Premiere: Dreamy Notes of Joy & Sorrow Collide on The Saxophones’ “Forgot My Mantra”

The Saxophones © Conner Sorenson
The Saxophones © Conner Sorenson
The Saxophones are no strangers to introspective and whimsical storytelling, and “Forgot My Mantra” captures both with its impassioned presentation.
“Forgot My Mantra” – The Saxophones
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The California-based husband and wife duo of duo Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice make The Saxophones, a band whose sound is both subdued yet triumphant. Mortality is a prevalent them for the duo, and their debut album, Songs of The Saxophones, showcased it with its central theme of meditation, reflection on relationships, and the unlearning of socialized behaviors. With their upcoming album Eternity Bay, mortality takes a more prevalent role with explorations of the duo’s own children and the way they have impacted their lives personally and musically.

Forgot My Mantra – The Saxophones

Two singles have been released so far, “New Taboo” and “Lamplighter,” both of which continued the duo’s unmistakable dreamy surf-rock and jazzy tone. The two singles also further showcased their heightened sensitivity to life, both its beginning and end. Their latest single, “Forgot My Mantra,” takes it a step further by delving into the duo’s experience with the pregnancy of their second child, and Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering it today!

“This song details the peaks and valleys of Alison’s first pregnancy with our son, Constantine,” explains Erenkov to Atwood. “There were many moments of euphoria anticipating this new life. There was also a span of weeks in which we thought we would have to terminate the pregnancy due to health concerns and we were overcome by unspeakable sorrow. The contrast between those experiences and the emotions and places where we shared them is what I tried to recall in this song.”

This contrast is a pronounced one, done so both lyrically and musically. Within the first seconds of the song’s beginning, the hypnotic guitar riffs will send all listeners to a heavenly dreamscape, floating high above themselves. Within this same span of time, the lyrics provide a visceral scene with the line “There was an emerald forest where the road extends before us. Not surprised you didn’t notice.” The percussion in the foreground keeps a steady rhythm that adds to the overall feeling of relaxation the song produces.

I forgot the journey too
forgot my mantra
forgot the pain
is it really all the same?

As the song progresses, their signature flute playing enters the mix, and with it a celestial and dynamic layer that excels at creating stirring movements in the song. As Erenkov continues the story with his alluring vocals, the lyrics only increase in their image-creating abilities. “Walk the path by the creek, climb the stairs up the tree. Is everything as it seems? I hear there’s something in between,” he softly murmurs, showcasing the duo’s penchant for the poetic and poignant.

The Saxophones © Conner Sorenson
Cradle yourself in the water
decline the red wine
all the things you thought you wanted
suddenly you’ve changed your mind

Nearing the song’s end, questions are asked: “How does something come from nothing? Can you tell me once again?” With the last lyric sung, a tender onrush of instrumentation occurs, gently carrying listeners back down. As the last note from the flute finishes, a refreshing sensation washes over listeners, like opening one’s eyes for the first time. It’s a close that expertly captures the essence and theme of the song, showcasing the artistic and musical prowess the duo possesses.

To think we get to feel this
even for a moment
my body’s one desire
and I didn’t even know it

The Saxophones have once again created a dreamy landscape that explores our world. “Forgot My Mantra” ruminates on the ebb and flow of pregnancy and does so with lyrical precision and immense heart. The song is, at its core, a celebration of life, one that excels at making listeners feel included on something far larger than themselves. If this single is anything to go off of, their upcoming album Eternity Bay will certainly transfix all who listen.

Stream “Forgot My Mantra” – The Saxophones
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