Today, Peter Matthew Bauer releases his brand new third album, Flowers (out now via Fortune Tellers), along with the focus track and thematic centerpiece, “Chiyoda, Arkansas, Manila”.The final single is described as an abstract portrait of anti-cult researchers Bauer met online, drawing on one in particular’s experience and reactions in the abstract. Set against a wall of arp synthesizers, electric guitars, and Matt Barrick smashing the drums, the song ends with a sound that’s something like a good U2 song being drowned underwater.
“The entire process of making the record, I was chasing this strange archetypal force. It’s the electricity at the edge of things, something wild and writhing, like a cosmic snake. I think you can tell its story right now through the rise of conspiracism in American culture and around the world,” says Bauer about the single.
“There is an anti-cult researcher. I guess that’s what you’d call her. She is an expert on Aum Shinrikyo. I don’t know her personally but this song is inspired by her. It’s a sort of warning. I know that her writing kept leading me back to the origins of things. It made me go back into my own self and story so that I could relate. There’s something hidden, a rosetta stone just out of reach in her Japanese mountain cults, something in my childhood, all these kids driven insane out in the suburbs outside Washington DC. Something about the Ashram where I grew up in upstate New York – whatever bad things went on behind closed doors there. And whatever you first feel when you’re 13 or so, out there at the edges of a city or crossing a railroad bridge with your friends. It’s all of that,” he continues.
“And then there was a single day. I set the basic demo of this song up as a repeating loop, 45 minutes or so in length, that I repeated again and again into the night. I’d set up a chain of effects that would remain a constant throughout the process of making this record. It was a messy grab bag of delays and distortions and reverbs that I then sang through each line twice in unison. This sound then disguised whatever I disliked, questioned or over-thought about myself and what I was trying to say so that I could write freely and without analysis. And that is what you hear on tape here.”