Thursday, June 27, 2019

Track-by-track: State Faults - Clairvoyant

Jonny Calvert-Andrew from State Faults gives us a track-by-track guide through their album Clairvoyant, first after four-year hiatus.

Dreamcatcher Pt.II

This was actually one of the last songs written for the album! The second part was originally a very early Slow Bloom demo that we never did anything with but always kept around just in case. The first section came from me trying to find a creative way to play the original Dreamcatcher, since I’m the only guitar player in the band now. Instead of forcing that song we started jamming and it came together pretty quickly. Lyrically it’s about opening your heart to love. Writing it I imagined the sickest DIY show you can imagine, packed full of smiling people all there to love and support one another.


I’m fairly positive this was the first song we wrote for the album. I wish I could remember more about writing it since it was like four years ago haha. It was titled “emerald weapon” originally. Lyrically it’s a pondering if part of the disdain towards LGBTQ+ community is a jealousy of the real sense of family and love you find in it. “Amazed that we could be the tourniquet, a love so planetary”.

Moon Sign Gemini

This was written around the same time as Planetary actually. Inspired by Beau Navire (a rad Bay Area screamo band that had members of Loma Prieta and I Wrote Haikus). I just wanted to make a short, punk as fuck song. I demoed it in my apartment with shitty programmed drums but it was enough to get the band mates on board. I love the opening bass line so much! It’s always a fun one to play live. Lyrically it deals with the exploration of the self, unmasking past traumas and healing the soul.


I would say this song and Cemetery Lights are the most brutal to play haha. We had a lot of fun with time signatures on this one. We always call this our “Rush” song just due to the technicality and the focus required to play it. It’s heavy as fuck, but carries a cool flamenco thing into the soft bridge. Lyrically it’s about the bigotry and brutality that the marginalized people of the world experience every day.

Olive Tree

Probably my favorite song on the album to be honest. I wrote this in a solo writing sesh in our practice spot one day and fumbled a demo with the craziest drumming I could handle but Jared of course took it to another level. Originally it was just the intro and the first blasty section, but when we started jamming again I wrote the ending section, as I felt the song had further to go, and I’m really glad I did because I love playing it. A song about feeling the weight and hopelessness of this hurting world, how the systems in place want to cut you down instead of help you grow. “I promise I’ll never bloom again.”


I love this song so much. It’s everything this band does wrapped up neat in a 2 minute package. My band mates had no idea what I had in mind vocally until we were demoing it in our lock-in, when I got to the chant “I don’t know where my spirit goes” they lost their shit haha. We wanted to do more vocally on this album, a little more singing without being corny, and group vocals since at our core we’re a hardcore band haha. This song pretty much describes every sleepless, anxiety-filled night I’ve ever had, sprinkled on top with existential dread.


The very last song we wrote for this record, and when we finished it we knew it would be the title track. It actually came so organically, we were setting up for practice and since my guitar set up is so intricate Michael always finishes before me, and he had started playing the chords on bass just warming up. I told him to keep playing them as I finished and came up with the guitar line right then and there, and from there all three of us wrote the structure. It probably took half an hour all together. It’s such a doom metal song, Michael and I were in a short lived doom band called Ghost Witch and that definitely informed this track. We definitely want to explore this part of our sound more and more.
It’s such a simple song instrumentally I wanted to make the lyrics simple too, more anthemic than any State Faults song prior. The song is about all of the people in the world fighting for positive change, whose love isn’t limited by human concepts like race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. The lyrics capture the entire message of the album. Very proud of this one.


Another Michael song! He wrote the intro guitar back when we still had a different bass player. A truly collaborative effort, he wrote the intro and then together we three came up with all the rest. He and Jared worked on the bass line together. I love the hardcore beat in the third section, and the guitar line I wrote for that part is pretty rad. Not something you hear paired together all the time. This song is dedicated to our LGBTQ+ family, and our hope that soon the day will come where they can live and love as openly and as proudly without threat of physical harm. It also has my favorite vocal part and lyric, “LET REAL LOVE REIGN FREE”.

Funeral Teeth

We actually recorded an old version of this song during the Resonate sessions, but it ended up as a b side we never did anything with. This version is far more aggressive and discordant which I love. The song is a condemnation of police brutality. I love the end of this song, it’s a little mathy! “Bare your fangs, your funeral teeth.”


This is our Blood Brothers track haha. It’s so sassy and groovy, which is really something we’ve never done before. The pseudo chorus is my favorite part, I used to wish it would repeat in the song but now I can’t imagine it any other way. This song is about the corrupt politics happening at all levels all around us right now. The title being of course a portmanteau of Contamination and Nature, it’s just how the wrong qualities of human nature can turn systems meant to serve the people into tools of oppression.

Cemetery Lights

I think we always knew this would be the album closer! It’s so insanely hard to play and sing but that’s what practice is for haha. The first riff is inspired by Mars Volta’s Tremulant EP. Jared’s drumming on this song truly makes it special, the way his beautiful brain organizes these passages and time signatures, Michael and I had to play catch up haha. The end is so grand too. Lyrically it’s about rebirth, that we can be happy despite the past, that your present does not dictate your future, that we’re all in this together

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