Song Deconstructed: ‘Not Go Home’ by Aves

Aves. Photo: Harry Güler
Aves. Photo: Harry Güler

Aves’ Joonas: “We like unconventional structures.” Photo: Harry Güler

The Finnish electronic-pop outfit invite use to learn all about a song born from a fear of losing someone dear

Emerging from the Finnish electronic-pop scene, the music of Aves is a fusion of synth-laden melodies and introspective lyrics. Eino, Juntti, and Antti make up Helsinki-based outfit and the trio have recently dropped their immersive new album Transformations. Drawing from their own experiences with mental health, addiction, and inner healing, these themes are worked through until they become a source of enlightenment and freedom. Musically, the gang are influenced by a wide range of genres including indie, R&B, and 90s rock, filtering them through their own Nordic-pop sound. Here, Antti and producer Joonas Verwijnen take a closer look at one of the album’s key tracks…

INSPIRATION

Antti: Musically, I wanted to create something that combines early 70s drumming with some late 70s synth sounds. Then, I aimed to find a nice groove between the drums and bass, as well as a harmonious notation between the chords and bass.

Joonas: I can’t remember a certain inspiration for this song. It’s more of a feeling that we were trying to convey or stay true to since the early demo.

LYRICS

Antti: My daughter’s birth led me to confront my fear of death, particularly the inevitability of losing loved ones. Concurrently, watching the film Arrival made me go deeper into life’s limitations. So the first concept of the song lyrically started from this fear of losing someone close to me.

Joonas: In the very first demo, among a lot of the normal unconscious words that Antti usually sings when he makes a demo, he sang, “Not go home,” which resonated immediately. That line was kind of an anchor for the rest of the lyrics. “Home” as a word has a warm tone to it so why would one not want to go home?

It’s good for the writing process to have something concrete in the early stages. We usually change a lot of things while we work on a song which can make us make many wrong turns. I don’t like to explain the meaning of the lyrics because I think it takes away a lot of the way a listener can interpret a song and make it theirs.

Aves. Photo: Harry Güler

Aves’ Joonas: “It’s good for the writing process to have something concrete in the early stages.” Photo: Harry Güler

MUSIC

Antti: I aimed to create a song with four simple elements – drums, bass, synth (chords), and vocal melody – produced in such a way that it feels like a band playing together with purpose, yet without too many restrictions. Additionally, I wanted to incorporate modern production techniques to give it a retro-futuristic feel.

Joonas: The structure of the song hasn’t changed that much since the start. We like unconventional structures and giving a song enough time to build up, to not hurry things. It’s more about chasing a feeling than anything else.

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For the vocals, we were really happy that Joel from Lake Jons wanted to be part of the song. We’ve always been fans of their music. His voice has the right kind of fragile tone to it.

IN THE STUDIO

Antti: The first draft is usually recorded at the same time as I compose it, and in this case, instruments like drums and bass were recorded in this draft phase. Sometimes, there is just some magic in these first draft recordings. We usually record all the synths with midi so we can more easily change notes or chords at a later stage.

Joonas: We have a set of synth sounds that we decided to use on this record to help with the endless possibilities of the digital age. The midi is then re-recorded through analog gear. We like the analog warmth that it gives and we can also tweak and play with the filters while we record so we can follow the transitions of the song while doing it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Antti: I feel like we managed to produce a pretty good version of this song. Although I always feel there is room for enhancement, I think that’s just the perfectionist in me.

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Joonas: We’re really happy how it turned out. It feels really good to have it finally out and let other people take part of it. It’s been a long journey and we’re ready for where inspiration will lead us next.

Aves’ new album Transformations is out now. To find out more, head to avesmusic.com

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