Arizona-based alternative catharsis rock project Crow Speaks began in 2016 as the brainchild of Edgar Sopper. Although musical writing commenced in 2013 in the Pacific Northwest, after relocating to Arizona in 2016, Crow Speaks released his first single recorded at El Ramirez Studios in Mesa, AZ.
Performing as a solo act until the pandemic forced Sopper inside and into his first digital recording attempts, the experimentation took Crow Speaks to new-found levels. In late 2022 Edgar Sopper announced the closing of Crow Speaks with a self-recorded and mixed single entitled "Smile Through," as well as the final track to come soon after, which has brought our focus to "Topical Clickbait Song Title."
The final offering is extended as Crow Speaks comes to an end. Sopper has stated that out of respect for cultures that hold the crow sacred, and another artist with an album of soothing flute music titled 'Crow Speaks,' these reasons have collided with his desire to leave heavy-emotional content behind and come back with a more hopeful sound, message, and name.
Leaving listeners with an amplified sound that touches on a fresh-faced territory for Sopper, this record clocks in at 3:55 with pure grit heard throughout the instrumentation.
Wrapping us in the sonic exploitation of electronic elements, there's much to dissect when listening to the entirety of "Topical Clickbait Song." From the boisterous energy that catapults from the speakers, there are glimmers of raw and authentic creativity streamlining this song. From sizzling synths that make you feel the essence of existence, hypnotic pads luring you into an underworld of abstract intimacy, and percussion that roars with no rhyme or reason, everything seamlessly fits together as the eclectic flair instilled constructs a bolstered foundation for Sopper's haunting vocals.
Touring us through hefty unkempt emotion as Sopper's croons visit shrill and mellow peaks, this glitchy, cyber-punk extravaganza is Crow Speaks' way of going out guns-blazing and unlocking the maximum potential for future endeavors to unfold. Tune into the diverse frequency Sopper lives by and feast on the last offering Crow Speaks divulges to us.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Crow Speaks, and congratulations on the final piece to Crow Speaks' puzzle. How does it feel to conclude such a monumental era for yourself?
It really feels like a breath of fresh air and like a huge weight has been lifted. I am so proud of myself for having the courage, determination, and perseverance to act on a long-time bucket list item of making my original music. Not what's on the radio but my personal preferences of sounds, textures, rhythms, and moods. I have put everything I could into my music and can walk away satisfied with no remorse knowing I gave it everything. Crow Speaks was a necessary part of my healing process in coping with childhood trauma, diagnosed with major bipolar depression and addiction. Crow Speaks isn't the happiest of stories to hear, so I hope that simply living out my best life quietly, with contentment is enough of an ending for anyone who took an interest in Crow Speaks to be satisfied knowing no more music means I'm not as emotionally turbulent or struggling. Ideally, the day comes when music for me is a natural, healthy, symbiotic part of my life, and without forcing anything - maybe I can manifest the polar opposite of what Crow Speaks encapsulated. Instead of suffering, despair, pain, confusion, etc. - reside and resound in joy, renewed hope, celebration, excitement, love, and assurance. Not putting that imposed pressure on myself, though, to have to create anymore unless it happens organically.
With this track's abstract and oozingly charismatic representation making listeners feel myriad emotions, what message do you hope to send out with "Topical Clickbait Song Title?"
"Topical Clickbait Song Title" was an instrumental I've been working on since around 2017 or 2018, so shortly after early counseling attempts and a year before beginning to get sober in 2019. I always heard this as a sci-fi/cyberpunk sound with the imagery happening internally. I'm one of those instrumentals before lyrics/melody people. I just started singing before I knew the words - just sounds that gravitated towards words and eventually sounded and felt right delivering. I'm sure it was influenced by my father, David, who displayed symptoms of Alzheimer's for years before getting a formal diagnosis in 2019. The line "Stuck here with this hardware that is failing" was changed from 'software' to 'hardware' to bridge the gap between my father's (and many folks' cognitive conditions) to a topic all of us can relate to, which is our amazing, incredible, self-healing bodies that do require us to make the most of the time we have. Make smart, healthy decisions for ourselves. Live, love, laugh, and experience as much as possible today because no one knows what tomorrow brings. My father's condition helped influence the lyrics; my cries for help and self-pity informed me, as well as a desire to try to explain or justify my perceived suffering and recognize suffering outside myself. "Trying to keep the dying, who are living, all from dying while you're living in a country homicidal built on stolen land with stolen life." is a direct reference to anyone trying to support someone with any number of conditions to survive day-to-day, as well as the lives who were involuntarily taken from their homelands to be slaves or be neglected on unwanted land for the sake of the United States. The overall message I want to impart with "Topical Clickbait Song Title" is to keep speaking your truth and never stop speaking out about wrongs that need addressing. Many individuals seek to silence opposing speech for whatever reason they believe justifies it. We need free speech. We don't need free speech where one party or speaker does not come to the table able or willing to listen, consider the other viewpoint, and change if need be. It must always be a two-way street. Logic and the best interest of the community must take priority over the self-interested, unhealthy demands of a minority.
Please take us into the creative process of bringing this track to life. Knowing this is Crow Speaks final release, did you approach it differently than you normally would have?
I remember wanting to utilize the 'Punk' drum machine setting on the Zoom G1oN pedal to make something fast, aggressive, and explosive. The bass line came first, just what popped into my head with that fast drum machine beat and tempo. The first guitar came next, followed by the second guitar. I ended up changing the end of the first guitar parts to harmonize with the second guitar at the end of the phrase and thought it sounded Iron Maiden-y 80's ish kind of, which makes me feel both badass and silly at the same time lol. For the pre-chorus instrumental, I wanted to be no-nonsense and more abrasive. Then the chromatic bar chord walk-up for the chorus was just an attempt to create a feeling of unsteadiness or not having solid ground beneath one's feet. Always have to be on your toes and take nothing for granted. I was given a gift certificate to Zia Records for the holiday, which enabled me to get the missing glitchy, sub-bassy synth element I needed for this song. The Earthquaker Bit Commander really prompted the recording of this song. I ran a keyboard's bassoon effect through the pedal to fatten the signal and make it sound a little warmer. Really stoked about how it sounds. I went into recording this without having a chorus or pre-chorus, so after recording the instrumentals and trying out different mixes, the lyrics finally came to me at 3 am, and of course, unable to sleep. And that was how the song finally came to be after 4 or 5 years. There's a preoccupation with having artists consistently put out work. Some artists can handle that, but I admittedly cannot. Time to live, experience, process, grow, renew energy, and allow space for things to come together organically has been a theme for me. I did approach this track differently, not only because it's the final Crow Speaks track, and I wanted it to be the best quality I've produced, but also because it's my best/most dynamic song, in my opinion. I really wanted to honor the song and what I tried to make it stand for. Because of those two things, I also pushed myself to research more about utilizing compression appropriately and what it actually does, and saw great results.
If you could collaborate with any artist or band, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Oh damn, that's so difficult to choose just one! If I HAVE...to pick just one... I would love to scream my lungs out with Anthony Green from High and Driving, Zolof the Rock n Roll Destroyer, Audience of One, Jeer at Rome, Saosin, Circa Survive, The Sound of Animals Fighting, Fuckin Whatever, And There With Them Was Love, and LS Dunes. Anthony Green has a one-of-a-kind voice and seems to have so much damn creativity that he inevitably ends up prompting new music as a by-product of existing. He brings something very unique to all of his projects. I respect his vocal prowess, observable growth as a singer, stage presence and energy, consistent solo output, and willingness to share his experiences with mental health, addiction, and life.
What can we expect to hear from your sound and music next?
Don't expect anything, lol. Music has been both a blessing and a curse for me. I can really make myself miserable with self-imposed pressure and expectation for myself. I hope to live these days happily, and, at least with Crow Speaks, it means I'm dealing with heaviness and pain. In my head, ideally, in some years, I write, record, and put out an album of ambient, possibly psychedelic, upbeat, fun, joyous sounds and songs under a new name that can tell you about my life on the other side with love, acceptance, healthiness, contentment, purpose, and hope. I don't put anything past life, though. A buddy suggested the Crow Speaks sound might be so close to my soul that I could not escape it. Who knows? You'll either get more Crow Speaks under a different name or, hopefully, this new, fresh, hopeful sound and nuanced musical content. You would love to embrace more collaboration and are open to new projects to explore new areas! Thank you so much for letting me share my story with all of you.