The first new Dumb Numbers recording with Murph in 5 years...
"Scars" is dedicated to the memory of our friend Jonathan Lee Horne, with proceeds going to Jonathan's family to help cover medical and funeral expenses. Jonathan was a good friend and a very vocal supporter of Dumb Numbers. Jonathan was excited to begin cutting the handmade lathes for this song. We miss him terribly. Fuck cancer. Big thanks to Moose for stepping in and finishing the lathe-cuts.
You can donate to the Jonathan Lee Horne Memorial Music Fund, which provides guitars and other musical gear to young and aspiring musicians, by visiting this page.
About the music:
In July 2018, I met up with Murph at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA for a quick recording session with recording engineer Justin Pizzoferatto (Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Sebadoh, Sonic Youth). Murph was on fire, and I was super excited to be playing one of J's personal Jazzmaster guitars through Frank Black's 1964 Vox amp! I have always had a certain level of self doubt every time I record (imposter syndrome), but I felt we really captured some magic and I was happy to attribute this to the tools I was given. The melody for this song came to me in a dream and I was lucky enough to have captured it upon waking before it evaporated. In almost 3 decades of making music, I’ve only been able to remember four or five of these dream melodies.
The session felt really inspired but we never got around to finishing any of the songs. Fast forward to 2020 and we're all in lockdown in our separate living quarters around the world, so I asked Bonnie and Steve to finally help finish "Scars" from the safety of their own isolated locations in Melbourne, Australia. "Scars" is Bonnie's first post-stroke recording since suffering an ischemic stroke in December 2019 and we are so proud of her (a year ago Bonnie was stuck in a hospital bed with zero mobility and the initial prognosis that she may never be able to play guitar again. She had to basically relearn how to play guitar and she's still a way better player than me!) And as an extra special little cherry on top, our friend Elissa Rose (who previously performed spoken word on the Stranger EP in 2017) also contributes backing vocals.
Available as a bonus download b-side, "Essence//Existence" is another Adam/Bonnie/Murph/Steve jam, which originally appeared on Dumb Numbers II. But I always had a severe case of demoitis with this song. Steve's original demo bass was super gnarly and did this crazy high note thing during the breakdown at 3:01 that I always missed on the album version, so this new mix reinstates Steve's original demo bass track from 2015. This mix also showcases an alternate guitar take by Bonnie, and some additional lyrics which I removed from the album version for reasons that no longer feel important. This song was born during some spirited jams with Murph at Bedrock Rehearsal in LA. We never got to tour the second Dumb Numbers album, and one of my biggest regrets was not being able to play this song live and discovering what it might have become as a live beast, especially during the instrumental breakdown. "The great wah-off” as Steve calls it!
Both of these songs have been freshly mixed by Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA and mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Mastering in Nashville, TN.