"How & When It Feels Okay" was recorded during a year in which a drastic shift in national mood was experienced. While this is not an intentional or even particularly overt theme, the album began to take a political air in retrospect. This is not a fully accurate view of the art contained within. In reality, what is offered is two people making music they enjoy. Music that makes them feel okay. The date of release and all the disbelief and emotional turmoil that followed should not be considered a reflection of what was going on during the genesis of the album. The record should instead be viewed as a final image of a now-dead form of innocence in our world and a sort of purity of soul that may not be recaptured for several generations.
The following are the initial statements made by the artists on the day of release. Please read with a historical eye, if possible.
"It's clear that we're all very anxious over this. A change of this type is never easy and is often preceded by doomsaying on all sides. Certainly this year it appears to carry a certain degree more weight. However I can't help but hope that we can still appeal to some amount of each other's humanity. That, if anybody currently spewing hate at this moment came to me or anyone I know, needing help, that we would put this all aside and help them. When faced with the reality of, uh, Reality, we would become decent human beings. It's true that this is our fight but it's not one that any of us asked to be a part of.
It's my personal (extremely naïve) hope that this album might find the one or two people for whom it might become a source of comfort. And while this album is not in any way about this event, it was made at a time when we were being force-fed rhetoric and hate daily, hourly, by the minute and second. It has affected us all deeply and, by extension, affected our artistic perspectives.
May we never forget what this has done to us. Or, more to the point:
Fuck all of this. Fuck it so god damn hard."
"I hope this music is a balm and not a requiem.
This has been a rough year. And it's been hard to keep believing that we really can be something more than the petty, partisan bickershits we've been trained to be. That we really can direct our lives toward something other than mutually assured destruction. (All our righteousness was never worth much, anyway. Sometimes I think that every ideology, at the root, comes from some kind of hate.) I'm exhausted.
But everything doesn't have to be like that. We can make lovely things and sing to each other and try to feel okay.
And while we're at it, we should try to get some sleep. Maybe next year will be better."
released November 7, 2016
written, performed and produced by Cult Film
(Lucas Akar and Manny Fewer)
recorded February-October 2016
in The Kitchen