Tuesday, January 2, 2018

From France...

Little sweetheart, the new album got the most lovely review in France. And so very much of it is about you. The article is in French below but also the English translation sent me by the author, Indiemusic Associate Editor Raphael Duprez.


Raphael Duprez, Associate Editor, Indiemusic (France) - 2 January 2018 (translated):

One year ago, Bipolar Explorer’s record “Dream Together” moved us to tears and sounded like a musical farewell, as well as a last goodbye, but also, an unstoppable wish not to let absence become the most oppressive feeling in (composer/band co-founder, Michael Serafin-Wells’) life. Remembrances matter, as they always do with Bipolar Explorer. And through “Sometimes in Dreams” the project reaches an upper level into emotion and confidence, transfiguring the everlasting link between two inseparable soulmates and creators. In this new work, Summer and Michael chart a course that follows an inspired and enlightening way of composing - illuminating nostalgia as a powerful, precious and human strength  - to offer us so many fascinating and sincere songs, all destined to be unforgettable and essential to our own lives. Have no doubt, this is a major record.
The dearest human beings are the ones we cherish the chance to meet and talk to when we most feel the urge to do so, spend hours writing one another and focusing on every word in reply. Michael suffered, but survived. Bipolar Explorer is a perfect reflection of this humanity; a honest, pure and helpful presence.

A guileless and urgent art of melodies, tunes and vocals thread their way and lead us lovingly through “Sometimes in Dreams”  and, in the depths of the record, Summer, his muse, his eternal love, talks to him and us as she never did before. But Summer never looks or sounds like a ghost: she stands right in front of us, holding her lover’s hand as they both look at us, smiling. She then lays her eyes on him, sings with him, creates and changes into a remarkable source of inspiration for their new double-LP; an eternal piece of work, divided into different chapters but as homogenous as welcoming us to explore BPX’s parallel universes and lands.

Summer is always here, close to Michael and us. Her voice resonates through the first tunes of the record, and will shine more and more as we travel into a wonderful and moving musical world. Never with even a thought to erase her presence, Michael creates an intense but devoted melodic canvas during two hours that are flowing nearly too fast for us, as we all feel comfortable and at peace with what we are listening and enjoying. A complete immersion explodes in our souls: distortion on “Letter to the Darkest Star” and astonishing natural movements on “Ocean” invite us to swim in clear and warm waters. ‘Sometimes in Dreams’ is an album about life, its difficulties but, most of all, all that makes us go forward, whatever may happen : “Phantom Limb” and “Out” stare at the vaporous veils of desire and the constant need to be with our beloved ones, as “Necessary Weight” changes pain into the origin of redemption and the acceptance of our mourning.

On the second part of the record, “Thousand Thousand Summer” is probably the most passionate track; a vocal obsession changing into a cathartic hypnosis, then leading to the overwhelming song “The Choral Text Passage (Summerlove)” which breaks our mental barriers as well as Michael’s when he went through his oppressive loss. “Sometimes in Dreams” is a staging of the union of souls, troubles and inspirations; a hidden book, lost in the multiple bookshelves of an imaginary bookstore, but the only one we can find in a glimpse of an eye, as it is shining and calling us.

The final words of “Lost Life” are the most perfect way to end up talking about “Sometimes in Dreams”; so, time to let Bipolar Explorer express an ultimate motivation to think, feel and live. Summer and Michael’s tenderness, confidence and friendship are spiritually and melodically intense, and we can’t thank them enough for what they give us, year after year.

Perfect ending: “In this moment she appeared to him. In this waking hour he saw and could see. Overcome with emotion he understood at last. She beckoned and he returned to her joyfully, as she said, simply... now!”

Bipolar Explorer’s “Sometimes in Dreams” is available from 1 January 2018 on Slugg Records.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sometimes in Dreams

The new album, our seventh, a double-album, Sometimes in Dreams, is released today, little sweetheart. As ever, it is of, for and about you. I'm so proud of and grateful to and for you. I will always love you and be ever watchful for your guiding presence.

Below is a little something I wrote for inclusion in the CD's booklet. A liner note dedication. You, my darling, remain the reason for it all. My reason. My conscience. The other half of my soul.

With all my love forever.

This album, conceived as a live art installation work, began as an internal demo for the band and our collaborators. With me in New York, our narrator in California and our visual artists in far flung places, it began as a shared sonic document of how the piece might unfold once we were all in the same room. As circumstances changed, we began to think of it differently. The concept for performance remained the same but the idea of making an entirely new double-album, revisiting and reimagining the songs from "Of Love and Loss", seamlessly interweaving them with the spoken word narrative, began to emerge. We already had an eye toward doing a live album of "Of Love" as performed with the narration but this became something else - an original sonic experience in its own right. Each disc gapless, a continuous flow of music and words like a dreamy late night transmission from some far away radio station that only comes over the air in the wee hours as you lay half asleep in bed. (We must admit we are hugely romantic about radio. Listening in the dark to BBC 3 & 4 or the great WFMU is kind of our idea of bliss.) We still see this album as the blueprint for the live arts work we conceived it for in collaboration with a visual artist. This booklet is meant to allude to and suggest that very thing. But there's also something about slipping on some nice headphones, turning the lights down and the volume up and letting this take you somewhere. We hope you will. As ever this album is for Summer - my partner, my best friend, my soulmate, my true love. God knows, she took me somewhere. She led me here. And I believe with all my heart she will lead me back to her side in The Forever. With all my love...

Michael Serafin-Wells
New York City
January 2018