PREMIERE | Born Days, "Where We Live"

Melissa Harris of Born Days; photographed by Samie Dayo.

Melissa Harris of Born Days; photographed by Samie Dayo.

Following up the 2017 release Be True — Chicago based artist Born Days presents the debut of the title track “Where We Live” from the upcoming EP. Arriving October 4 via Rain Heart Records, Melissa Harris sharpens the electro aesthetic to create a sense of futuristic abode woven into ambient and electric environments. The concept of home in the contemporary age is coupled with ideas of modern dystopia and the Guy Debord subject of the simulation contribute to the artifice and mood of a song that feels like it could be featured in the latest cinematic adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story.

“Where We Live” operates on the idea that the future is now. Harris begins the track with a wave of synths that spin in spondees as the grand moody keys enter swiftly into the audio frame with an omniscient authority. Born Days brings us to a present day world of ruin leveled on account of its own hubris and backward governance. Like a demolished metropolis ripped from the pages of a cyberpunk paperback pulp; Harris builds a place of their own out of the rubble and folderol in pursuits of hitting the reset button to regenerate a new existence and a greater (and more inclusive) society. The post-apocalyptic narrative is embedded into the electronic sequence that encases Melissa’s delivery that runs the continuum between being indicative of the human experience and the ensuing singularity of a technocratic society consumed by autonomous (along with automatons) artificial intelligence. “Where We Live” is a mirror reflection that combines elements of the modern material realm that we know intersected with a not so distant future that the science fiction merchants, artists and authors always warned us of in their cautionary tales.

Reflections by Born Days’ Melissa Harris; photographed by Rachel Winslow.

Reflections by Born Days’ Melissa Harris; photographed by Rachel Winslow.

Melissa Harris of Born Days shared some expansive thoughts on the inception and creation of the Where We Live EP, title track and more:

“Where We Live” is an unbridled attempt to explore the meaning of our existence on this planet and find some truth in experiencing our current, and oftentimes dark, reality through the experimentation of sound. I often obsess over what is reality verses what is simulated and how it has become harder and harder to distinguish one from the other, especially within the context of the recent discovery that new technologies are at the heart of a massive thought control experiment and the new phenomena that is the total immersion of ourselves into our social media worlds and virtual identities. These themes led me to focus on creating a sound that emphasizes the coming union of artificial intelligence, machines and the fallibility of human nature. I’m not interested in writing love songs that scratch at the surface of loneliness or attempting to appeal to mainstream music culture, rather the songs on this album attempt to explore the deepest, darkest unknowns of our human nature through a unique and unconventional sonic vision. I wrote these songs as if we already have destroyed the world as we know it and need to rebuild a vision of humanity that was completely undone by us.

I attempted to create soundscapes on the Where We Live EP that will tell this story. I focused on instrumentation inspired by an early era of synthesizers and sequencers developed when electronics started emerging as musical instruments and changed the language of sound forever. I write, record and produce everything in my tiny little DIY studio with my computer at the heart of this process. I think, though, that the computer can become one of the most intimate instruments as this machine can accidentally (or intentionally) become an extension of our true self and allow us to bridge the gap between human emotion and artificial intelligence, and from here we can begin to tell the story of this new relationship whether or not it is good or bad.  The sonic vision on “Where We Live” was inspired by the sounds of retro and electronic drum machines, dreamy ambiance simulated by the use of effects pedals, digital reverbs and sequenced delays, and the dark apocalyptic sound of computer glitch inspired synthesizers and rare sound samples. Even the vocals on "Where We Live" sometimes straddle the line between robotic vs. human.

This EP came into existence only because of a weird and unstoppable desire to delve into the subconscious and reflect on the philosophy of truth and more specifically, the contingent truths versus the necessary truths in our perceived reality. What’s interesting about the nature of sound is the physicality of it and how it is energy and pressure that move through space and time, and this idea became so magical to me that I wanted to tap into its mythos and, with humility, see what it wanted to say.

Born Days’ Where We Live EP will be available October 4 via Rain Heart Records.

Where We Live  cover art by Samie Deyo

Where We Live cover art by Samie Deyo