I wrote and recorded Manifests in February 2007, as part of a kind of collective internet dare called the RPM Challenge. Basically, do a whole album from scratch, start to finish, in one month. Having spent much of 2006 knocking out short, novel songs at a frenetic pace for The Aural Times, I saw this as an opportunity to apply some of those newly honed production skills to something a little more coherent and careful.
At the time, I created a companion site for the album; you can find over there album liners, scans from and discussion of my working notebook for the month, album art, and writeups on each of the individual songs.
I wrote the album in pieces as they came to me throughout the month (and recorded rough demos along the way). I don’t usually sit down to try and force seriously songs out, so it was an unusual experience, and the overall success I had in rewriting and arranging and recording any given song varies a lot across the run of the album. But just to have put together a cohesive collection of songs arranged as a unit was a very satisfying new experience for me. There are things lots of things, some big and some little, that I would go back and change if I could, but all in all I’m happy with what I put together.
Personal favorites off this include Let’s Just Pretend that David Bowie Wrote this Song and It’s Only Portland When It Rains.