The soundtrack to a ten-year marriage and its end, Ging’s achingly beautiful debut album ‘We’re Here, My Dear’ reckons with love, loss, and the human condition as the artist (formerly known as Frank Dukes) reintroduces himself through raw songwriting and an experimental, indie, and avant-garde palette.
Stream: “Dear Boy” – Ging
Ging’s debut album opens in a breathtaking moment of intense intimacy.
“Even a little is too much to ask of you right now, I know,” he sings, his voice as soft as a whisper, the hushed words gently gliding over a brooding piano melody. “I’m aware of all the things you’ve set aside just to be right here. Unavailable to most, but for you I am always there. I hope we’re square, ‘cause all that’s ever been has led right here.”
It’s a powerful window into a partnership that’s weathered many storms, but none it couldn’t come back from – not in some shape or form. It’s a statement of presence; of understanding; of the connection we feel from having simply shared a space in time with someone special. “And soon you’ll see that all we thought to be is still there,” Ging reassures, a beacon of light shining through the void. Snapshots like this form the basis of We’re Here, My Dear, a hauntingly beautiful record that reckons with love, loss, and the human condition. The soundtrack to a ten-year marriage and its end, Ging’s debut album is as intimate and as achingly raw as they come.
Stuck in the middle
Of everything in life that’s good and fair
Despair doesn’t live here anymore
And it seems so simple
I pray to god you find yourself right here
Slip down a river
And I promise that I’m gonna meet you there
We’ve gone too far we can’t look back now
The things you think we lost we have now
We’re here, my dear, no need to ask how
And soon you’ll see that all we thought to be
Is still there
On the outside, looking inside
I see it; I feel it; it’s always been
on the outside, looking inside
I see it; I feel it
It’s always been right there
Independently released November 11, 2022, We’re Here, My Dear is a record of timeless and enduring love: The kind that remains, even after everything else is gone.
“In 2018, my marriage ended,” Ging shares. “We were together for 10 years and I was going through a huge life transition. I had been producing and writing songs for other people for nearly 15 years and I knew I wanted to explore making my own art, though I must admit I had no idea exactly what that would mean for me. It was kind of like starting from ground zero in every way. It was the first time I had been alone in over 10 years, and the first time I ever gave space to my own exploration as an artist. It started a journey that led me to make the record you hear before you.”
Known to most in the music world as Frank Dukes since 2000, Adam King Feeney has been one of Toronto’s most sought-after and acclaimed producers for the past two decades, working with a veritable who’s-who of top artists including Drake, Rihanna, SZA, and The Weeknd. After releasing an album entitled The Way of Ging in late 2021 (which he called “an homage to the art of making beats”), Feeney officially retired the Frank Dukes name and subsequently reintroduced himself as Ging – a play on the middle name (King) he always went by, and a return to his childhood identity.
Ging’s music is rooted in that emotional and psychological reset: This is a fresh artistic restart for him, beholden to neither his past nor his peers, unencumbered by everything that came before him – unless, of course, we’re talking about the source material for the songs themselves. Ging calls his album an ode to a love that’s free: “The type of love with space to start as one thing and become something new altogether,” he explains. “This is an ode to the woman I once married and the family we started together. As we stand before the remains of what we once called our marriage, something beautiful and new emerges. A new commitment, a commitment to truth. And even if that truth shatters every idea of what we thought we were, we honor it. We honor our love. To all that has led us to this very moment… We’re here, my dear.”
Ambient, indie, and avant-garde, We’re Here, My Dear is somewhere in-between an “experimental alternative” and an “indie folk” album. Mixing organic and electronic instruments together into a singular, breathtaking sonic palette, Ging lets each song become a world unto itself – building some tracks up to great cacophonies, whilst keeping others more minimalist and bare-bones.
“When I started the process, I’d go into the studio by myself every day and just let whatever comes out come out,” Ging tells Atwood Magazine. “At the beginning I shied away from singing. The music was quite free and would have elements of ambient music with unconventional pop structures and beats. Sometimes it was out of the grid or in weird time signatures, but eventually I started sampling my own voice and writing little phrases. I realized I was doing almost everything but writing songs and singing them, because quite frankly it was probably the scariest and most vulnerable thing to do. Once I realized this, I stepped away from all the gear and computers and just sat down with the guitar for days at a time and started writing little demos. Once I wrote the demo for “We’re Here, My Dear,” I knew I was on to something and decided to write an entire record before even thinking about producing.”
The record is about the love that has space to take a new shape. I think once I finished writing the whole record, the song ‘We’re Here, My Dear’ and that line in particular seemed to really embody the thesis of the record in a sense.
Ging wears his heart on his sleeve through nine songs that explore and unpack his relationship with his ex-wife, navigating his experiences both as a partner to her and as a father to their children. His tender, no-holds-barred songwriting is confessional, brutally honest, and unapologetically vulnerable. Whether he’s reassuring his son that things will all make sense one day (“Dear Boy”), capturing the beauty, warmth, and wonder of falling in love (“Never Want to Love”), or lamenting and languishing in the act of leaving (“A Reason”), Ging is fully present and engaged throughout We’re Here, My Dear.
“I think just like any record that an artist makes, it is a snapshot of a moment in time,” he says, reflecting on how this record serves as his (re)introduction. “I am an explorer and I think what I choose to explore will always shift and change as I do. I know I always want my art to be rooted in authenticity and embody whatever is urgent in my life. This is very much true for We’re Here, My Dear. In many ways I wanted to go back to the basics with this record. I tapped into a lot of the first things I fell in love with about music when I was young. I don’t think I consciously thought about it when I was making it, but in retrospect I was building a foundation for me to build and expand my world from. This feels right as the foundation. It can go anywhere from here. The music I’m making now sounds so different because I am in such a different place in my life from when I wrote this record.”
From his haunting, hushed opener “We’re Here, My Dear,” to the cinematic closure of “When I’m Gone,” this album is full of head turning, spine-chilling highlights. “‘Never Want to Leave’ is really special to me,” Ging says of his own favorites. “It was the first song I started producing for the record and it took me nearly two years to get the production right. It went through so many different iterations, and I knew it was perfect when I finally got it. It was really satisfying to finish. I’ve always loved the song and it feels like I successfully incorporated so many of things I love about music in one song. The record is about falling in love and in a way, it was what opened up my world and forced me to make changes in my life.”
As a lyricist, Ging cites a special passage within “Above & Below” that continues to stand out to him. “Please, please let go, of all the things. You think that you know, but you don’t. I was really inspired by George Harrison and his simple and direct approach to writing songs like this one. This lyric is something that plays in my head often as life surprises me and makes me rethink everything I thought to be.”
While We’re Here, My Dear is full of reflections on what it means to love and what it is to lose, Ging’s debut album is, at its core, a love letter to his family.
Compassion and caring bleed through every lyric, with an unwavering strain of optimism casting its bright rays across every track.
“I hope people can connect with it and find their own story in mine,” Ging shares. “I hope I did a good job honoring a love that is very near and dear to me. Ultimately, I hope it’s a welcoming invitation into the world of Ging.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Ging’s We’re Here, My Dear with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his new album!
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Stream: ‘We’re Here, My Dear’ – Ging
:: Inside We’re Here, My Dear ::
We’re Here, My Dear
The first song I wrote for the record. It is the thesis for the record in many ways. It felt like the perfect way to start the record.
I woke up from a dream and had all the words for this song. From the moment I woke up, I wrote all the words down, picked up a guitar, and all the melodies and chords came out with ease. The song is dedicated to my then 6-year-old son who had a hard time understanding why his mother and I were no longer together.
Never Want to Leave
This is a song about falling in love. This love was a catalyst for change in my life. Even though it was short lived, it was beautiful and it transformed how I saw myself and the world.
This is a song about leaving. It’s about going where you know you belong and carrying the weight of those decisions of the people around you.
I put “Miracles” after “A Reason,” since the latter is a sobering and heavy moment on the record. Miracles is about following the magic of the universe and the signs that lead you there. I really wanted to create a moment that was fun and uplifting. Going through any loss in life can be challenging, but it opens up the possibilities for all the things you want in life as you create that space from what has left.
Can You See Me
I wrote this song 2 years into my breakup. It’s about the people we’ve become versus the people we knew each other as.
True Love Will Find You In the End
When I was in Toronto finishing the last run of the record, I knew I wanted to cover something. I think the art of covering a song with intention is largely overlooked in our day of age. I was walking down the street and saw a house with a “For Sale” sign with an agency called “Johnston and Johnston Realty”. Daniel Johnston was such an inspiration to me when I was finding my voice. He sang with such conviction and pure intention that it transcended his vocal ability. “True love” has always been one of my favorite songs and the sentiment fit my record perfectly.
Above & Below
I wrote this song in one sitting. I recorded the demo in the bathroom while my kids were playing and running around the house. They turned my couch upside down and were using it as a slide. As I recorded the demo on my phone, their voices would come in and out at perfect times. I ended up chopping up a lot of those moments and using them on the final version. As the second verse starts on the demo my son Miles asks, “Can we do that again?”, so I used his vocal and dropped it in the same place on the final version. I love the demo of this song so much too. There’s a lot of magic in it and I want to put it out one day.
When I’m Gone
This was the last song I wrote for the record and the moment it was done, I knew it was the album closer. It’s about letting go and letting the world carry you to the next place you’re supposed to go. The album and this song are about letting go of what we once thought to be and creating space for where we are going, wherever that may be.
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