Escape Scenes is the new album by Sea Dramas, the San Francisco Bay Area based music project led by Scott Pettersen. Originally started by Pettersen as a home recording project, Sea Dramas grew to become a full band, until 2020 changed everything and sent Pettersen back to the solace of his home studio where it all began.
The San Francisco Bay Area was the first metro area in the US to go into lockdown. Amongst the days and nights of isolation there was ample time to reflect and to experiment. The common thread running through the songs is the concept of time itself, the changing of seasons, and the way time began to blur.
“During the first year of the lockdown nights became days. Days became dreams. Dreams became sounds. Sounds became the soundtrack to looking inward and reflecting on life choices and also the banality of it all. There’s darkness, there’s sadness, there’s light and there’s joy. All bound together in the realm of that unique time. The making of the album was my particular escape scene,” says Pettersen.
“There are recurring symbols like the moon, the sun, the sea, the seasons, symbols of the consistency of change and modifiers of time. Time had become a mutation of itself or perhaps I had become a mutation of myself? Escape Scenes came out through this new skewed life lens. The words were all stream of consciousness and nothing was planned out. It all sort of just revealed itself.”
Influenced by library music, dream pop, folk, and 60s pop, Pettersen took the opportunity to start afresh and experiment with a new palette of sounds, to further the plot. In the absence of a drummer, there are drum samples cut to pieces and arranged to fit, and there's more weight given to electric instruments.
Amid the isolation, Pettersen still managed to connect with collaborators who each added their touches. Former bandmate David Brandt added percussion and bowed cymbals on “Daybreak”, while Sara Mohan played violin and sang backing vocals on “No Poetry.” David Glasebrook mixed and mastered the album at his studio in Oakland, CA.
Scott Pettersen’s track notes
Daybreak - the sun comes up. The day begins. But is anyone awake?
Long Goodbye - inspired by our first outing during lockdown to Drake’s Bay and combined with distant memories of visits to the Lost Coast. Long Goodbye is a farewell to time itself.
Nite Passengers - sleep deprivation and the body’s out of whack internal clock. It’s not all bad. The night is calm.
Running Thoughts - sometimes thoughts are enough to make them real.
These Days - “tired languid old days.” It’s a drudgery sometimes and then it repeats. Doesn’t mean it still can’t be beautiful.
Moon Breaks - the moon is happy to see you. You are happy to see the moon. Is it love or just respite?
No Poetry - about love and growing old together, I guess. But how does it feel now when you can’t get the words out anymore?
Less Than Useless - self depreciation at its truest. When you lose too much it can be hard to swallow. Write a song about it.
Sundown - the day is done but now you’re awake. Thankfully. You are not alone.
Turn the Tide - ebb and flow. You can come back from the darkness and it’s not a dream. It is real life after all.
Album credits & song lyrics
Written & recorded by Scott Pettersen between 2020-21 in Livermore, CA
David Brandt played percussion & bowed cymbals on Daybreak in San Francisco, CA
Sara Mohan bowed violins & sang backing vocals on No Poetry in Basel, Switzerland
Mixed & mastered by David Glasebrook in Oakland, CA
Artwork by Scott Pettersen
Layout by Aaron Hubbard
All songs copyright Memory Sounds Music 2024
Here is the release information:
- December 1st 2023 - Long Goodbye - single release
- January 12th 2024 - Running Thoughts - single release
- February 2nd 2024 - Escape Scenes - digital & US/Canada album release
- March 29th 2024 - Escape Scenes - UK/Europe physical release
- Album formats: Digital, CD, Cassette