Inspiration Through Music: Amarante

As of late, I’ve been busy with thoughts about my comedy, “Night Time, Dotted Line” and the potential sequel for it that has been rolling around in my noggin. When I wrote this book, it was because these characters had been speaking to me since I’d started a book with them close to ten years ago. I knew that I had to write a book with them and that was this book. But, I’d expected them to stop talking to me once I’d finished the book. No such luck. If anything, they are more persistent than ever… I realize that this makes me sound a little like a schizophrenic. Writing does that. Dozens upon dozens of characters begging for attention and wanting to be voiced through you… To make a long story short (too late!), I’ve started brainstorming for the sequel to “Night Time, Dotted Line” and one of the bands I’ve been listening to pretty much non-stop to help with that inspiration is Amarante.

Amarante is a husband and wife indie duo from California that I was introduced to only a few weeks ago by one of the Youtube LPer’s that I follow. He used one of Amarante’s songs at the end of the video and since then, I’ve had their songs playing on repeat on my way to work, when I’m home writing, and even in my head while I’m at my day job. They really know how to get a tune into your head and make it stick. Catchy tunes with intelligent lyrics and a unique pairing of voices. They’ve really pushed thoughts of this sequel into the foreground and made me want to work on it (despite being committed to another project at the moment). They help to take me away from the cold and dark of Midcoast Maine’s winter and put me back in late summer, across the country, in the lives of two very different people who are more alike than they care to admit.Today, I’ll be sharing four of their songs with you and what it is that I see when I hear them. Enjoy!

The Despondent One:  The sky has turned teal over the ocean. Night would soon come. He raced the car along the island’s dark and twisted roads, ignoring the foliage and the strange light in the sky. He had no way off this island, no money to make it somewhere new to start over. He’d been stuck in the same pattern for so long that it had become predictable, lazy, and most of all easy. There was nothing to get anxious about, no changes to have to contend with, and none that he’d have to make for himself. He should have known that a life like that would crash and burn at some point. And now it was too late to do anything about it. He pulled the car to a stop on the side of the road and glanced down at the cell phone resting on the car seat. She had told him long ago to call him if he ever found himself between a rock and a hard place. He’d been arrogant and stupid, said he didn’t need the favor or anyone bailing him out of his mistakes. Now, he wished he’d just kept his fat trap shut. He picked up the phone and dialed her number, each button a painstaking reminder that apology was the only thing that would get him anywhere.

Lovers Song:  Golden sunsets fly by in the side windows and wave at them in the rear-view mirror. The mountians never seem to move and the trees move all to quickly. A flock of tiny birds shoots up from the grass off to the side of the road and swoops through the air, taking off toward shelter from the approaching night. Life all around, snapshots in seconds as they pass by it all. He began to wonder when he’d actually have the time to stop and witness versus always be too hurried to take in the full picture. He’d been in a rush for nearly fifty years–his whole life. Slowing down had never seemed like an option. It was now. It practically begged to him. All he suddenly wanted was to sit in a deck chair sipping a beer and watching those birds fly away, becoming dots against the red sun.

Glowing Light:  Two separate thoughts interweaving in the cramped confines of the small car. It wasn’t the first time that they had shared space with one another, such drastically opposite opinions. But something about this time was different. The small talk and casualness had been stripped away and was replaced with a crushing realism. This could be the rest of their lives. Or not. All it took was one little decision, one flicker of “Yeah, I could do this” or “No way. It’s just too much” that could settle the entire argument. And as much as neither one of them wanted it to end, they knew that the time to make the decision was closing on them faster and faster. Pretty soon, they would be staring one another up and down and trying to decide if they could continue on their lives without the other in it.

The Problem Was Me (Instrumental):  The crowd ahead daunted and called to him. Some of those faces he hadn’t seen since he was a snobby little jerk starting on his law degree. He remembered playing darts with some of these people, soaking up beer, and laughing until two a.m. about some of the most pathetic lawsuits ever brought to court. He feared and envied these people now at the top of their game in every major city he could think of. He’d only kept in touch with a few. They all knew his ex-wife better. They were all good friends. He was on the outside now and it wasn’t the place he was hoping to find himself. They thought he was the sole reason for their divorce, the “problem.” They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Like what you’ve heard from Amarante? Check out their bandcamp page here and download yourself some cool tunes. You won’t be sorry!

Interested in reading “Night Time, Dotted Line”? Head on over to Amazon! The Kindle version is only 99 cents. Want a paperback copy? There’s a giveaway going on at Goodreads that you could possibly win!

Next week, we’ll be reviewing some music from another outstanding game title from Tell-Tale games, The Wolf Among Us, composed by the amazing Jared Emerson Johnson! Stay tuned!


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