Trace Amount’s ‘A Product of Metaphysical Existence’ Captures the Eeriness of Isolation
Brandon Gallagher didn't set out to document the eerie isolation that comes with quarantine. But the latest track from the musician's industrial act, Trace Amount, certainly captures that essence. Especially in the accompanying music video that finds him dreamingly floating above New York.
Trace Amount is a solo project for Gallagher, a member of the hardcore duo Coarse. He's also a visual artist: In the self-directed clip for the noisy "A Product of Metaphysical Existence," viewers get a feel for both parts of the performer's talent. Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
The new tune is a B-side to Trace Amount's recently released "Obsessive Diagnosis." Gallagher told Loudwire he "finished these songs back in January before the direct impact of COVID-19 really set in, so it's a coincidence that lyrically and conceptually I've been able to relate to much of what's going on."
When it came time to shoot the video, however, the musician's home base of Brooklyn — nearly deserted at the crux of the coronavirus-related shutdown — proved to be a fitting cinematic backdrop for "A Product of Metaphysical Existence." The landscape also dovetailed with the song's lyrics.
"Lyrically, a lot of the ideas have to do with the idea of trying to disassociate from the bullshit that can come with struggling to stay in a city like this," Gallagher explained. "I think the timing is just a little bit crazier because we're currently living through a pandemic."
He continued, "Ever since I was young, I've experienced a lot of sleepwalking, talking, paralysis and super intense dreams. A lot of my dreams happen in places that have a bunch of recognizable elements, but not from the same place. Randomly generating somewhere I've never been before."
Gallagher's metaphysical thoughts and feelings may have provided the overall theme for the song. But at least some of its musical DNA can be traced back to one of industrial rock's pioneers — Nine Inch Nails. The Trace Amount leader admitted to a NIN-like dedication to experimental music-making.
"I've read and watched a lot of interviews with Trent Reznor, and, obviously, music skills aside, he's said numerous times that his approaches have involved a lot of trial and error, and I think that's what I enjoy about my solo project," Gallagher shared. "Creating elements that are results of hours of experimenting."
The resulting output has drawn comparisons to both Death Grips and Skinny Puppy, as Decibel magazine recently put it. BrooklynVegan called "Obsessive Diagnosis" — first released in April — "static-y and ominous."
Listeners can get Trace Amount's two-song single now. In solidarity following the killing of George Floyd in police custody, and in keeping with the spirit of subsequent protests and demonstrations, Gallagher will donate proceeds from both merch and music to the Brooklyn Bail Fund for the entire month of June.
Trace Amount, "A Product of Metaphysical Existence"
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