“If I Were Better” (buy/stream here) is the next track off Ascension’s Constraint, paired with part 2 of the novel of the same name. In a nutshell, it’s about seeing how things are and feeling powerless to change them. In a way, it’s a lamentation. At this point in the novel, Alex sees that he is being reeled into a plot, whether he wants to be in it or not. He’s not yet accepted his role yet. But, I think he will.
I didn’t mean it to be entirely defeatist. I think it represents how we sort of envision things playing out when we feel hopeless. It’s like we just want it to be over, even if the outcome is bad. Al lot of times things don’t play out nearly as bad as we envision them, especially if we trust ourselves and not look to our “leaders” to help us out.
As far as production goes, this is a song I produced, recorded, and mixed on my own. I’ll be doing that more and more. I’m not perfect yet, and I never will be, but I think by the end of all this I’ll be a lot closer to where I want to be as a musician and producer. Things are moving more and more to the home studio, and while some lament this, I embrace it. I look at it as a way to fully realize my vision of a song. Collaboration with other people is great. I love working with Lu and am excited to keep doing so. But, over the years, I’ve learned that the more people you add in, the more your vision can get watered down. It’s awesome when something comes together from a jam, but a lot of times that doesn’t happen. So, by the end of this project, hopefully I’ll be able to push the envelope of what someone can do on their own, so long as they work hard (and acoustically treat their room!).