A collection of darker, more moody music to serve as a soundtrack for the Autumnal season, perhaps the most musically-rich of all the seasons in terms of musical inspiration. It focuses on the themes of coping with suffering and death, two inescapable facets of reality, as well as how the two affect our world in different ways.
While both are usually avoided, they are also two necessary parts of life, which is best symbolized by the annual turning of Summer to Fall, whereupon many plants and animals die, and others go dormant for months. But in this sad atmosphere there is also great beauty to be found. This takeaway is key to overcoming suffering, and perhaps even death in some ways. By harnessing suffering, one can use it as a means to rise above their troubles and better themselves in the long run.
Cider & Whiskey is a love letter to Celtic rock/punk bands such as The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys, written while Gentleman.BOSS was a member of the local Long Island band The Fian.
Golgotha is the only arguably non-Autumnal track on the album, written earlier in the year following Good Friday mass. It features a melody based on Paul Gerhardt's hymn "O Sacred Head Now Wounded". The dark and morose nature of the song made it a fitting entry for This Darker Time of Year, even if it is technically an Easter song.
Minori (in Japanese, literally "Harvest") is a musical tribute to the finality and unfortunate death of annual crops during the final harvest made during the Fall.
This Darker Time of Year, the namesake of the album, drives home the above themes of Fall being a point of death for nature, but which also creates a great deal of beauty and inspiration from a different perspective.
Last Night was the byproduct of a bout of depression induced by low-dose melatonin overdose. While produced by the body and safe to take as a supplement to aid with sleep, melatonin can also cause depression if taken in too great amounts for too long of a period of time. (The moral of the story here is to always research your vitamins and supplements before taking them!)
Adolescent Empowerment Apocalypse is a thumpingly facetious diatribe which denounces the foibles of modern-day progressivism practiced by youths and college students. While encouragement is essential to every child's life, the culture of internet-shaming and armchair activism which destroys peoples' lives over Seinfeldian misconceptions, seems to be a consequence of the over-coddling of the most recent generation of adolescents.
Echo is the original rendition of 9 Echo 1, a remix song featured on the Your Loss EP. It documents several true, and tragic stories from Gentleman.BOSS's experiences working as an EMT.
All Hallow's Eve fills in the much-needed slot for a Halloween-themed song on what is a Fall-themed album.
Saint Sinner serves as an anthem of badassery, of how to look your imperfections and weaknesses in the eye, and swear to them you won't let them get the best of you. The phrase 'Simul justus et peccator' is a mantra used by Martin Luther during the Reformation, which loosely translates to "Both saint and sinner". It was taught as a principle that humans are imperfect beings, and that while we're capable of committing evil, we can also do great good as well. Because of this, you cannot let your status as a sinner prevent you from living your life and attempting to be the very best you can be.
released September 30, 2016
Gentleman.BOSS - Album conception, composition, production/processing
Erik Schmalenberg - Vocals, trumpet, horn, accordion, keyboard, synth
Tim Fitzpatrick - Guitar
Meghan Adamo - Album photography
Gentleman.BOSS is a solo project best described as folktronica, taking random, heavy cues from electronica, drum & bass, and
combining it with live instrumentation and vocals associated with folk music.
Created using KORG apps on Nintendo 3DS, combined with both VST and live instruments, it is driven purely by a craving to write and play music in absence of a multi-person band....more