My normal way of making an album is a cycle of writing a song, recording a demo for the song right away, releasing it as an MP3 on my site, then polishing them and assembling them together into a CD when I have enough songs - and I often felt married to the original arrangements, whether they were good or bad. I decided to try a different approach this time. For the most part, these songs were written in isolation, with only rough demos made. I then went through and recorded them all in one fell swoop.
The idea was to give the songs room to breathe before commiting myself to a sound, and I think it worked. "Ashes" has a depth to it that feels missing in my other releases. Stepping back and being able to look at it as a whole before really starting the recording process let me give it more of a cohesive sound. There's a lot more piano on these songs than I usually use, which was fun.
The title wraps up the recurring themes of the cycle of life, mortality and the possibly dubious role that religion can play in the whole thing. It wasn't really designed as a concept album, but in a way it fell together that way so I went with it. The cover artwork pulled everything together, entitled "Перерождение чёрного мотылька" courtesy of the talented Luana Silense.