“Corsica,” by Jungle Maps

Jungle Maps was a band that was formed back in 2008 with Max Kunz on drums/percussion and myself on baritone guitar. The duo Max and I created was based off of jam sessions we initially set up while looking for a bass player that was intended to be a larger band. During our searches it seemed at the time we could not find a bass player that wasn’t already in four other bands, or that was ready to try something wildly different and new. Max and I decided to go ahead with just the two of us to at least get some songs going, so I recorded into a Jamman Loop pedal the lower register of my baritone guitar notes to cover “bass” lines while looping the higher guitar notes on top to fill out the sound. We would also perform the songs with live looping of my baritone guitar, and utilized prerecorded samples when live looping wasn’t possible.

Corsica is an example of a song that came out of several jam sessions, moments alone with the loop machine, and had many influences that steered it towards its final direction.

We were given the opportunity to record this song in 2008 as well as the collection of songs we had put together in a last minute recording session. A band had back out of their studio dates after breaking up, so producer Matt Fordham, who was originally going to record the band, called us up and asked if we wanted to book the available time with him.

I remember I had been listening a lot to the song “Sunday” by David Bowie during that time, (an overlooked song from the often overlooked album “Heathen“) and I was struck by the simplicity and effectiveness of the chord changes. The song also used a reoccurring loop in the beginning to create a tension that the melody moves around as it goes. I used this philosophy to create a series of “Bass” loops I could use to counter the melodic lines I was playing on guitar and vocals.

Max had been to the island of Corsica and had spoken about the journey several times to me during our jam sessions. We collaborated on the lyrics to tell the story of a man sailing from the island, not knowing if they ever will see it again, and realizing that the joy and excitement that comes with new journeys can also bring worry and doubt into what lies ahead.