Track By Track: Maple Hill – ‘Headspace’

Ithaca, NY pop-punks Maple Hill released their debut album Headspace last month, which you can stream below. While listening, check out the track by track of Headspace as well…

Track By Track

Headspace is a record about the transition to early adulthood, and the many conflicts that arise during the process. Each song is a personal story or journey, and a lesson learned. Some of these stories are more uplifting and hopeful, some are more disheartened or frustrated, but each is a moment in time. What we took away from these situations is what we put into these songs. Because of these experiences, we were able to learn the importance of the ability to shift perspectives. That whole outlook is where the title Headspace came from. The album itself transitions over time, both lyrically and musically, to further emphasize the thematic intention. We are very proud of this album. The time we spent making it was some of the most fun we’ve had in our lives, and we really hope that you can hear that in the music.

1. Never Enough

At the heart of this song is the story of the end of a relationship, and the frustrations that can escalate when people don’t communicate or understand each other well. In a way, this is the most straightforward song on the record. There isn’t a fun story about writing it or anything, because the way you hear it now is almost exactly the way Joel brought it in to work on. It’s definitely the most pop punk song on the album, and has some super fun and bouncy parts. Once we heard it, we knew it had to be the first track.

2. A Night at Monmouth

This song was one of the first that we started working on during the writing and home-demo phase, and one of the last that we finished. It went through so many structural changes to get to where it is on the album, but that’s kind of just how some songs go. The title is in reference to a concert that we attended in Monmouth, NJ. We saw All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, Mayday Parade, and You Me At Six. That bill – I mean come on! It was amazing. The whole time we were watching these bands, we were thinking about how we could be up there some day, and how now was our time to start seriously working towards that. We were so inspired that we decided to write a song about it. You can hear the mentioned bands’ influences in the song, due to their direct inspiration on us as a band, but especially on the song itself.

3. Jack Blinked

Before Headspace and Maple Hill were even a thing, this song was already written. We had originally intended for our EP to be a full length, and this was going to be a song on it. What we ended up doing instead was taking the best songs from that project and using them for Headspace. This song definitely has a place on Headspace, so we’re really happy that we got to present it in that way. The story is of one very memorable night that we all spent stargazing together with our friends. The title also comes from that night. We were all laying out on a trailer in the middle of a field just outside of our hometown. We were star gazing and we saw a huge shooting star, but our friend Jack missed it because he blinked at that exact moment. We are very fond of this song, and tend to always close our shows with it. Other people also seem to really like it, there’s always a lot of audience participation stuff, so it’s a lot of fun.

4. Space to Grow

In a nutshell, this is a song about self-reflection. Following the theme of the album, it’s all about finding a new perspective. The song speaks towards looking inwards, and accepting that a change needs to happen. There is a succinct lesson learned in this song for us, but the song is for anyone who feels similarly about wanting and needing to change for the better. We started writing this song during some downtime we had in the studio where we were finishing up our EP at the time. It kind of just worked it self out from there. It’s now one of our favorite songs on the record, and one of our favorites to play live.

5. Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment to Sparkle Motion

The title of this song is a famous line from the cult classic, Donnie Darko, which happens to be one of our favorite movies. The song itself depicts a specific summer for us, and many events that happened over the span of that. It’s full of references towards inside jokes of ours, as well as towards the movies and TV that we were watching at that point in our lives. A lot of the lyrics are about one of our best friends, who contributed to writing some of the songs on the record, who had to move away before the end of high school. It was very hard for all of us to deal with at the time, and we think you can hear some of that in the track. This song took a very long time to find itself. What it ended up becoming was a combination of a few different ideas that we were working on, and making something cohesive. It’s got some fast parts, some fun instrumental sections, and some really bouncy parts, so it’s a good addition to the album, and to our live show as well.

6. Stomping Ground

This song is about moving on, although not necessarily knowing what the future has in store. It’s about learning to step away from something and kick-start yourself into taking action, for your own sake. The song is also inspired by our having to move on from the world in which we grew up to pursue our other endeavors. A midway point on the album, this song is a transitional one in itself, moving from one end of the record to the other. We chose this song for the leading single and music video because of its theme. It epitomizes what the album is mostly about, and is also a good taste of our sound as a band. The filming process for the video was such a blast. We just took one of our buddies around our favorite parts of Ithaca, and pretty much did what we would normally do. It was cool to be able to pay homage to our home in that way.

7. From Cradle to Grave

Something that’s really great about this band is how diverse our influences are. We think you can really hear that with this song. It’s pretty much just a guitar-heavy rock song musically, but when Max brought it in, something about it really spoke to us. If you delve into the lyrics a bit, you can start to see the complexity of the situation at hand. Layered with metaphor, the verses tell the story of someone whose obsession with the past is becoming detrimental to their present self. You can hear their inner-thoughts, and how their actions affect those around them. The chorus is a commentary on the situation, and on human nature as a whole. Even though this song could be viewed as a bit of a departure from the album, we believe it holds a firm place on the record. It’s a great beginning to the back half of the album, and what’s not to love about Max’s face-melting guitar parts in this one?!

8. Streetlights

Much like Jack Blinked, this song was written well before the others on Headspace. In fact, this is the “oldest” song on the whole record. We can vividly recall recording the layered harmonies in the outro section for the demo in the basement we used to practice in years ago. It makes us so happy to get to hear that part now, in all its glory, just how it’s supposed to sound. Even though it doesn’t stay that way for very long, we suppose you could call this one our “soft song” on the album. We actually got our engineer Ryan “Rings” Ellery to record some cello and even some EBow on the intro/recall sections. This song probably had the wildest ride in the studio. It’s kind of a beast. It’s the longest song on the album, and has a bunch of different parts to it. It was the first song we tracked any vocals for in the studio, and was the one that we were working on last, too. We’re really happy with how it came out, and it’s been one of the most talked about songs so far.

9. All I Dream About

Most of the instrumentals for this song were taken from older songs that we never did anything with. We fell in love with the intro/verse/main riff thing, as well as the chorus, so we kind of based the rest of the song around the feeling that we got whilst listening to those parts. This is definitely one of the more honest and emotional tracks on the record. If you asked us for our favorite track, and we absolutely had to choose one, we would probably go with this one. A large reason for that is because of its uniqueness, juxtaposed to the other songs. It’s in a compound meter rather than simple, and it’s the only song on the record with any sampling. Plus it kind of just goes hard from beginning to end. We were very happy to get a chance to feature Max’s guitar work as well. The solo/outro of the song says so much more than the lyrics and melodies ever could.

10. Argyle

There’s sort of a funny story behind the title of this song. We were pretty young when we all started playing together, and none of us were very fashion-forward at that point. This was especially the case with Max, though. For a while, he would show up to every practice in red sweatpants and an argyle sweater. It was the same sweatpants each time, but he would rotate through his collection of sweaters. We found that so funny at the time. This was the first song that he brought in for the band, and so we obviously named it after his baggy sweaters. The song itself has become one of our favorites to play live. It finds this great groove and stays there for a while, letting everyone just vibe out for a bit. It’s one of the more uplifting tracks, which is what helps make it the perfect closer to the album.

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