Circle Signals

Hello everyone! I'm so thrilled to be coming to a place of completion with my newest body of work, an electronic dance album entitled "Circle Signals". I can't wait for you all to not only hear it, but to see it too! I am working on videos and music visualizers for all of the songs so that the entire thing is a multi-media experience. I hope I can pull it off. I'm 1/4 of the way there with the visuals, and today I'll hopefully finish up recording vocals on the tracks. Now it's mostly tying up all of loose ends. It feels strange to be wrapping up a project I've worked so hard on for over an entire year!

Many people always ask if I play shows or if I intend to have an album release/listening party this time around. To answer your questions.... No, I do not really play out anymore. I'm still looking for a lead vocalist, and if I can find one, then I'd love to take what we create to a stage. In the meantime, I am content writing, recording, producing and mastering everything 100% on my own. Second question...the album release party! YES! I'm having an album release party on May 5th! The details are still in the works but it's something I'm extremely excited about! If you're in the Portland, Oregon area and wish to attend, please email me at and I'll send you an invite, or you can search for the event on Facebook.

The album - Circle Signals

I first began writing for this album sometime in February or March of 2017. The first song I wrote for this album is called "Dream". The story behind this track is that I was having lots of troubles sleeping during that time. Insomnia can be a real bummer, but out of my insomnia bender came "Dream". I was able to get some RX induced sleep one night that resulted in a really long and deep sleep with a dream so vivid, I'll never forget it. In my dream, I was visited by friends who had passed many years ago, and even our little black cat, Morpheus, was there. The comfort I felt from seeing the people (and pet) that I loved and missed dearly was so warm and healing. Of course, then waking up to realize it was all just a dream, and the surreal feeling I was left with was how "Dream" came about. It's a powerful feeling of love, fleeting, and leaving you alone with your grief, and then overcoming that by continuing to move forward, to the light. The smooth drum and bass beats always keep me moving toward the light.

After "Dream" came "L!ghter" a retro throw back "Roller Skate Jam" as I like to call it. I wanted to create something so positive and uplifting that it would balance out the somewhat eery feeling that "Dream" has. I also wanted to channel my younger, carefree, days of childhood, before I understood what losing a friend to death was like, or what it was like to suffer from pain and insomnia. This track makes me feel happy, LIGHTER, and reflect good times and memories.

After doing a couple of more uptempo tunes, I decided to try to slow things down a bit, and a long came "Sunset Shadows" which was another attempt of mine to blend urban beats and electronic sounds with guitars and pop/rock influences. This song quickly became emotional to me as I was determined to play guitar on the track. I'm a piano/synth player first, horn player second, and a self taught guitarist lastly. So, every single day during the production of this song, I played guitar until my fingertips bled. (I know! That was so Bryan Adams of me!). The song took a more cinematic turn as production moved forward. I had no intention of singing on this track. I just wanted the melody lines of the guitars to tell the story, a story about how every sunset can cast shadows, and even though you may find yourself in the darkness of the shadows, the next day the sun will rise, and you get another try to stay in the light, and overcome whatever darknesses there may be in your life.

The next track I wrote was inspired by several trips to the Oregon coast. "Waves" is a relaxing and soothing song that ebbs and flows just like the sea. I love blending uptempo drum n bass liquid type percussion with slower more retro synths, and that is how "Waves" was created.

After "Waves", I decided I wanted to make a more upbeat tune again with all the quirkiness and funk that I could muster. That's when "Esoteric Erica" was born, an electro-heavy menagerie of worldly sounds and uptempo beats. My intention all along was to make an electronic dance music album, and I think this track really got me into that mode.

"Rain" is a short snippet of a song that encapsulates how I feel about Portland's rain. I really don't mind it, but it can feel pretty relentless at times. It can make you feel chaotic and trapped, but we always have to remember that the sun will shine again.

I decided to produce "Restless" to give a big head nod to the rock based music I have loved so much in the past. I think it fits well in the album and gives a short break from all of the electronica to have a few moments of rock. The title came from the feeling I got just watching the daily news events in the United States unfold. It's that feeling you get when you drop your kids off at their schools and you have to wonder if today's mass shooting in America will happen at one of their schools. It's that constant anxiety that never lets down and wears you thin until you are completely restless.

"Puddletown" started with a lyric that I was writing, inspired by a British fan and lyrical writer named, Kenneth Mood. He sent me some lyrics and the one that stuck was "You are in me, and I am in you". This song became a reflection of my marriage with my husband, and how I feel about him, and our love. This was the first track I've written and produced on my own that I decided to sing on. I didn't realize how insecure I was about my own vocals until I was sitting in front of that microphone that day. I pushed through, and "Puddletown" was born. After finishing the vocals on this track, I went back and added a vocal line to "Rain". Overcoming fear is overcoming your insecurities. I'm still working on that!

"Ravenous" came about by feeling worn out and torn down by our presidential administration here in the USA. It became sort of my anthem to get through all the crap going on in our country and the world, and it was my escape from it all. Some people say "you shouldn't get political with your music", but isn't it my job as an artist to use whatever platform I have to be didactic? My music doesn't always have the lyrics that accompany my feelings about the socio-political issues we face today, so I'm including that in this blog. This song is basically a big middle finger to Donald Trump, and a rally cry for the youth in this country to remain fired up, be ravenous, and go out there and vote when they all turn 18! They are our future, and I'm with them!

"Mind Control" was the last tune I wrote, just completing it YESTERDAY! I was just playing around and hit on something I loved, never intending for it to go on this album, but it is! It actually bumped another song off the album. I may come back to that one later. This song is about coming into your own, having and voicing your own opinions, with your own mind. I've experienced, and seen other people I care about experience brainwashing, or mind control. This song is about breaking free from those narcissistic abusers and thinking for yourself, freeing yourself from all of that.

I think that pretty much covers it! "Circle Signals", is about coming full circle with the things that have happened in your life, the signals that you receive that get you there, and being fully present when you arrive.

I'll be working hard on these visuals until the album release on May 7th! Stay tuned for more on ReverbNation, Soundcloud, Facebook and Youtube, and I hope to see you Portland people on May 5th!

Much love & Thank You ALL for your support,

Erica Sakurai,

AKA Esoter1ca

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