Singled Out: Alice and the Glass Lake

12/07/2016
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Alice and the Glass Lake

Alicia Lemke sadly lost her battle with leukemia in 2015 but her debut Alice and the Glass Lake was released last month. Today producer Danny Garibay tells us about the song "Coals". Here is the story:

Coals has special meaning to me not only because of what it symbolizes but also because of the memories I have associated with it. Coals was the first song Alicia and I decided to work on after she had undergone treatment for leukemia.

The weather was snowy in Madison Wisconsin, and the lake by her parent's house had frozen. Alicia and I were working in the basement, recording the foundation of the song when we were struck with an idea to add a unique percussion section. We thought it would be fun to make sounds out of random household objects- so we scavenged around the house to find pots, pans, wooden ladles and other culinary items that ended up on the recording.

It was one of those snap-decision judgements that we just went with; we had so much fun during the process that we didn't question what we were doing at all. Alicia was playing the "percussive instruments" and I remember laughing with her while she played them. I would tell her, you need to dance while you play the rhythms, really get into it! Thats when I saw her put herself completely into the music- she became wholly invested. She was always shy about dancing and said she didn't consider herself a dancer but what I saw was the most beautiful thing to watch: her squelching her sickness with her love for music. It was a true demonstration of the power of song, and Alicia's brilliant spirit.

When we began recording in a studio nearby, Alicia gave every ounce of life she had to the music, she would convince me that she wasn't even sick with how determined she was. There were times where I would see the music capture her and embody her in such a way it was as if she wasn't even aware of her own condition. Just a few days before she passed she left me another voicemail with notes on this song.

I would say Coals is my favorite song but each song had such a special moment to me that it makes it impossible to choose. This was the first song she wrote after being diagnosed and so I'd rather people make their own lyrical interpretation of it, but it is indeed an uplifting song- it uplifted my spirit but most importantly, uplifted hers.

In the basement I watched her forget and in the studio I saw her transcend circumstance and embody the true power of music.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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