To Owe To One: a song-a-moon from Analog Moon [UPDATED for November]

Analog Moon: To Owe To One (2021)

2021 is here, and so are we… still… somehow. We’re celebrating the year by releasing a song per moon. We’ll release a new song on every full moon of the year. Go count them. (I already did – there are twelve.) And to honor that moon, we’ve named this album To Owe To One. In 2017, we did a similar project called To Owe One’s Heaven, and had a lot of fun with it. We hope to build on that idea but with more cohesion this time around.

Songs will be available to stream at analogmoon.bandcamp.com/album/to-owe-to-one and some may have additional media/material available elsewhere. Watch Analog Moon’s social media outlets for announcements:

(instagram.com/analogmoon, twitter.com/analogmoon, facebook.com/analogmoon)

Wolf | Snow Moon | Worm | Pink Moon | Flower | June | July | (August) | (September) | (October) | (November) | (December)
 

Analog Moon: Wolf (January 2021)
#1 (January 28, 2021): Wolf

He was a centaur, moon-eyed and wild of name, torn apart with hunger for the golden world.

-Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

⁣⁣Tonight is the Wolf Moon. And so today we offer you “Wolf” to celebrate our new year’s first full moon. ⁣⁣This song is inspired by the writings of Asheville’s favorite son, Thomas Wolfe, after returning from Europe in 1936.




I… I Have a Thing to Tell You
And it won’t sound nice
So close your eyes
Back before we crossed
On the snow and ice
I heard the cries

I always run alone
But I’m always looking home for you
If the world has passed you by
Run away and hide; 108 in time

I always run alone
But I’m always looking home for you
If the world has passed you by
Run away and hide; 108 in time

Oh I have a thing to tell you
And it’s sound advice
Open your eyes
The world has lost direction
And it can’t be right
I run in the night
Nun Will Ich Ihnen ‘Was Sagen
You must hear my call
There’s no time at all
So cry, cry at the top of your lungs
‘Cause you run alone
And you can’t go home

Released January 28, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton
Todd Britton: Synth Drums, Synth Keys, Guitars, Vocals
Josh Sullivan: Keys, Backing Vocals

Analog Moon: Snow Moon (February 2021)
#2 (February 27, 2021): Snow Moon

The way a crow⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Shook down on me⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
The dust of snow⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
From a hemlock tree⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Has given my heart⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
A change of mood⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
And saved some part⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Of a day I had rued.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

-Robert Frost, Dust of Snow

⁣⁣Tonight is the Snow Moon. It’s been a hard year, and the winter has been particularly rough. The distance between us seems like an ocean as of late. Reach out to one another. Encourage one another. Don’t forget to tell the people in your life that you care, and if they should need inspiration, give them a gentle nudge.




Let’s have an honest discussion about ambivalence
You know I would love to see you move
And this riding the fence has gotten so old to you, I know
Even when you’ve got nothing to prove

Take a breath and put one foot in front of you
The calculation is written in your eyes
It doesn’t matter what’s going on, the noise that blocks the song
Rise above it and focus on the prize

It’s no move to sit and wonder
It’s no move to play it snug
It’s no move to hide behind your fears or surrender to the drug
It’s no move to lie beneath the heavy pressure of the day
Steal yourself and move, this is the way

You’re inhibition will be your last undoing
Lying down in the safety you hold dear
What will you do when you’ve lived a life of ordinary plans
Maybe you shouldn’t focus on your fear

It’s no move to sit and wonder
It’s no move to play it snug
It’s no move to hide behind your fears or surrender to the drug
It’s no move to lie beneath the heavy pressure of the day
Steal yourself and move, this is the way

It’s no move
It’s no move
It’s no move
Surrender to the drug
It’s no move
It’s no move…

Released February 27, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton
Todd Britton: Synth Drums, Synth Keys, Guitars, Vocals
Josh Sullivan: Keys, Vocals

#3 (March 28, 2021): Worm
Analog Moon: Worm (March 2021)

Out—out are the lights—out all!   
   And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
   Comes down with the rush of a storm,   
While the angels, all pallid and wan,   
   Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”   
   And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

-Edgar Allan Poe,
from The Conqueror Worm

Tonight is the Worm Moon, and we’re all crawling out of hibernation, shaking off the flannel and wool to bask in the warmth of summer once again. With a freshly honed appreciation for fresh air, we’ll all be gathering soon, faces covered or not. Our third installment of To Owe To One is a collaboration with a friend of a friend who has become a friend himself. Our occasional bass player, Matt, used to tell us stories of his friend Alex while we procrastinated in the practice space. Alex lives a few hours away and travels even more often than we do, but eventually we met and of course, hit it off. I asked Alex to join us for “Worm” because I thought the subject was ripe for creative interpretation, and what better medium for worm interpretation than the tangle of cables and clusters of buttons and lights found in the realm of modular synthesis. So from our own devices and across the void of the internet, we volleyed ideas back and forth until one had traction. Alex’s initial creation was originally intended to be chopped up, reconfigured, and arranged, but in the end was left almost entirely unchanged. It writhes below the surface of the song like worms, bringing life from the decay. Too much? Listen and be the judge.⁣

Special thanks to Alex (@alexmaiolo) for his worms and to Manue (@mnlsps) for her invaluable help with the French translations for Josh’s verse. Collaboration is all the rage this season.⁣⁣

When I wake up, so do the worms, rising to the surface of my mind
When I lie down they rest, casting all their ruin close behind
I do not so much see them, but I know they’re there
And it is mutual, of me they are aware
I and the worms working toward an end; In the darkness we’re all blind

Ooh, reciprocate my love
You never fall short of 
A specimen devine

When I emerge so does the man; C’est notre rendez-vous du jour
He takes his seat, I take my place; Je le reagarde toujours
We are not friends or foes, but we share a goal
Each of us serves our task; Each of us plays our role
I and the man, we are dismantling his delusions of

Released March 28, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton, Josh Sullivan, and Alex Maiolo
Todd Britton: Synth Drums, Synth Keys, Guitars, Vocals
Josh Sullivan: Keys, Vocals
Alex Maiolo: Modular Synth

#4 (April 26, 2021): Pink Moon (words and music by Nick Drake)
Analog Moon: Pink Moon (April 26, 2021)

There all the borders, trimmed with box, were filled with favourite flowers, with phlox, with lupins, pinks, and hollyhocks, beneath a red may-tree; and all the gardens full of folk that their own little language spoke, but not to You and Me.

-J R R Tolkien
from The Little House of Lost Play (Mar Vanwa Tyalieva)

April 26, 2021. It’s said that the Pink Moon is so called for the pink moss phlox that blooms in early Spring. It’s hard for me to hear the words without thinking of Nick Drake. I’ll admit that my first memory of his song, Pink Moon, was from a Volkswagen commercial I saw on television while I lived in Charleston in the late 90s.  In the more than two decades since, it hasn’t left regular rotation.  Certain seasons bring it out, and strangely enough not particularly Spring. But for this occasion, we’re paying homage as best we can.

Saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get ye all
And it’s a pink moon
Hey it’s a pink moon
Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon
Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon
I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get ye all
It’s a pink moon
Yea, it’s a pink moon

-Pink Moon by Nick Drake

Released April 26, 2021
Words and Music by Nick Drake
Todd Britton: Synth Drums, Guitars, Pedal Steel, Vocals
Josh Sullivan: Synth, Vocals

#5 (May 26, 2021): Flower
Analog Moon: Flower (May 2021)

It bloomed and wilted
And with it went my sorrow
And also my joy

-Todd Britton, Flower Haiku

May is my birth month and also brings us the Flower Moon. As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” or as the saying went before, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers,” or as the saying now goes, “Analog Moon’s song-a-moon album brings May Flowers.”

The last time we did this serial-style album format we did a song per month. It was in 2017, and in May, as a gift to myself for my birthday, I cowrote a song with my two dear friends and bandmates, Josh Sullivan and Matt Gentling. We called it Mayday, and we all shared the duties of singing and playing instruments on the recording. It never made it into our regular live rotation, and in fact, we never actually played it together again. But I still go back and listen to it on occasion, and it means a lot to me.

For this album, I took a different approach for May and wrote and recorded a song by myself. If nothing else, it helped me realize how much I like working with my friends to make music and how much of a social and therapeutic exercise that is. But there’s something to be said for spending time with yourself as well. And in songwriting and arranging, you get to stretch muscles that don’t always get stretched. Things move more quickly, and you can be more accepting of some things and more critical of others. As it were, I procrastinated on this one and packed the whole activity into about half of a day, from concept to mix, so pardon the demo-esque nature of it. It’s more evident in this one than even the others. But it grew quickly and bloomed, and in a day or two, I’ll be on to the next. Don’t be afraid of a flower.

God, please look at my hands
They are open to you

Don’t be afraid of a flower
Don’t let it rule your life either
Pick just what you need
And pass it on to your lover
Don’t be afraid of a flower

Don’t let the world go by you
See it for what it means to you
Follow when you lose your way
And lead when you can’t follow
Don’t let the world go by you

Don’t live another’s wonder
Find a journey just for you
Trust in solitude when you can
Until you find another
Then share your bed with your lover
And don’t be afraid of a flower

Released May 26, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton
Todd Britton: Guitars, Vocals, Percussion

#6 (June 24, 2021): Strawberry Moon
Analog Moon: Strawberry Moon (June 2021)

The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth
.

– TS Eliot
from Four Quartets 2: East Coker⁣

Tonight’s Strawberry Moon marks the halfway point for our 2021 song-every-full-moon project, To Owe To One. Josht and I wrote this one together, quite literally, at his office while the studio was being painted. After fooling around with the chord progression, Josht wrote the first verse and half of the second verse, at which point I took over, finishing the second verse and adding a third. So lyrically, the song is split in half, like a strawberry sliced down the middle. It begins as a lament for our complicated times and finishes as an ode to our old friend who helps us see ourselves for what we are, a tiny part of an immense universe.

I will take this to the grave
This burden of silence
It’s not supposed to be this way
This mantel of violence
You laid on me
You made of me

Lying here among ferns
And wild strawberries
Watching Luna take her turn
Her valleys, her prairies
She shines on me
The ocean breathes

If ever I come back this way
Be sure to remember
The quiet void between the days
Leaves no room for pretenders
She shines on me
She makes me breathe

Released June 24, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton and Josh Sullivan
Todd Britton: Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Bass Guitar, Pedal Steel, Percussion, Vocals
Josh Sullivan: Electric Piano, Vocals

#7 (July 23, 2021): Buck
Analog Moon: Buck (July 2021)

I give you the books I’ve made,
Body and soul, bled and flayed.
Yet the essence they contain
In one poem is made plain,
In one poem is made clear:
On this earth, though far or near,
without love there’s only fear.


– Pearl S. Buck
Essence from Words of Love

For tonight’s Buck Moon, we present Buck, an instrumental. Buck is inspired by some of our favorite ambient/electronic/soundtrack artists such as Mogwai, Aphex Twin, and Darkside/Nicolas Jaar. This track took a turn in the final days before the full moon, and I actually only mixed it this morning. To me, it feels a bit unfinished, but the idea is there and I think the theme may return in another composition in the future. But in the meantime, it’s a fun listen.

Released July 23, 2021
Music by Todd Britton and Josh Sullivan
Todd Britton: Guitars, Synths, Drum Machine
Josh Sullivan: Electric Piano, Synth

#8 (August 22, 2021): Sturgeon
Analog Moon: Sturgeon (August 2021)

We take our guilts
to his valley and dump them in,
give him quicksilver to corrode his fins, weed killer,
gas oil mix, wrap him in poison arms.
Our bottom feeder,
sin-eater.

– Karen Solie
from Sturgeon

Alas, another demo. This one concerns my favorite little severe-faced goblin. August puts us at two-thirds of the way through the project. It’s actually coming out a lot differently than I’d imagined in January. As usual the summer gets hectic, even in times such as these when I should be locked in the house tapping a keyboard, guitar-in-lap. Instead, I tempt fate with my deadlines, waiting for inspiration to strike before I try to put pen to paper or pick to string or finger to key. When it doesn’t, I find it where I left it – at the page or at the instrument.

The beast she looks at me through the window of her soul
A lady trapped inside a canine old man made of coal

She haunts me
She haunts me

Her sturgeon eyes will suck the life from every room
Like a grotesque carved into the corner of a tomb

She haunts me
She haunts me

The beast she follows me to summon up the post
She stands just out of reach like some eternal ghost

She haunts me
She haunts me

And when she traps me in the throw
I find the only way to go
And when she heads me at the pass
I find my time has come at last

And when she’s waiting watching wondering how long
She will announce herself like the banging of a gong

She haunts me
She haunts me

I find her lying on the hill she made her own
A tingle climbs my spine and chills me to the bone

She haunts me
She haunts me
She haunts me
She haunts me

Released August 22, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton
Todd Britton: Guitars, Synths, Drum Machine

#9 (September 20, 2021): Harvest Moon (words and music by Neil Young)
Analog Moon: Harvest Moon (September 2021)

It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The songbirds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Harvest Moon

September 20, 2021. Neil before the Harvest Moon. It’s been a busy month around here, so I was grateful that this moon is already so commemorated. There was ample art to reference and, in this case, cover for this installment of our song-a-moon album, To Owe To One. So as we approach the three-quarter mark of our journey around the sun, we present you with our version of the title track from Neil Young’s 1992 album, Harvest Moon. Like the Star Spangled Banner, it’s really hard to approach this song with the intent to put any kind of personal spin on it. But if Marvin and Whitney can do it, I owe it to myself to at least try. Still this song is inextricably bound to Neil, which is why for the artwork we put him physically on the Harvest Moon, which is apparently where Neils like to go. Anyway, I want to personally extend a special thanks to my friend, former officemate, and frequent sounding board for corporate-world-grievance, Marty Slapnik, for his contributions in the flugelhorn department. I hope you enjoy the Harvest Moon.

Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin’
We could dream this night away
But there’s a full moon risin’
Let’s go dancin’ in the light
We know where the music’s playin’
Let’s go out and feel the night

Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
On this harvest moon

When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart
But now it’s gettin’ late
And the moon is climbin’ high
I want to celebrate
See it shinin’ in your eye

Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
On this harvest moon

Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
On this harvest moon

Released September 20, 2021
Words and Music by Neil Young
Todd Britton: Guitars, Synths, Drum Machine, Vocals
Marty Slapnik: Flugelhorn

#10 (October 20, 2021): Hunter’s Moon (Blood Rite)
Analog Moon: Hunter’s Moon (Blood Rite) (October 2021)

You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care;
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
You may charm it with smiles and soap—

– Lewis Carroll
from The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits

October 20, 2021. It’s that time of year. The air is crisper, the sun is low and shines on everything from the side. The leaves brightly paint the landscape like fire but are falling fast. It’s the season that moved me to the mountains. And of all of the seasons, it’s the most mysterious and creepy. And we love it. So it was only appropriate to beg my partner and best friend for her help on this full moon, The Hunter’s Moon. A connoisseur of all things horror, she dove in with fervor. The result is a creepy account of an occult-spawned ritual. It’s dark. Sleep well.

The pit in my stomach, the weight in my hand
These days seem so long
The droning monotony of voices afar
Turns into a song
I say the words, but they dissolve on my tongue
My blood it burns, turns into fire in my lungs

As the Hunter’s Moon begins to rise
Casting red light on autumn skies
This day will meet its end
Blood Rite is here again
And all that’s lived is all that dies

Blood Rite on the Hunter’s Moon
Blood Rite on the Hunter’s Moon

The flow in my veins and a shivering spine
My skin greets the night
The light of the moon guides the hunter in me
To fulfil the Blood Rite
I say the words, the final song song on my tongue
His blood it burns, turns into fire in my lungs

Released October 20, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton and Liz Britton
Todd Britton: Vocals, Guitar, Synth, Drums
Liz Britton: Vocals
Sasha Britton: Vocals

#11 (November 19, 2021): Castor
Analog Moon: Castor (November 2021)

The Beaver brought paper, portfolio, pens,
   And ink in unfailing supplies:
While strange creepy creatures came out of their dens,
   And watched them with wondering eyes.

– Lewis Carroll
from The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits

November 19, 2021. I wanted a challenge, and I got a challenge. And luckily I got some help. I won’t lie, the time constraints are weighing on me heavier than the subject matter constraints. It’s been another busy month. For the Beaver Moon, I enlisted the help of a friend and talented songwriter Fritz Gunther, who performs under the name Son of a Gunter. The writing came easier than I had imagined. We bounced ideas back and forth and committed to a direction fairly quickly, but other obligations and plans impeded our progress. So we only finished the mix last night. But I still loved the song when I woke up today. So that’s a good sign. 🦫🌕

Castor Moon, give me shelter
Dark so soon, by the river
If I raise this dam by my hand, will it falter?

Gnashing teeth
Pushing sand
Crawl beneath
Under the river
Hurry by
Hide your eye
Drink some rye
Down by the river
Don’t you know we live for this?

Hunted down with intention
Round and round, misapprehension
Frosted moon, shining down now
Piece by piece, clearing ground
If I build this home on my own, will it shelter?

Gnashing teeth
Pushing sand
Crawl beneath
Under the river
Hurry by
Hide your eye
Drink some rye
Down by the river
Don’t you know we live for this?

Castor Moon, rising higher
Cresting soon, like the river
Guide my hand, be my mentor
Piece by piece, climbing higher
If I raise this dam by my hand, will it falter?
If I build this home own my own, will it shelter?

Released November 19, 2021
Words and Music by Todd Britton and Fritz Gunther
Todd Britton: Lead and steel guitars, bass guitar, synths, drums and percussion, vocals
Son of a Gunther: Rhythm guitar, vocals