Voxtrot Share Origins of New Song “Kindergarten”: Exclusive

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The post Voxtrot Share Origins of New Song “Kindergarten”: Exclusive appeared first on Consequence.

Origins is a new music feature in which artists exclusively share the inspirations behind their latest release. Today, Voxtrot’s Ramesh Srivastava breaks down the reunited band’s previously unreleased song “Kindergarten.”

Voxtrot are no stranger to the sonic landscape. After coming together in 2003, they released a self-titled record, three EPs, and toured the US during a fruitful seven-year run. Now, their paths have crossed again in 2022 for a reunion tour and new archival releases including the upcoming album Cut from the Stone: Rarities & B-Sides. Ahead of its release, the indie pop group have unearthed their new single, “Kindergarten,” which Consequence is premiering one day early.

Originally recorded in the mid-2000s, “Kindergarten” appears to be another upbeat Voxtrot track at first listen, but lead singer Ramesh Srivastava explains how the song offers more than just the effervescent listen. Coming off a season of feeling uninspired, Srivastava describes how he found himself again after writing “Kindergarten.”

“I had begun having cyclical panic attacks and no longer felt connected to music, myself, or anyone around me,” he tells Consequence. “This was obviously not a pleasant experience, but it opened the door to many forms of therapy and led me on a long journey of unearthing my psychology and spirituality.”

Accordingly, “Kindergarten” touches on feelings of listless isolation tinged with unwavering hope for the future. Reading like a page from his diary, “Kindergarten” follows Srivastava as he rediscovers his inspiration for creating. As the driving beat pushes forward, Srivastava repeats, “I believe in you, I believe you,” reassuring and reclaiming his sense of self.

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Stream “Kindergarten” below, followed by Srivastava’s Origins breakdown.

Cut from the Stone: Rarities & B-Sides is out on July 22nd. Pre-orders are ongoing. Voxtrot’s seven-date reunion tour kicks off on September 17th at Webster Hall in New York City and also includes stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin. Grab your tickets here.

“Disorder” by Joy Division:

“Disorder” is not only my favorite Joy Division song, it is one of my favorite songs period. One of the things I love most about Joy Division is that their music feels like a direct window into Ian Curtis’s heart, and in this song, the listener is fully drawn into his mystery and able to inhabit his interior world, despite fairly cryptic lyrics.

When we recorded “Kindergarten,” I wanted to channel the churning gale of white and pink noise synths that are peppered throughout “Disorder,” as I feel they take the listener to unfamiliar terrain and provide a dynamic effect that can’t be delivered by traditional instruments.

Clubbing:

voxtrot kindergarten origins clubbing
voxtrot kindergarten origins clubbing

Photo by Long Truong via Unsplash

Nightclubs have played a significant role in both my music and personal life. When I lived in Glasgow, I was lucky enough to find Optimo (Espacio), which at that time was a Sunday night institution at The Sub Club on Jamaica Street. Its mixture of techno, acid house, no-wave, and much more opened the door to a chasm of musical exploration.

During my time in Berlin, I was just a short walk from the world-famous Berghain/Panorama Bar and used to pop down weekly (often by myself) to disappear into its dark electronic labyrinth. I loved the freedom of clubbing and prided myself on being an invincible warrior of the night, but around the time we recorded “Kindergarten,” the freedom wasn’t feeling so free anymore and my heart began longing for more substantial human connection.

Therapy:

voxtrot kindergarten origins therapy
voxtrot kindergarten origins therapy

Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

As I touched on in the previous section, at the time I wrote “Kindergarten” I was experiencing the beginnings of an existential crisis. I had begun having cyclical panic attacks and no longer felt connected to music, myself, or anyone around me. This was obviously not a pleasant experience, but it opened the door to many forms of therapy and led me on a long journey of unearthing my psychology and spirituality. The “you” I address in the song is me, which reminds me of something my teacher Norberto said: “Everybody has to be their own medicine man or woman [or person], reach down to the bottom of their being and save themselves from hell.”

Cacophony Recorders Studio:

voxtrot kindergarten origins cacophony recorders studio
voxtrot kindergarten origins cacophony recorders studio

Cacophony Recorders

Voxtrot recorded the majority of our EP Raised by Wolves and the entirety of Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives at Erik Wofford’s Cacophony Recorders studio, which at that time was located in far east Austin on the banks of the river. In 2004, it was a quiet neighborhood, particularly the semi-industrial area surrounding Erik’s studio, which was housed in a large metal structure with floor-to-ceiling windows, stark white walls, and a bright green couch.

After we’d finished the self-titled album cycle, we decided to record a few songs back in the space where everything had begun… with Erik at Cacophony. “Kindergarten” is one of those songs and, just like the EPs, it was recorded on analog tape and mixed live from the board.

“A House Is Not a Motel” by Love:

Forever Changes by Love is a classic album that somehow escaped me until I moved to Glasgow at age 19. At that time, music publications like Q and NME still had a lot of presence in the UK, and pretty much every week I would see Forever Changes featured in the pages of such magazines.

Once I finally listened to the album I was thrilled to discover a brilliant piece of psychedelia, which incorporated the baroque elements I loved from British records of the same era, yet had a distinctly American feel. The fuzz guitar solo on “A House Is Not a Motel” was an instant highlight for me, and when we were arranging “Kindergarten,” I wanted Mitch’s solo section to have a similar effect.

Voxtrot Share Origins of New Song “Kindergarten”: Exclusive
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