Though it is not the first release from Analecta, their upcoming album is a new journey for members Patrick Quigley and Calvin Maloney. Titled “aes sídhe,” it represents the first full length release from the South Bend band since their transition from three members to a two-piece group.
“We were at a crossroads,” Patrick said, in reference to the exit of the band's guitar player in 2013. “Do you keep the band name? Do you scrap it all and start over?”
He described the band as a “pretty even collaboration of three individuals.” It would be difficult to exist without one member, but they also wanted to hold on to all that they had invested in the music and in the name. In the end, they decided to continue on, knowing they had years of playing together to count on as a foundation.
“A lot of the music is stylistically very similar,” Calvin said.
“The big difference is the implementation of a lot of electronic sounds into our music,” Patrick said.
Analecta is still entirely instrumental. The big change comes in a shift from guitar-based into more electronic sounds. Patrick added a drum machine, synths, and samplers and Calvin added synths along with his guitar. The duo took on multiple tools and instruments each in order to fill the space left by having one less member. The core of the band, heavy, distorted, and atmospheric sounds, remains.
“Kevin definitely brought a lot to the band,” Patrick said, in reference to their former guitar player.
The band describes Kevin's departure as a loss, but also as an opportunity. Both Calvin and Patrick described themselves as experimental, often delving into sounds that may not appeal to a broad audience. Kevin often helped keep their sound grounded.
“I'd have some off the wall ideas, things that put us out into left field,” Patrick said. “We've always had a more rational voice in the band that keeps our music more accessible. But let's take this opportunity to do whatever we want to do.”
They described having a mad dash of writing after losing Kevin in order to be ready for a number of upcoming shows, coming up with a number of new songs to play in the new line-up. One of those tracks made it onto the new album. The band is happy with the places their writing and experimentation has led them.
“I have a problem with concept albums in that I can't help but make concept albums,” Calvin said.
The new album is centered around tanka, the style of Japanese poetry involving five units with each line representing an image or an idea. Each of the song titles on the album are a poem. The framework gave them a specific number of songs to aim for as they set out to write the album.