The soothing guitar, the rumbling of the drums and cymbals, the bass and DJ sound effects eerily yet beautifully coming into the mix with every sound coming all together with a toe-tapping beat and a guitar rift to get things going, makes this song one of my favorite songs, well, since I can remember.
I was 8 at the time when ‘Are You In’ was released in 2001 as a single and eventually on the album titled Morning View by Calabasas native band Incubus. ‘Are You In’ introduces sounds of jazz and swing music plus DJ Kilmore producing fluttery, ocean-like sounds on his what seems to be synthesizer at the time. The spacey, wavy sounds he puts out on this track along with a full band contribution are just unmatched. Further, after doing some research, the group created this album when they were living in and producing the album in Malibu. Every time DJ Chris Kilmore would show up to the house on Morning View street in Malibu to start recording while over looking the ocean and Pacific Coast Highway he would say, “Ahh Morning View, it’s time to rock!”
A few summers ago, I made it a point to make sure I knew when I’d be passing Morning View on my drive up Pacific Coast Highway 1 with my girlfriend, Kalie, from LA to San Francisco. Needless to say, it makes sense why they titled their album ‘Morning View.’
When I listen to music, I don’t just listen on the surface and I mean that. Ironically, I am not too detailed of a person in everyday life – more of a big picture type person – but for some reason with listening to music, I am super detailed. I listen to every single lyric, I pick up on every instrument involved and listen for it, and I will repeat songs to make sure I fully take the entirety of it in while trying to place meaning to it throughout. If you notice on this song, there are moments when things are poignantly added in or subtly added in:
The ‘Candy Break’ scratching by DJ Kilmore for example in the beginning of the song is a poignant, right out in the open display of scratching.
During the midpoint build up of the song, the instrumentals as well as Brandon Boyd vocally build up the energy to a peak only for the band to bring it back to earth like when you drink that glass of ice cold water after a hot day in the sun and soothingly release ‘ahhhh.’
Then come in the faintest, most subtle voice murmurs and someone quietly says – ‘That day I ate so much chicken’ around minute 3:18. Go listen for yourself, and you will hear it. That’s the kind of detail I’m talking about above.
From listening to this song hundreds, if not in the 4 digits (no joke) of times, I conjured up that this song was all about going with the flow, being down with the moment, staying open minded, not letting yourself be a sore thumb to what’s going on. Probably on the 10th time as a 10 year old I realized that, but still. Then, I read somewhere that the song kind of just started on a whim with someone playing a sound until everyone was in playing the song, creating the song on the spot. And after some additional research too, it seems that some may think this song is about being ‘in’ when it comes to Mary Jane or Swinging based on the music video they released to it. Interesting, and not surprising at all.
Whatever the case may be I’m all in on this song. Are You In?
‘It’s so much easier when sea foam green is in fashion.’ The band Incubus has been my favorite band long-standing. The reason why is because they are able to create sounds that literally span the spectrum of musical sound. The oriental string instruments that make up the all time most chill song ever ‘Aqueous Transmission’; Brandon Boyd essentially rapping in ‘Pardon Me’; Drive – one of their most popular songs – being an acoustic pop song; Wish You Were Here – a standard alternative rock song; The list goes on and on…
Incubus has been ahead of their time, and I think they always will be.
Musicians. Artists. Creatives.
Are You In?