Released under 103 Records (UK) 103records.bandcamp.com
Celebrating ten years of Paper Sailboat! All downloads include a special bonus track as a thank you to Paper Sailboat fans.
I wrote a great deal recently about the thought behind this record and what it represents for me. Do not read anything below this section if you want to simply listen to the record and take it in for what it is - I think that is the best option. That being said - if you're interested, here are the details of what On Workers' Day means from my perspective.
In Blackout Cities, the first Paper Sailboat record, has a thematic duality, telling the story of living with depression while feeling powerless .. and because I love sci-fi, it was given a story that vaguely depicts a world losing all its power and crumbling while the protagonist sleeps through it all. These ideas help give the album as a whole a greater sense of purpose. An album about my own struggle was boring to me, but this sci-fi world, that was compelling.
Several months ago I re-listened to Blackout Cities in its entirety, and maybe for the first time I heard it without all of the awful things I associated with it. The most devastating criticism I ever heard was when a family member (whose music taste I deeply respected) asked me what [Blackout Cities] was supposed to do. "Maybe it could be played in an elevator or something", he added. His earnestness was not intended to be so crushing but I've never been able to really enjoy that record. Until recently.
The richness of the mood/tapestry of Blackout Cities was something I feel that could have and should have been more present in subsequent releases. Keeping the music diverse is a compelling way to keep yourself from becoming repetitious. But in this case I wanted to see what would happen if I tugged at those moody threads once again.
At the time I was writing Blackout Cities I was diagnosed with depression. I had many symptoms of depression but there were many inconsistencies which made me question exactly what my situation was. Medication was not optimal - and I became very disenfranchised with medication. This lead to writing "Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People" - a reference to an pill consisting of rust intended to 'promote fortitude in men and woman'. There was some angst there, to be sure.
While I have mentioned that On Workers' Day continues the sci-fi story of Blackout Cities, I feel that is possibly misleading to withhold maybe the most important detail of this record and its story. This year I was diagnosed formally with ADHD-PI, something that I have suspected having for several years now. ADHD, as I have come to understand it, is a widely misunderstood condition where ones executive functions are limited or not optimal - notably, short-term memory and the proper timing/release of dopamine (generally being the wrong energy level at the wrong time - a rubber band of excitement and lethargy with little control). It connected all of the dots for me going back all the way to my childhood.
The medication, this time, is making a great deal of improvement in my day-to-day life and there is absolutely a night-and-day difference. Gone is the lethargy. I feel joy in my creativity once again. I must state explicitly that ADHD does not define me as a person, not even close. I will always be 'me’. Now it feels like I can be a better 'me'.
Whether you want to think of On Workers' Day as an album about the collapse of plutocracy and the rise of the working class in small communities around the world in the aftermath of a solar cataclysm that collapses all present-day electrical systems (very specific pitch! see papersailboat.ca
for a more expanded set of stories) or an album about my long-overdue reckoning with ADHD (a thread unknowingly started with In Blackout Cities) or, (and this is my favourite interpretation) - entirely your own interpretation - I truly hope you enjoy this record. I have poured hundreds of hours and have had the support of some super-talented and super-kind musicians like Ben Burnes, Eric Monaldo and Dan Wentz.
I am releasing it as pay-what-you-want on Bandcamp, as well as on Spotify, iTunes and most other popular music services (release date is soon but not fixed, so probably within a week or so) and for the first time ever, under a record label - 103 Records. It seems like a fitting way to celebrate ten years of Paper Sailboat!
Lastly, I want to thank you. For everything you've given me this past ten years. I don't know how you found Paper Sailboat but I have to assume that it took a pretty adventurous spirit. I know that I am very fortunate.
released August 16, 2016
Special thanks to Ben Burnes (Abstraction) for his beautiful performance of the piano on Nuclear Family. Please check out his music at www.abstractionmusic.com
Special thanks also to Eric Maldonado for his razor sharp guitar solos on The Mines, please check out his music at www.ericmaldonado.com
Special thanks to Dan Wentz whose feedback and composition feedback helped shape songs like "The Mines" (formerly titled "Expanse") and "Europa" (formerly titled "Blue Key"). You have been an inspiration for so many years! www.soundcloud.com/daniel-wentz
Thanks to Dave Thompson for his insightful mix consulting
Thanks also to Jimmy Theed of 103 Records!
Extra special thanks to Samantha McGrath, my soon-to-be wife who was loving and patient while I disappeared into finishing this record for the past few weeks. Love you to the moon and back!
Thank you - your support throughout the years has meant the world to me.