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A Sold Out Vinyl! Plus an Untold Story Behind the Song "Shadows of Our Evening Tides"! 🌊 - Part 1

A Sold Out Vinyl! Plus an Untold Story Behind the Song "Shadows of Our Evening Tides"! 🌊 - Part 1

I hope you’re doing well! The past week has been quite a noisy one over here, as we had the tremendous opportunity to offer you the chance to either complete your collector lathe cut vinyl collection or to get it started!

That decision created a lot of excitement within the label's team members, Alex and myself, as we were stunned not only by your overwhelming engagement towards the project, but we were all very touched by all the comments you sent us as well.

Therefore, since you were incredibly more numerous to want a copy of “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” than the actual number of vinyls we had available, Alex will do a live draw to determine which one of you will get its collector edition, on his Facebook page next Monday, October 26, at 10am (ET)!
*(Click here to know the exact time in your location)

Again, it’s all about honoring the communion we have together through all the fun and excitement we all presently need to share.

I’m really looking forward to the draw…! Especially the part where Alex tries to pronounce your names - this is priceless!



I am actually listening to “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” as I’m writing those words down in my office at the church-studio. It’s raining outside, as it’s been for the past three days, but the trees are still dressed in their autumnal colors. It's so beautiful, all those different tones of red, yellow, brown and dark green adding life to what would otherwise be a sad scenery. It’s funny for me to rediscover the original rendition of the song after Alex revisited it through the different live sessions we had together. Listening to the song takes me back to all the very significant memories associated with it. I know just how intimate it is to Alex, but it’s incredible to realize how personal it became for so many of us, how moved we are by all the emotions conveyed by the honesty of the music and the purity of the lyrics. The song’s spirit keeps growing on me every time I listen to it.

I will always remember the very first time I heard “Shadows of Our Evening Tides”. It was during the summer of 2018. We, the entire band, had just recently come back from Morocco, where we had spent six months at Alex’s home in Tangier, trying to work on our friendship and trying to figure out the future of our band “Your Favorite Enemies”, while Alex was slowly giving life to what was about to become “Windows in the Sky”. We were all assembled at Alex’s new house in the Highlands of Virginia, where he moved after leaving North Africa.

Alex was still adding the very last details to the songs with Ben, and there he was, still deconstructing structures and removing what he called soulless musical ambitions. It was past the production deadline and both needed to start the mixing process. It was around mid-afternoon, he had just finished recording his final vocals on “Shadows of our Evening Tides” and he then invited us all for an official listening session. Those moments are sacred for us, as we know that it means that Alex considers the song as being truly “alive” and that he is ready to let go of his obsessive shaping mastery.

Over our fifteen years of friendship, Alex and I developed our own language where our friendship brought us to go through every possible and impossible thing you could think of! No words need to be said for both of us to fully understand what we are living or trying to communicate. Therefore, when the song reached the end, we looked at each other, filled with all sorts of emotions, remembering what he experienced and how much courage it took for him to simply reach that point. I knew he was emotionally exhausted and I knew the incredible measure of love and forgiveness it took him for us all to simply be in that very room, listening to what I knew cost him more than I would probably ever figure, ever comprehend. And here we were, speechless, hugging each other so hard that it felt as if we hadn’t seen each other in 20 years or so! It was one of the most powerful moments we shared at the time!

It was such a powerful and meaningful moment. As if Alex was inviting us all to start anew, as if he was saying: “Let’s celebrate what’s way beyond everything we ever experienced, may it be good or bad, may it be real or illusionary”. Alex doesn’t talk much about what really goes on deep inside of him. Most people usually get to know about him through his music or blogs but when I looked at him, we both knew that nothing would ever be the same. It’s been a long way back into the light for him and that moment meant he was willing to give a chance at embracing what it meant to be alive… to live, no longer only trying to survive.

That's why, for me, for us, “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” always moved us in such a tremendous way, like a dark agitated ocean guiding us toward new virgin shores that are only defined by their purity and freedom, still innocent and fearless. That’s the image of what I felt that afternoon… of what I believe the song led us to experience.


Even though you are all slowly getting to know Alex a little better, not everyone knows to what extent “instinct” has a very significant role to play in pretty much everything he does or is involved in. In fact, that very particular way to follow his heart always leads us to all sorts of incredible experiences. What was about to become the official video for “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” isn't any exception. So here’s a little insight into how everything took place.

As Alex was finalizing the last notes and details for “Windows in the Sky”, I was working on our Fall 2018 calendar, which was about to be one of the busiest we would have since Your Favorite Enemies was essentially put on hold, back in 2016.

I wanted to take a moment to sit down with Alex in order to present him the whole vision I had for the upcoming months and was waiting for him to be done working on his album to do so. I didn’t want to push him or pressure him in any way, especially knowing more than anyone just how far he was coming back from and how constantly abused he had been while fronting and holding Your Favorite Enemies on his shoulders for about a decade. It was important for me to make him feel safe rather than being a product about to be commercialized. I know how much Alex trusts me and with that beautiful gift comes not only a great deal of responsibilities, but a profound desire on my part to protect that and to honor that priceless covenant we have together.

The word about Alex getting back into the lights was quick to spread around, especially as so many people, from fans to promoters, were impatiently awaiting Your Favorite Enemies’ return. His resurgence was quite a big deal at the time, and even though he wasn’t really talking about it, I couldn’t even imagine how much pressure it must have been for him to face it all. Alex was still very much keeping everything for himself and self-composed at that point, even towards me, so it was essential to be absolutely transparent about everything with him.

We got invited in so many places, were offered so many things, but he just didn’t want to be part in any of that at that point. We nonetheless decided to participate to a few music conferences where I had been invited as a speaker, the main ones being the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, Germany, then Music Export in Warsaw, Poland, and the Mama Festival in Paris, France. Those moments away allow us to talk a little more and offer me the opportunity to understand a little more about where he was at in his heart and his head. We had real poignant conversations and those music business trips became an even more solid foundation to our already very unique friendship.

It’s in Poland that Alex first mentioned the idea of having a pre-release listening moment of his album in Tokyo, Japan, which has always been Alex’s second home ever since he first visited the country back in 2007. It all made sense, as Alex didn’t want to tour, didn’t want to do any promotion nor any commercialization efforts surrounding the release of “Windows in the Sky”. But sharing such a moment with his people in Japan was very significant for him.

Therefore, what first seemed more like an idea about us going to Tokyo and pre-launch the album in front of our friends and fans followed by an intimate conversation between the audience and Alex was now becoming a “thing” of its own. Alex is not really what we can call a “Let’s do things safe” or “Let's do what we already did several times” type of guy. He likes to push his own boundaries, which usually pushes mine quite a bit too!

So, as we’re sitting down in order to start this long-awaited meeting about the fall 2018 calendar that now includes a pre-release album listening event in Japan, he told me very calmly:

”I think we should not only travel to Tokyo for the album launch event but that we should also film a video for “Shadows of Our Evening Tides” while we are there. I think I could capture through images the complexity and paradoxes of the song’s nature. The poetic beauty of the Japanese people simply going about their lives really represents that, I think. I don't see any other place in the world where I’d be able to emotionally capture what the visual should share through a video, and I will shoot it “roots” style. No plan, no structural lines, no pre-written story, only life happening as life happens”.

I don’t remember what I said but I was incredibly happy to see Alex’s creative light slowly shining towards what had been a bleak spirit for such a long time, and just that was enough for me to go for it.

Guess what?! On October 30, 2018, we were on a plane to Tokyo with a video crew!


Make sure to join Alex on his Facebook Monday, October 26, at 10am (ET) as he will do a live draw to determine which ones of you will get one of the latest copies of the “Shadows Of Our Evening Tides” special collector edition LP.

I will share the winners' names in my next Cult Missive on Tuesday, October 27, along with a little more insights about my time with Alex in Japan.

Stay safe and hopeful! We’ll be in touch again very soon!

Your host and friend,


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