Behind the song “Circles”

In the “Behind The Song”-series we talk about the writing process, the ideas behind the lyrics, and much more… Today we tackle the track “Circles”, taken from the 2013 EP “Future Past”.

Behind “Circles”

We’ve all met someone we thought we could help with advice, with helping them overcome difficulties, or get out of nasty situations. Or we’ve even thought we could change someone… “Circles” is all about this, and more… It’s about someone who’se in the process of taking distance from another person. Meanwhile reflecting on what he/she has done for that person, but in his/her eyes didn’t work out, because, after all the efforts, the person is still running in “Circles”… This process is portrayed in the music video as well.

The original track was written as a piano-based version, as +/- 40% of our tracks start out, and then converted into a more synth-pop / ambient-dub version. The repetitive piano hits (in the “stripped” aka piano-based version) are a metaphor for a “circle”. In the synthpop-version, we did this a bit differently: arpeggios there mimic a “circular” movement in the chorus and further after the second chorus…

For the techies…

Some of the synths and/or romplers we used here were NI Massive (bassline, pads), ReFX Nexus (piano), and probably some more…

The distinct ambient fx sound in the beginning and end of the track was used by sampling a noise through a vocodor (Prosoniq’s Orange Vocodor) based on the root note of the track. Listen below for an example. I must add that I absolutely love to use the Orange Vocodor on beats or noise samples… I did this before on the track “Attract/Reject” from the 2010 album “Eclectric“.

For the background “pad”/”string” that runs through the entire song (both “stripped” version, as the normal version), I used something I often do, and that is to create a basic pad playing the chords (or in this case it was an arpeggio note sequence) and then ran it through a reverb, but only allowing the wet signal to come through. This way you get a more “distant” feeling. The sound is more mysterious, spacious… Listen below on the soundcloud player for an example.

A big part of the beat is processed in the same way as the pad.. First making a loop with hats/snares/kick and then bouncing it to a file. Then, just like the “pad”/”string”, it went through a reverb with only the wet signal on. On top of this I added the real beat,  bassline,  some other percussion elements, additional synths and ofcourse the vocals.

Listen to the track


I helped her pick up the pieces,
I showed her a way out…
Hell I even took some of her beatings,
and brought her back to the earth
She’s running in circles now, time and time again making the same mistakes
I guess it’s true when they say that people never change
ooh, what to do with you?
But I’m done cleaning her mess,
And i’m done playing her maid…
It’s time and time again, she is never going to change
She’s running in circles now, time and time again making the same mistakes
I guess it’s true when they say that people never change