Brandon Gallagher didn’t set out to document the eerie isolation that comes with quarantine. But the latest track from the musician’s industrial act, Trace Amount, certainly captures that essence. Especially in the accompanying music video that finds Gallagher dreamingly floating over New York.
Trace Amount is a solo project for Gallagher, who’s also a current member of the duo Coarse. He’s also a visual artist. In the self-directed clip for “A Product of Metaphysical Existence,” viewers get a feel for both parts of the performer’s multi-faceted talent.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
The tune’s a B-side to Trace Amount’s recently released “Obsessive Diagnosis.” Gallagher told Loudwire he “finished these songs back in January before the direct impact of COVID-19 really set in, so it’s a coincidence that lyrically and conceptually I’ve been able to relate to much of what’s going on.”
When it came time to shoot the music video, however, the musician’s home base of Brooklyn — nearly deserted at the crux of the coronavirus-related shutdown — proved to be a fitting cinematic backdrop for “A Product of Metaphysical Existence.” The landscape also dovetailed with the song’s lyrics.
“Lyrically, a lot of the ideas have to do with the idea of trying to disassociate from the bullshit that can come with struggling to stay in a city like this,” Gallagher explained. “I think the timing is just a little bit crazier because we’re currently living through a pandemic.”
He continued, “Ever since I was young, I’ve experienced a lot of sleepwalking, talking, paralysis, and super intense dreams. A lot of my dreams happen in places that have a bunch of recognizable elements, but not from the same place, randomly generating somewhere I’ve never been before.”
Gallagher’s “metaphysical feelings and thoughts” may have provided the overall thematics for Trace Amount’s new number. But some of its musical inspiration can be found in one of industrial rock’s pioneers: Nine Inch Nails. The songwriter admitted to a NIN-like dedication to experimental music-making.
“I’ve read and watched a lot of interviews with Trent Reznor, and, obviously, music skills aside, he’s said numerous times that his approaches have involved a lot of trial and error, and I think that’s what I enjoy about my solo project,” Gallagher shared. “Creating elements that are results of hours of experimenting.”
The resulting output from Trace Amount has drawn comparisons to the likes of Death Grips and Skinny Puppy, as Decibel magazine described it. BrooklynVegan called “Obsessive Diagnosis” — first released in April as the A-side counterpart to “Metaphysical Existence” — “static-y and ominous.”
Listeners can download the two-song single now. In solidarity following the murder of George Floyd in police custody, as well as subsequent protests and demonstrations it sparked across the United States, Gallagher will donate proceeds from both merchandise and music to the Brooklyn Bail Fund through Friday (June 5) .
Trace Amount, “A Product of Metaphysical Existence”
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