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Snowflakes in July - The very last chapter

Snowflakes in July - The very last chapter

I hope you are still doing great, that everyone is safe and hopeful as we’re slowly going through the very last days of 2020.

At this precise moment last year, we were just coming back from a four-concert residency in New York City, and Alex and I were leaving for Tangier, where we had an important meeting before flying back to Virginia, to celebrate the holidays in a more welcoming weather than Montreal had to offer!

I will always remember this moment where, kind of late on the evening of December 23, I hung up the phone and revealed a secret to Alex: “We’re invited to join our good friends from ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead for 25 concerts across Europe this February-March! I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for Alex to answer some of the personal questions and intimate issues he had regarding touring. The last couple of months had been a wonderful adventure, and contrary to the usual madness defining touring when we were in Your Favorite Enemies, the time we spent in Hamburg and New York gave me the impression that Alex had fun, something I had never seen in the last five years of YFE, especially on the road. So it was promising. But I knew it wasn’t my place to guide him in any directions regarding his musical journey. It had to be his decision. We had already pushed him enough in the past, and Alex was clearly different ever since he had come back from Tangier, so I told him I would support him no matter what would be his decision, even though I was REALLY happy about the offer.

I wasn’t surprised when Alex joined me later that night with 2 glasses of Johnny Walker Blue, that we only drink when we believe we are about to take an important decision, when we know it will be a defining moment. We talked a little, but what was shared was significant, I knew it. And even though 2020 will forever be remembered as a terrible year in the recent history of humanity, I believe that this kind of crazy time allows you to take a step back to evaluate or reevaluate your life, or at least what you want to make of your existence. And in the end, when I look back at what followed March 15th, I’m at peace with the way we decided to turn such a tragedy into a positive gathering, where every occasion to commune was an opportunity to make a stand. Losing friends put all the delayed tours and pushed back festivals into greater perspective. It brings us back to our own foundation, to our own measure of faith in the future and our daily desperations. It’s a constant fight and we know how blessed we are to be part of a very supportive community, so we wanted to offer that same welcoming and supportive spirit, so we can face whatever darkness there was all together.

That’s why, in retrospect, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and the fabulous privilege we have to connect with you in such a meaningful way, through Alex’s music, yes, but as he says, through what it means to commune as one! So whether it was during our early 2020 European tour, right after during the Upper Room Studio Sessions, through the recent lathe cut vinyl special lottery, or the rich interactions we have through The Club, I’m thankful to walk with you on that unique journey of friendship and humanity. It’s a priceless and generous gift we offer each other.

As Alex wrote in an essay he did in Tangier, time has its own motion. It’s difficult to free yourself from its implacable nature and as crazy as it is, for me, it’s when I write those missives, a card, or an email that I feel free from anything else that is “temporal”. So entering the last of five lotteries is particular for me… “Snowflakes in July” being the most intimate and personal song Alex wrote on Windows in the Sky gives the occasion a wonderful and bright celebration.

Following the latest message I sent you reflecting on how “Lavender Sky” came to life while we were all in Tangier, Alex and I had a conversation over the phone about it, asking each other how we truly were doing, both being greatly exhausted by all the intense emotions we experienced while navigating through the high waves and strong currents of a year that doesn’t seem willing to end just yet. We reminded ourselves how ridiculously busy this year has been even if we stayed home... It was unbelievable to revisit every moment and project we had the privilege to give life to, the blessing we both had to share it all with you since 2020 began... Unreal!

Every EP we released, the European tour, "The Hunter" premiere in Paris, every unique live moment we had in Upper Room Studio, the Silence is Murder project following George Floyd's horrible murder, the ALIVE. project reminding us that it’s ok to feel confused and distressed but no need to live it all alone, and of course, this five collector vinyl edition lottery going on since October... And that’s only part of what we can officially share with you at this point! :)

Alex told me: "You know, my greatest concern about touring was for the songs to lose their unique perfumes, their meaning, and the moments they keep alive. It’s what repetition does to anything that once was singular. I wasn’t really worried that I would become as ill as I used to be in the past - I’m no longer that person. But losing something I wasn’t ready to let go of frightened me. But I connected with people, cried with them at the merch booth, had incredibly inspirational conversations with them, communed intimate feelings, had the wonderful privilege to welcome those who, just like me, needed to be received… All those moments made me realize that every one of my songs was becoming something even greater than any of the emotions that gave them life, and it was transforming me one instant after the other. And this is what makes me want to dwell in such a stream of life much more. It’s just difficult to explain...”

We then started to talk about this last chapter, this last vinyl for the very meaningful song that is Snowflakes in July, I asked him how he felt regarding this song at this very moment in time, as we’re ending what seems like the most fulfilling year of our lives, and are just starting to realize how different we are from that same time last year…! He said:

“All the souvenirs that shape the person I am, that strangely give a meaning to all that silence I’ve been filled with for years, that help me face the emptiness I still feel to this day when I think of ending as a simple picture on which the colors fade as fast as we regret every broken promise, knowing that one day, always too soon, the only thing that will matter is the measure of love we shared with others... This is what will define the image of ourselves that people will remember as they stand before us, gone like a snowflake in July… That’s how I feel… a little more at peace than I can comprehend, maybe.”

As we hung up the phone, those simple words kept echoing in my mind: “the measure of love we shared with others.” I thought this was so beautiful, so powerful, such an inspiring invitation. Whereas everything seems to be collapsing sometimes, as it was for Alex when he first stepped in Tangier, a story I really hope he’ll share with you all someday, that invitation to offer ourselves to others in need, knowing that we’ll never be forgotten when our moments of desperation will come, that’s what matters the most. Love is free to give yet it costs everything we have, that’s the catch, especially when we have been bruised up, hurt or broken by love. It’s hard to trust in love's liberating nature and even more to be willing to offer ourselves once again.

“The measure of love we shared with others” is what I believe remains at the center of “Windows in the Sky”, the spirit with which it has been crafted, and Snowflakes in July incarnates it in a grandiose honesty.

I decided to listen to the song after my conversation with Alex, not really knowing how I should end this message... I haven’t listened to this song since we played it live on July 26, and I was once again stoked by those words:

There will be time for you and I
For morning tides to lift us all back into the lights
There will be time
So real

So hopeful. So peaceful. So delicate. But so powerful.

I’m looking forward to this last chapter! Truly can’t wait to share this amazing and inspiring moment we shared with you last July around the song Snowflakes in July recorded live from the Upper Room Studio and recorded direct-to-vinyl with you!

IMPORTANT: The very last vinyl of this lathe cut collector’s edition Snowflakes in July will be available next Wednesday, December 16, starting at 10am ET for 48 hours! Make sure to mark your calendar!

In the meantime, I’m inviting you to download the entire EP if you haven’t already done it!

Stay safe and hopeful!

Your Host and Friend,

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