Song Premiere | Longboat, “Midnight Drive”

Goodbye, Stranger is the 27th release from Seattle songwriter / arranged / multi-instrumentalist Igor Keller under the Longboat moniker. This record is a departure from the last two releases, The Cold War 1 and The Cold War 2, which captured the tension of attempting to navigate a world seemingly always on the brink of destroying itself and the personal experiences of those who were affected by said conflict. Goodbye Stranger is timeless in its subject matter; both literally and metaphorically, the record represents Keller’s ruminations on the great equalizer.  

“Much like in life, on this record there is an underlying perfume of death that’s present throughout” explains Keller. “In some cases, it’s real physical death.  In others, it’s the threat of death or impending possibility of it.  And in still others, it’s death in a metaphorical sense; the death of a political movement or a city sinking into its own swamp.” It was not originally Keller’s intent to write so deeply about death. Yet, coming out of the winter of ’21-22, it was there for all to see. “So many dying from for seemingly no reason” he laments. “It was an actual tragedy spurred on by the disinformation making the rounds. All this dying got pondering certain questions.”

Today Keller offers a glimpse of what listeners should expect with “Midnight Drive.” Describing the single Keller says, “An outcast returns home to confront his dark past.  In his late-night drive around old haunts, he relives murky, bygone days and weighs the choices that were made.  Was a crime committed?  And was it murder?  We just don’t have enough facts to judge for ourselves, so we’ll just have to believe the rumors.”

Crafted to convey a particular sound and feeling, Goodbye, Stranger is a slow record (median tempo around 90 bpm) without sounding like it.  “When you think slow, you generally imagine a death march or a ballad or something” explains Keller. “Like everybody, I’m up for a good, raw death march every so often, but not an album full of them.  One way to avoid that is to turn the simple beat into a beat pattern using percussion, both virtual and sampled. This creates different rhythms and makes slow much more interesting.” Written, arranged, and produced by Keller, the record was recorded and mixed by Ryan Leyva (Acid Tongue).

Photo Courtesy: Sweet Becko