Things Left Unsaid
There's the family you're born into and the family you choose. Kirt Debique crafted his 2015 debut album, Things Left Unsaid, as the intersection of the two. Conceived as a series of letters to parents and partners, siblings and strangers, its eight songs delve into themes of love, family, and loss. Although a divorce and some hard realizations incited the compositional process, the specifics of Things Left Unsaid took shape later on, after the Seattle resident could view his subject matter with perspective. Although a specific concept and subject anchors each song, Debique intended Things Left Unsaid to be digested as a whole album. After developing the sonic ideas and textures in Ableton Live, he refined them further with members of his chosen family: the artists of Brick Lane, the independent record label he operates. And those musicians, in turn, helped him realize Things Left Unsaid. Brick Lane artists Benjamin Verdoes (Iska Dhaaf) and Ephriam Nagler (You Are Plural) produced the record, and augmented Debique's beats, vocals, and keyboards with additional instrumentation. Working together, they crafted arrangements that imbue Debique's succinct songs and poetic sensibilities with added depth, reflecting the complex (and sometimes conflicted) emotions that drive them. The end result recalls classics such as Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine and Depeche Mode's Violator, albeit tempered with more light and hope than either of those touchstones.