International Musical Hybrid Group Drops Stunning New Record. - Gone Gone Beyond: Canyons (Official Music Video)
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posted 01 Jul 2021 by Krister Axel
A voodoo lullaby with all the whimsy of Alan Watts and all the heart of Neil Young.

Gone Gone Beyond was put on my radar recently by the good people at Press Here Publicity. "Canyons" is the lead single from their excellent new release which is titled simply "2030." This varied and complex work of personal artistry and intricate collusion is the very successful follow up to their debut "Things Are Changing." I have been listening to this album for the last week now, and it just keeps getting better. With impeccable production quality, a beautiful and eclectic temperament, and most importantly some of the best songwriting that I've heard in recent memory, I am happy to share my thoughts about these 12-tracks that cleave a bold path right through the unexplored wilds of Folktronica — with strong assists from modern soul-pop and elements of gospel.

International musical hybrid group Gone Gone Beyond has decided to name their new release "2030" as a way of exploring our connection to one another, and the planet, with a nod to the not-so-distant future: where humanity will be forced, collectively, to pay its debts to the ecosystem that sustains us. Such a somber premise, however, does nothing to dampen or oversimplify the gifts that we may still enjoy. As Leonard Cohen once said so well, we must never forget to "ring the bells that still can ring." This sophomore offering from Gone Gone Beyond celebrates the power of the collective spirit, at the same time that it reminds us that our window of time is closing to finish building the world that we deserve. Each player of this international musical family brings a unique and diverse perspective on sound, culture, and life, and the bittersweet nature of this collection of songs is truly awe inspiring. My personal touchstone for this kind of virtuosic synergy is Ollabelle, an obscure roots-and-soul outfit that I caught years ago opening up for Ryan Adams at the Wiltern. Gone Gone Beyond has triumphed magnificently in breathing new vitality into the classic spirit of a 'band of songwriters' — where, with each new song, the surfeit of vocal talent and songwriting expertise flourishes and blooms like so many spring flowers. "2030" is a stunning work of art with a glorious future. You may remember "Coast" and "Little Moon" which were both previewed last year to considerable fanfare, but every track on this album deserves a long look. In an age where so many artists prioritize a consistent monthly single, Gone Gone Beyond has crafted a truly exceptional long-form release. CHILLFILTR® was lucky enough to have the opportunity ask them a few questions about their process, which are included below.

Gone Gone Beyond has also announced their first live shows for 2021. The quartet will head to Colorado from September 23rd through 25th to support Dirtwire, stopping in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. Tickets are on sale now.

What does the songwriting process look like? And typically, do the lyrics come first or last?

This album was different from our last in the fact that we wrote most of the songs on an acoustic guitar first, away from the computer entirely. The lyrics and melody and chords sort of swirl around until they eventually coagulate into an arrangement. No particular order to it, though.

How do the vocal harmonies get written? Also, do you match the studio version when you play live, or do you tend to have different versions of each song for live performance?

The harmonies get created differently depending on what song we are talking about. Kat has a background in choral arranging so she definitely contributes a lot to the process but we all jump in and write harmonies for the songs. There’s lots of layering on this record. When we perform live, it really just depends on our environment. We can play all of these songs acoustic but it's definitely going to be fun playing the studio versions for some of these larger produced songs as well.

Who would you list as your top 2 artists to pull inspiration from?

We’ve been answering this question a lot as a band and the inspiration is all over the place...but a lot of this record comes from older songs. Motown, soul and funk, music that came out of Laurel Canyon...folk, gospel, electronic, jazz and orchestral music... it's all over the place. We all have different favorites on different days depending on our mood.

What drew you to music? Was there a moment you can describe where you knew music was the thing?

We all started very young and we all felt connected to worship music of some kind, whether choral, mantra, gospel or orchestral music. Each of us have gone through our lives following that muse in one way or another; just staying open to letting that energy in through the creation of our songs or connection to the audience while performing.

Gone Gone Beyond first formed when David, through his collaborations with his project The Human Experience, introduced solo artists Mel, Kat and Danny to one another.

The lineup of multi-instrumentalists/singer-songwriters:

David Block (Los Angeles/NYC)

Danny Musengo (Iowa/NYC)

Kat Factor (Santa Cruz)

Mel Semé (Cuba/Barcelona)

Visit Gone Gone Beyond on Instagram.

Photo credit: LP Hastings

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About the Author

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Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.


Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist