by Vincent Cecchini of Tiki Bar
Two years ago, at 17 years old, I would be exposed to crucial elements that would rock my understanding of myself and my place in this world.
I was first introduced to Erik, my best friend and co-founder of Tiki Bar, through mutuals at a house party. At that point, we didn’t have many similarities: He was the embodiment of a modern-day hippie, and, unbeknownst to me, I was still searching for a purpose to assign me individuality.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
In the same month of our introduction, a whirlwind of emotion, philosophy, and faith was instilled deep inside my soul. He showed me the opportunity to build intimacy with the greatest communicators of life: music, friendship, and psychedelics. I don’t mean ‘communicators’ as in verbal, but rather the teachings that reach deep inside you, to inscribe your truest-held beliefs on your heart. For example, the first time I heard Jimi Hendrix, I listened in awe to his ‘Live In Maui’ performance of Voodoo Child. It’s tough not to get emotional thinking about it; I consider it my first time ever actually ‘hearing’ music and registering it for what it is. The way his fingers commanded the strings, squeezing out every drop of magic held within those 21 frets – it flipped my world upside down and righted it on a new axis.
Within that same hour, my livelihood was placed in my hands through the form of a bass guitar. It solidified the inside joke that bassists don’t choose to be bassists, instead, it’s them who get selected to wield 4 strings. Nonetheless, I was totally and utterly enamored. Not only was it amazing to take part in playing music with other humans, but I gained a beautiful level of respect and wonder for other musicians as well. I now began to hear music for its human qualities of creativity and expression, rather than just sounds emanating from a speaker.
After Erik and I had graduated high school, we soon became much more serious about creating music together. We moved into an apartment in Ottawa, Ontario, where we began building the foundation for The Uncanny Valley. I wanted to address the bizarreness of human life; how it even came to be that I’m writing this and now you’re reading it. How did anything come to be? It’s all a little….uncanny.
We started grouping together our most unique-to-human experiences. They shared qualities of complex emotion, existentialism, dire longing, and the sheer questions of ‘How, and why?’ Although we never came up with a solid answer to those questions, the process reminded me of times when I didn’t think I even needed an answer.
This is where songs like ‘Acapulco Gold’, and ‘Opiate Song’ stem from. The pureness that emanates from your heart when there is nothing but love for the world. The days when the cool wind is at your back, caressing your hair, carrying your feet, and swaying your soul. Whether the mind is put at bay by friends, adventure, substances, or everything together at once – there is nothing better to me in life than this feeling – it is the answer!
After spending only 6 months in Ottawa, we decided to move back to our hometown of North Bay, Ontario. We began writing the songs ‘Hail The Mainframe Alien Race’, ‘A Hymn For Pharmaceuticals’, and ‘Ouroboros’. At this point, I wanted to expand my lyricism and storytelling beyond my own experiences. I made up characters, stuck them in freakish and eccentric scenarios, and wrote about what It would be like in their shoes.
When I listen to The Uncanny Valley, I hear a collection of 5 songs that remind me exactly what it means to me to be human. The youthful curiosity, a beautiful spectrum of emotion, and priceless experiences with friends that shape your life into the most wondrous movie.
Thank you everyone for reading and listening to Tiki Bar’s ‘The Uncanny Valley’. Each bit of support truly means a lot to us. Until next time!