Nashville-based Meditator began almost four years ago as a concept in the mind of front-man James Downs, a kind of musical meditation on the human condition, after the dissolution of his previous band. That led to an album named A Darkness Unknown, and its positive reception motivated Downs to assemble a full band, which included guitarist Nick Elder. While beginning to play live shows, Meditator also began work on another album, which took shape around the title World Watcher.
Of course, the global pandemic had other plans, and interfered with Meditator’s expectations for release of the new full-length. They decided to postpone the release, but to begin revealing singles from the record, beginning with “Star Gazer” in October 2020, and continuing not long ago with “Dust“. It’s that second song that’s the subject of the music video we’re premiering today, which shows the band performing the track in a plastic-wrapped room.
photo by Desiree Lynsee
“Dust” is a multi-dimensional song. At its most visceral level it brutally bludgeons and batters, slugs and scampers, and the raw fury and frustration in Downs‘ screams and roars is unmistakable, just as the seething and skittering fretwork channels feverish torment. But on another level, soft, crystalline guitar arpeggios create a mystical and introspective mood, a feeling that comes through even in Nick Elder‘s scintillating solo. And on still another level, the music soars in waves of sweeping sound that seem both yearning and wondrous.
And so, the song manages to create dream states while also delivering a vigorous beating, and the passion in the music is gripping, in all of its phases.
James explains: “‘Dust’ is about how mankind, through greed and corruption, has heavily polluted the Earth and pushed our survival to a breaking-point. The video is a visual representation of us as a people being poisoned and sickened from the mismanagement of Earth. We must break the silence and move forward with better purpose”.
James also provides this comment about the new record as a whole: “This album is inspired by a photograph. It’s a metaphor about a person watching the state of the world and how people behave and do things, all caused by mental health. This person, this watcher, is trying to understand what could happen to humankind if it doesn’t change its course”.
World Watcher was created by Nick Elder (guitar), James Downs (vocals), Gregory Alexander (bass), and Josh Ray (drums), though second guitarist Jance Walker is now also part of the band. Meditator plan to release further singles leading up to a full album release. “Our goal right now,” says James, “is to enjoy and have a good time making music, but at the same time, trying to create songs that have meaning and substance”.
World Watcher is now planned for release on June 25th.