East - West (pronounced: The Difference Between East and West) is my first solo album since 2010, when i released Trophies under the name The Box Flower. I had used that moniker for 6 years at the time, and its been 10 years now. when i started writing the songs for East - West, I decided that it was time to move on. I have decided to use 2/3 of my given name, Weston Payne (pronunced: West in Pain).
These songs were written in the last year, while I was getting settled here in Brooklyn, but still homesick for Iowa. I sing about a lot of things, but primarily the struggles and joys of moving, creating, growing up, friends, and love. It's about the road, America, displacement, and the definition of home; but mostly it is a self-exploration — trying to solidify my own thoughts and feelings through song.
I am very proud of this record. I wrote, recorded, and mixed everything entirely by myself, though with some very helpful inspiration and feedback from a few wonderful friends who i will thank later. These songs are very close to the sound that i have envisioned for some time now: catchy pop songs with intricate and angular guitar lines and layered percussion. While i put a lot of thought into the lyrics, and a lot of work into the recording and programming, the guitar lines are the true soul of the album. I have also been focusing on song composition, especially blurring the line between verse and chorus and the conceptual implications of song structure.
I have decided to make this album 100% free online. if you like it, please download it and share it with your friends. if you want to pay more, that is obviously appreciated, but the most valuable thing you can give me is the time to listen to it. I will, however, be releasing a series of fine art relief prints to accompany the record, which can be purchased from me on tour.
I would like to thank a few very important people who helped me with this album.
First and foremost, my parents, whose contribution has lasted a month shy of 24 years, not to mention the honest critique and discussions about this particular work. I'm always doing my best to make work that they'd be proud of, even though they're unconditionally supportive and proud of pretty much everything i do. Thank you.
Secondly, Alex Strong. The other half of Endolphins, and the man that I refer to as my musical soul-mate (no homo) has been a constant inspiration, a thoughtful critic, and incredibly integral to this album's existence. If you haven't, go listen to his solo project (alexjstrong.bandcamp.com/album/straight-lines
). Whenever i write something, i think "would alex think this is cool?".
I also cannot belittle the contribution of my wonderful girlfriend Amanda. She's a huge inspiration for this album, and one of the driving forces in my life. She's had to put up with me playing these parts over and over again, destroying our bed-fort to use the mic stand, ignoring her to mix, and my lack of self-hygiene while working on this. Thank you so much, i love you.
I want to especially thank Erik Carson for his constant support and critique, i'm really looking forward to sharing the tour for this album with him. Big thanks also to Tim Collingsworth, the coolest person i know, for his insight and for probably being my biggest fan (for some reason). Thanks also to Dan Pechacek and the rest of Plain Speak, though i'm a little bummed this album will never be as good as yours (if it ever comes out!).
and a big thank you to all of you who listen!