Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Single

Little sweetheart, we released the new album just a few weeks ago but I've already recorded a single to follow it up for release on Valentines Day.

It's a cover of Best Coast's "Better Girl" in our signature dreampop style and of course it features both your vocals and a lovely picture of you as its cover image.

You may remember my having told you about Best Coast. They're an LA-based duo, mostly, featuring Bethany Consentino as their songwriter, vocalist and guitarist.

When I was working on the art for Of Love and Loss, we came to a bit of snag and I called Sean to ask for his help. He was up in Cape Cod with his family but he said to come on up for a couple days to visit and work. I rented a car and drove straight up that night. We spent days on the beach and nights on the deck. I floated in the ocean and talked to people about you. And Sean finished the artwork for the album.

Before I left, he gave me a mix tape and it ended with a song by Best Coast, so beautiful and filled with longing, that it made me cry. That song is called "Up All Night" and it ends the album "The Only Place". I got myself a copy of that and was rather obsessed with it for months.

The songs have a mixture of hopefulness and longing and the melodies are pretty and bright and very Californian somehow. They make me think of and long for you. "Better Girl" has always been one of my favorites.

One day last week, I began thinking about working it out. I figured out the changes on guitar, wrote out the words and started practicing. I recorded the basic track that same night and worked a bit more over the coming days. We licensed the song, I finished the mix and sent it Boston for mastering. Once we get the master back and I upload it, it will be in the queue for release with our distributor and available everywhere digitally (iTunes, et al) on Valentines Day.

And, as ever, it's entirely for you, my little sweetheart.

You, who taught me so much and are responsible for every good thing there is. I love you with all my heart and soul. Forever. Forever. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Red Curlers

I’m remembering today, little sweetheart, lots of things from your very first visit here to New York, shortly after we became a pair. Indeed, I’m endeavoring to write down all that I can remember. And one of the things that I hadn’t thought about in a while was that once here, you had decided you needed to have a set of curlers on hand.

You didn’t often curl your long red hair but sometimes you liked to and you’d just finished doing a play in which you had, so I think it was still on your mind. We went over to the little store across 9th Avenue that’s sort of mostly hardware but also has homeware and stationary supplies and really just a little of everything. We got you a set of curlers - they’re red. I seem to remember there was something wrong with the first set or maybe you just changed your mind but we brought them back and exchanged them for a second set.

They’re still here, of course. The red table and an entire corner of that room was and is your province. I would always set all your things out for you just before your arrival and make sure to stock up on treats you like - mint tea, vanilla cameo sandwich cookies, your favorite vintage diet sodas - and arrange a dozen roses in a vase at your place there.

I keep all of these things for you to this day, my little sweetheart, along with an always burning tea light candle in a little glass holder before one of your many pictures.

This will always be your home. As you, yourself, are mine. With all my love forever.  

Monday, January 29, 2018

L'udovit Kochol

Little sweetheart, I saw the most amazing painting today.

It's a work by L'udovit Kochol called "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel". I think the artist is possibly Czech. I'm going to write the National Gallery to see if I can find out more.

But it's just breathtaking and such a resonant image for me - how I long to hold you in my arms and have you take me to you, take me to your side again and forever.

I'll let you know what more I find out, little sweetheart. I love you with all my heart and soul.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Please Guide Me

Little sweetheart, I’ve been back in New York for a couple of weeks. Usually on Wednesdays I go to that little meditation service I’ve told you about. I missed a week (or was it two?) but have been twice also since returning, last night among them.

It drained me, darling. It’s become so emotional, maybe it always was, sitting alone, aside, to myself, singing my harmonies and repeating the prayers and coming forward and lighting a candle and whispering my own, whispering our prayer, that you be in the safe care of The Forever and that I might join you there as soon as possible, as soon as allowed, tonight if it is so willed. The silent meditation is after that part, the candle lighting. I return to my seat, the lights are lowered yet further, and we sit in silence for 10 or 15 minutes.

After the benediction, the musicians play once more and although others begin to rise and speak to each other breezily, tonight and often, I sit and pray and talk to you. And I wept so hard tonight, my little sweetheart.

I feel so lost and so alone and miss you so terribly. I don’t mind the pain, the longing. It feels a part of us, it feels like something to honor - this hole in my heart that only you can fill.

But I wonder if going there on Wednesday nights is really helping or if my time would be better spent here at my desk working feverishly on telling our story, telling you my thoughts, speaking to you from the depths of our shared soul.

It’s an hour walk there, an hour long service and an hour walk back. Those three hours have value, especially if they are a quiet block of time that focuses my attention in communion with your spirit. That, I treasure. I think, aside from the waves of emotion that hit me (and I do value), the exhaustion makes me wonder if maybe I should just try to keep those three hours here at home instead of in public, such as it is.

Will you please help me to decide, little sweetheart? Will you please guide me and let me know? I need you more than ever. And I love you with all my heart and soul.

As I used to say just if you were only going to the kitchen for a moment or shifting your weight a bit as we lay together in bed - please don’t go too far away. With all my love forever… xM

Monday, January 22, 2018


Little sweetheart, I forgot about a picture I took last month that made me think of you...

I was at D’Agostino’s. They have a few things in common with Safeway (and we don't have Safeway's on the east coast...). I didn’t discover it until after I’d been in SF with you. The Safeway at The Marina had a delightful little SFX in the produce aisle that would make the sound of thunder when the sprinklers went on to wet the vegetables there. D’Ags has the same thing here. They also sometimes have something on the other side of the aisle opposite the produce that you and I used to love - frosted sugar cookies.

Remember? They’re really soft and cake-like and they usually put them out with a holiday theme - at St Patrick’s Day, they’ll be in shamrock shapes with green icing; on July 4th, they’ll be red, white and blue… They had some last month with a Christmas theme.

I took a picture because it reminded me of how you and I used to get a package of them, usually right there at the Marina Safeway, but sometimes at the one a bit closer to your house, and then drive down to the beach and watch the waves together. We’d eat the cookies and watch the tide come in. Once, I remember, we saw several dolphins. One and then another and another. We cried out excitedly. Remember? And we’d try not to eat all the cookies. but we’d have most of them.

Little sweetheart, I miss a thousand million things about my life with you. The life I was meant to have but was torn from me. I suppose there are many things I don’t and can’t yet know. Maybe there is a much better life with you just ahead once I get through this mortal one, one that I will find when I pass through the veil and see you finally take my hand and bring me along again to your side but this time forever.

I pray for that every morning and every night and often throughout the day. Take me to you the moment heaven will allow, won’t you, my love? I’ll bring those cookies we like…

Friday, January 19, 2018

Blessed With Signs

Little sweetheart, I’m trying my best to try my best. And when I do, I feel your presence ever so keenly.

I love when you find me in dreams. I’m not often good at remembering them - the details or even the larger picture, but I know when you’ve been with me. It fortifies me through the day.

Sometimes, the morning light will hit a picture of yours illuminating it celestially or the light will manifest itself in a floating, shimmering shape than seems to dance before me and I know that you are near.

Birds sometimes alight at the window only an arm’s length from me here at my desk or will greet me on my morning run along the frozen river, cheering and encouraging me, as I know you do.

And sometimes in a store or on the street or even, incredibly, in the hall of our building just today, I will recognize your signature scent, as sweet as cotton candy or the loveliest of birthday cakes.

I am blessed beyond comprehension when these signs of your eternal presence make themselves known to me, my angel.

May I do as you wish and urge me. May I quiet myself and listen. May I serve and honor you. Now and right to the very moment when you are finally allowed to come collect and take me to your side again and forever. May I be steadfast. May I be true.

In all things, I love you my darling girl. Forever. With the Truest Love. Forever. Always.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Months Ahead

Little sweetheart, sometimes it doesn’t seem as if there are enough moments in the day and other times it seems that the days just go on and on without consequence. Most of the time it’s hard to leave bed and begin another day, I long for you so. Other days, when I do finally rise, I think of the things I want to do to honor and remember and keep you near.

Those are the better days and I have a little index card over my desk reminding me - do the work. I’ve got plans, as strange as it may seem, even to myself, to say so.

When I think of that word, I invariably think of you. Of our plans. Even, so very presciently, the DCfC tee shirt you gave to me with that very word on it.

In the months ahead, may I have more good days than bad. More good, productive days where I do the work left to me as I wait for the hour I may return to you. More days where I find ways to be kind to others and live according to the great example of your own true heart which lights my way.

Help guide me, my angel. And take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Friday, January 12, 2018

In the Air

Little sweetheart, it’s late Friday night. I’ve just walked all the way home from W104th Street. After sub zero temperatures and the crazy “Arctic Bomb” or whatever that canceled flights and dumped a foot of snow, just a week later it’s nearly 60f here. A light rain is falling. I’m wearing those boots you like to see me in. And the black leather jacket you gave me for Christmas. And the blue Skye tee shirt you gave me. Your handwriting is tattooed on each forearm. I carry you with me.

It’s an unseasonably warm January night, almost like spring. And as I walk I have the strongest feeling of time travel. Of being with you in San Francisco. Maybe it has to do with striding these hills in a mist wearing these very boots that reminds me of just popping round the corner while you stay warm at home in your jammies and I grab a treat for us or maybe even full take out from Crepevine.

In the early days, I used to write here that I could feel things like this, little details, kinesthetically, like a phantom limb. I have that sensation tonight, little sweetheart. Something in the feel of my boots on the pavement, the mist in the air, the night around me, your spirit with me and transporting.

Maybe it’s the San Franciscan-like weather. Maybe it’s that I spent the evening talking about you.

My friend from Taize, the older lady who lost her husband just a few years ago, invited me over to meet her son (both her late husband and her son are musicians, drummers) and see their amazing apartment, big as a small house, right in Manhattan. Very Upper West Side. The kind of place you could get back in the 70’s before the neighborhood became more affluent and fashionable. We had pizza and I saw their music room and Barbara and I talked about things, about you.

You are so very much on my mind tonight, little sweetheart, and near me in the long walk home. Your mom told me some stories about you that I need to write down and haven’t yet. There’s so much to do.

But most the important of them is just to listen quietly for your presence and guidance and know that you are with me. That we will be together soon and forever. As I know, somehow, we always have been.

It’s night. And unseasonably warm and magic one. And I feel you near. With all my love.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Home and How It Comforts

Little sweetheart, after a delay and a long flight and a crowded subway ride, I’m finally back in our apartment in NYC. I gathered up all the held mail and returned the plants from the sink where our neighbor was periodically attending them to their place near the front windows. I pulled my laptop out of its traveling case and plugged it back in to all peripherals here at my desk. I brought the rest of my luggage into the front room, leaving a few things in the kitchen. I didn’t even unpack. I just undressed and changed into my pj’s, just like you taught me (you’d be in pj’s, hair up, the moment you got home, even if just for an hour) and I lay down exhausted after the overnight flight and fell fast asleep for much of the day here in our bed, your things and pictures around me.

It’s hard to explain or even remember sometimes after being away how enormously comforting it is to be here. Not because it’s home so much as it is OUR home. With you around me. Everywhere my eye falls I see you. Your things are here. You surround and protect me. And I feel your guiding, loving presence.

I need you always, my gorgeous girl. My angel. My soulmate. My True Love. It’s you I was born for. Through oceans and ages of time, I feel, I know, we have always been together. I know you are far nearer than I can imagine. And home, here, at last, I feel you even stronger than I did in your room in California.

Please always be with me. I need you more than ever. With all my love. xM

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Arctic Bomb

Little sweetheart, I was supposed to head back to NYC today but there’s a crazy storm spreading across the East Coast. Every year something like this happens and they come up with some melodramatic name for it. I think they’re calling this an “Arctic Bomb” or something. They started canceling flights already yesterday, so I called to see if mine was too. It wasn’t but they’re letting people re-schedule for no extra charge or change fees.

I was wondering what to do when I went downstairs (I’ve been in your room all morning) and you dad was there, home from the hospital. He said, why not just stay for a few more days. The weather looked terrible in New York and he had the whole weekend off, so we could go to the movies or do other things.

I immediately said yes. I can make more Christmas cookies for 12th Night! Ha! And do more cooking. I had a cake I wanted to make for your mom. I really love cooking for your parents because it reminds me how I would for you.

And I so love to do that - cook dinner and bake treats for you. I remember one time you were here and your friend Jane stopped by. The two of you were going to meet some people for drinks. And I was making you dinner and getting dessert in the oven, so it would ready for you to come home to. She was kind of astonished. She asked if you knew how lucky you were but I knew better - I’m the lucky one.

I’m so grateful for you. So grateful that you found and love me. Find me again, my angel. And take me to you the moment heaven will allow.

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