from the rest of us. But it is that very idea that makes believing so appealing.

7. Cool Doves
This song was written a couple years ago but when it came time to get into the record, I was happy it could see the light of day. I’ve always been attracted to songs where the verses were contradictory to the chorus. I remember hearing ‘One In A Million’ by Guns n’ Roses when I was a kid and being so confused by how the lyrics in the verse were so audaciously racist and homophobic but somehow I was still being mesmerized by the beautiful chorus. ‘Cool Doves’ is a song about weeding through the people in your life, about seeing people for who they are, much like yourself, with faults and shortcomings, and loving them regardless. The line “shooting all the cool doves down” is about killing the surface, the beautiful veneer. It was written at a time when there were people in my life who I felt were inconsequential to me, but ended up having a monumental impact on my life. To those ‘Cool Doves’ I only have the worst wishes to send. Godspeed.

8. I’m Not Going Anywhere
This is one of the love songs on the record. It is about finding someone that fills the void in your soul, about finding someone who compensates for your deficiencies. Maybe that’s an unfair burden to put on someone, but I’d hardly be the first person to thirst for it.

9. On The Shores of The Infinite
This was an obvious song for the end of the record. It is structured very much as a lullaby. It is about letting go of all the things that you hold sacred and falling asleep on the edge of your destiny. Like all efforts to move forward, it is weighted down by the memories and habits of your life. It is only in that final surrender that we can find peace for our restless souls.

My Best Fiend’s new album ‘In Ghostlike Fading’ is out now via Warp.