The Inside Track: Ultra Contra - 'Walk the Terminal'

I’ve always a “vibes first” approach to making music. Some people are better at starting with chords and melody, or maybe get first inspired by a great lyrical idea, but speaking for myself I can’t really commit to a song idea unless I’ve got a clear picture of what the overall sound and feel of it will ultimately be. Maybe that’s working backwards. But it’s like there’s this finished song being played in the room next door and you can kind of hear the general shape of it, but it’s cloudy and muffled. My process is to try and break through that wall however I can to figure out how to actually put together an actual song that fits that impression I have of it.

“Walk The Terminal” really put this approach to the test and it took me a while to figure out what these sounds were actually supposed to be about. One day I realized that it was giving me the same kind of feelings you get wandering alone in an airport late at night. You’ve got nothing to do but you definitely have someplace be, and being forced by your surroundings to stay chill despite your own need to get on with things can create a lot of unresolveable feelings.

The song explores the tension between a restless mind that finds itself in a controlled environment, and how being left alone with our own thoughts is often the fastest way to find ourselves overcrowded with the presence of others, even if they aren't there. Judgments are levied, things that can't be unsaid are given voice, and decisions which could lead to either genuine breakthrough or irredeemable disaster get made. We've all had thoughts like these when we're alone, moving from point A to B. We usually don't know how it will all shake out until we make that journey, after existing in that liminal space of transit and transition that "Walk The Terminal" explores.

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