“All the doubt that creeps in deep in the night
Is there to help us practice morphallaxis…”

30Over last summer, I was tooling around with some ideas in electronic music, specifically the idea of blending the unison, group vocal sound of something like The Mouglies or even Of Monsters and Men together with what I saw as the upcoming disco reboot thanks to what was then the forthcoming Daft Punk. It was really just an experiment. But I liked it. A little Depeche Mode lick here, a little Nile Rogers there and the song was forming up.

For the lyrical theme, I took up the idea of morphallaxis. What the hell is that geekyness about, you ask? Morphallaxis is the ability of a creature to re-grow body parts, like the way a starfish can re-grow limbs. I drew up the parallel of us rebounding from the scars of childhood to become something great. You know, a geeks now rule the world kind of thing.

I liked where it was going so much that I even took up the idea of adding group vocals with a bunch of my son’s friends singing ion it. We recorded in early June, and while the tracks were fine, I discovered there is a fine line between group vocals and something sounding a little too Disneyesque. I started tweaking the vocals, but before I could get too far the Great Computer Crash of 2013 was in full swing and I lost much of the work on this song, including those takes. Well, they are buried somewhere, but by that point I had moved into performing live and forming The Mariana Trenchcoats, so the project was shelved.

Alas, here is the final version of this track, largely how I left it back in June with my original vocals on it. Maybe someday I’ll revisit it, but for now, this is what it is.

(Morphallaxis) Stars Undersea
by George Zhen

Face down in the dirt
Pretending nothing’s hurt
Hear the laughter Doppler and fade
Frames broken and bent
It was just an accident
No one will notice – it will all go away some day

We might be invisible
And our lives may seem pitiful
But that’s cynical
‘Cause one day we’ll be beautiful
And wonderful
Like stars undersea…

Atlas turns around
Push you deeper underground
You like this – the darkness – the sound in the caves
Digging beneath  the bones
You realize you’re not alone
“We thought we lost you beneath allthe crashing waves…”

We might be untraceable
And erasable
These minds are inflatable
Like a dirigible
Our friends are so beautiful and wonderful
They’re stars undersea…

All the doubt that creeps in deep in the night
Is there to help us practice morphallaxis
Do you get deep in the middle of the night?
Do you go deep in the middle of the night?
Do you grow deep in the middle of the night?

From a whole lot of nothing
Came a whole lot of something
Now you’re standing at the top of the hill
Once the pain abated
You soul regenerated
And that has – made this – sweeter still (’cause you see)

We might be incredible
And our hearts are invincible
But principled
These days we’re so  beautiful and wonderful
We’re stars undersea
We’re stars undersea