Given recent current events, statues are more top of mind than usual. And though local indie rockers Yohannes wrote “Make Me A Statue” before Charlottesville and the song’s monologue lyrics aren’t connected to the events in any way, a sense of eeriness still creeps in.

When I spoke with Keenan Hye of Yohannes about the song, I asked Hye to share what the song would look like if it actually was a physical statue. “It’d be one of a really ugly, successful man,” he said. No surprise there, given the narrator displays desperation that hints at questionable character: “I’ll steal, I’ll cheat, I’ll lie, just keep me alive.”

Though the song maintains a steady rhythm, the lyrics cut through repetition by escalating the narrator’s methods of preservation. (One of which includes formaldehyde, a smelly chemical compound used in manufacturing.) Hye explains, “I wanted to the methods by which the narrator wants himself to be memorialized to become more and more surreal, desperate, and a little gross.”

“Make Me A Statue” is the first song Yohannes has remotely recorded (their drummer moved to Pittsburg) but their ties to Boston remain strong; in fact, the reverb on the track was recorded at one of the cities’ prominent architectural accomplishments, MIT’s Stata Center. The building’s unique dimensions make for an interesting recording space, Hye explained: “The reverb on this track was taken from an impulse response in the Stata Center at MIT [which]  is just a kind of recording of a space you can use to digitally mix tracks into that space in a really realistic sounding way, as if the song was performed there.”

As the song comes to a close it stutters like a car radio with static interference, and the echoey plinking of keys fades in. Hye noted that, while a fade-out makes sense for the “circular catchy beat” that is “Make Me A Statue,” he generally avoids them. “I have a huge pet-peeve about fade-outs” he said. “I think they are a real cop out and not a creative way to end a song at all. So, I wanted to fake a fade-out to allude to that by slowly fading the volume down for a little bit, but then abruptly cutting everything away and switching to a completely new sound. For that, I wanted something super lo-fi, and the original “song baby” we recorded on a phone worked well.”

Listen to “Make Me A Statue” below:

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