It's not very often that you hear authentic stories behind the making and meaning of your favorite songs from the artists themselves. Today, we have the special opportunity to delve into Savoir Adore's brand new The Love That Remains record with insightful commentary straight from the horse's mouth–the horse being none other than the band's co-founder, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Paul Hammer.
Savoir Adore has maintained a charming blend of electro-pop and indie-rock since 2008, one that they've appropriately coined "fantasy rock." In The Love That Remains, Hammer calls on the talents of various songwriters and producers to create eleven distinct songs that come together to tell stories of suffering and desperation offset by tales of burning love and enlightening spirituality. But don't take our word for it–listen along as you read below. You can pick up your copy of the album here.
The Love That Remains
A little over two years ago, I scribbled a short phrase into a new notebook–"The Love That Remains." We had just gotten back from Brazil, and I had learned the phrase "saudade," which means a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Often, it's simplified to the translation "The Love That Remains." Given where Our Nature left off, and the many changes that were going on in my life, it couldn't have been a more fitting and meaningful continuation for the Savoir Adore story. Through working on the record, it came to mean even more–personally and narratively.
1. "Lovers Wake"
"Lovers Wake" begins where Our Nature left off. It's a song about coming to grips with reality and desperately trying to escape a beautiful fantasy that you're drowning in. I wrote the song with Leah Hayes in Los Angeles. It was actually the first song I had finished in over 2 years, and I knew that I had wanted it to start the record, so it was extra meaningful.
Giants was the first song I wrote with Lauren Zettler, who ended up being my main collaborator on the record and our new singer. It was one of those beautiful experiences where it just felt effortless. "Giants" is a song about letting go of your insecurities and worries, shedding your ego, and realizing the strength you naturally have deep down. At the heart of it, we're all "Giants."
3. "Mountains (Love Won't Burn My Heart)"
"Mountains" was an interesting song in the grand scheme because it started as a song for someone else. Lauren had been working on an EP with the band Fences, and she brought up this idea of writing a song for him around this idea–he loved the "Mountains" imagery and grand metaphor. We ended up starting the nugget, but he ultimately didn't pick it to develop. Strangely enough, as we wrote more lyrics, we realized how much it fit The Love That Remains. Essentially a sticks and stones metaphor…where we don't have to be afraid of love because it won't burn us; it'll only make us stronger.
4. "Paradise Gold"
"Paradise Gold" was a collaboration with producer Mark Marshall. I told him about the concept of the record, and we ended up diving into an exploration of how love can warp reality and time–for better and for worse. And how confusing, but also enlightening a feeling that can be. It’s always fun to take a love song and approach it from a different angle. "Paradise Gold" is that kind of trippy, wild love song that we end up writing on almost all our records, it seems.
"Savages" is by far the darkest song on this record, and it comes back to our theme of addiction–this time to suffering, but also to darkness in general. Sometimes it's just easier to be careless and impulsive, and I think everyone can relate to that at one time or another. There were many times in the last couple of years where I fell into this hole, and this song is really about that feeling that sometimes takes control of you.
"Devotion" was the first song our whole band ever wrote in one room. It was a bit of a changeup of our usual process (where I start and produce tracks on my own). It was fun because that definitely affected the eventual sound and arrangement of the song. "Devotion" builds from "Savages" as well as "Lovers Wake;" it's about that devotion or obsession with someone or something and how ambiguously good or bad that can be. Also, how that obsession then translates into a desperate need for reciprocation.
"Heaven" was a collaboration with singer Winslow Bright here in New York. This was also one of those songs that just kind of wrote itself. We started with a chord progression and the simple idea of "heaven" and built out from there. I knew from the start that I wanted this song to have a rolling dark feeling to it to counteract the sweetness of the word, and it became one of my favorite songs on the record. This also builds out of the idea of "Devotion" and "Lovers Wake," but represents a turning point where love can truly deeply transcend simple emotions and become almost spiritual and ethereal.
8. "Crowded Streets"
"Crowded Streets" is a song about the grandness of our world and the absolutely beautiful moment of finding someone you connect with. When we played in Brazil three years ago, I met a girl who's now my wife, and the idea of finding someone in this huge sea of people on a chance trip really stuck with me. I always just had this visual of two people running down a city street singing "We run into the crowded streets, hands will meet and then we'll see - into the echoes of the one belief, that our love will never die." In essence, it's the "yell it from a mountain top" metaphor.
9. "Other Worlds"
"Other Worlds" was a reflection of all the worlds Savoir Adore and our characters have travelled through and all we've learned and refused to admit. "All I've lost and all I've found - in other worlds" is very much about the journey I've had through this project, both fictionally and in real life. They say life imitates art–perhaps it's cliche, but it definitely mirrors my life for the last seven years.
10. "Beautiful Silence"
"Beautiful Silence" is a lullaby and actually came out of a dream. When I first started writing songs for the record, I had a lot of trouble sleeping, and often when I did, I would have very dark dreams. "The last time I slept, I dreamed I would die." The idea came out of this and really became a song about finding peace, which in many ways is what i think love or "the love that remains" feels like. That peaceful warm feeling.
11. "Night Song"
I've always wanted to write a song like "Night Song," and it all started with that drum beat. A late night driving song inspired by that feeling of driving home at midnight after experiencing something for the first time, with friends or reflecting alone. The song is really about that and the comfort of accepting the way things are and that you're ok. Again, love as peace. This song is a reflection of the journey and the culmination of this character's struggle in finding love again.