Album Auto-nalysis is a regular COUNTERZINE feature where we ask some of our favorite artists to breakdown their albums track-by-track and provide further insight into the thoughts, feelings, and artistic processes that went into making them. For this edition, we asked frontman Phil Alfonso of San Antonio shoegaze/post-punk band Processions to detail their recent LP ‘Blush’.
Phil Alfonso: Of all the songs on Blush, this was the last one to be written, literally a few days before we recorded it. The inspiration for the intro riff was loosely based on My Bloody Valentine’s opening riff to “You Made Me Realise”. We wanted to make a shoegazey-punk sounding track. The lyrics are pretty straightforward and basically it’s about packing up your things with your romantic interest and eloping together on a beach.
PA: I really dislike the name of this one. It was written and sung by our other guitarist at the time. The chord progression is based on a classic doo-wop I–vi–IV–V. The lyrics are incredibly sad. Musically, I love the swirly hazy sound this one gives out. Definitely one of the stronger tracks on the EP. The vocal tracking on this one was pretty entertaining.
PA: This one was an attempt to make a pop song. I took the name from a book I randomly found at the library and thought the definition of the world ‘solipsist’ was interesting. When performed live, it’s definitely ‘edgy’ and fast. The lyrics are about not paying attention and neglecting a loved one because you’re too self-absorbed. My favorite part is the outro, because it starts off folksy-sounding and then becomes this wall of sound. Also, if you listen closely to the ending arpeggios you can hear the metronome. Haha. (Live version)
PA: This is the song that got us a lot of attention within the shoegaze circuit. I like the sound of my voice on this particular track as well, I hit those highs in the hook very nicely. I always felt that this track was super unique within that shoegaze circuit. I can’t think of a single shoegaze song that has guitar shredding of this kind. I used to dislike the drum sounds on this whole record, but more recently I grew to love its unique tone. It definitely set us apart from some of our local contemporaries. (Live version)
5. “Slow Decay”
PA: I love performing this track live, but I absolutely hate the recording of it. It sounds too monotonous for my own enjoyment and something about the drums always sounded off. I will say I enjoyed the guitar sounds in the recording a lot. Like “Solipsist”, this track is way better live and has more depth and dynamic to it. I will probably re-record it for a future release. The lyrics were about being sick in bed all day.
PA: This is an interesting track. I love how dark it sounded in comparison to everything else we had done prior. I love the punchy bassline and the atmosphere of the song. It’s definitely a far cry to anything we had done on Blush. By this point musically, shoegaze became kind of a cheap tag and a lot of the bands were sounding the same, so we wanted to get our feet wet with darker post-punk sounds. (Live version)
PA: This song marked what would’ve been a great come back as a band after a two year recording dry spell. We had gotten tighter, more comfortable, and able to do more improv live. However, things started slowing down, practices became far and few. Writing this song was easy. Unfortunately, getting all of my former mates to record this single was like pulling teeth and like all good things it sort of fell apart and we went our separate ways. I’m very proud of how this song came out and very happy many people enjoyed it. It definitely gave me the motivation to continue this project and I’m happy with the members I have now and we’re working extra hard to continue to make music.
Processions’ ‘Blush’ is out now digitally and on cassette via Z Tapes and is available to purchase here. Processions play Paper Tiger tonight in San Antonio in support of Dreamgirl. Be sure to follow Processions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud to keep up-to-date with the band.