Gothenburg-based DIY dream-pop project Routine Death today share their new single ‘The Free Man Thinks Of Death’, lifted from their newly-announced third album Comrade, out 1 September 1st on Fuzz Club Records.
Dustin Zozaya said of the new single: “It’s a simple but personal song. It’s the first time I’ve done lead vocals on a track, so just that in itself makes it personal. The lyrics are inspired by Baruch Spinoza, a 17th century philosopher, who said ‘A free man thinks about death, but his wisdom is in reflections about life, not death.’ That really resonates with me, as I’m constantly trying to come to terms with mortality, even in beautiful moments like bathing my child or lying in bed on Saturday mornings. I believe that if anything is an illusion, it’s life, not death.”
Routine Death originally chronicled the joint life of husband-and-wife duo Lisa and Dustin Zozaya as they went from complete separation to integration. The band’s debut, Parallel Universes (2018), was recorded entirely at a distance: with Dustin living in Austin TX (where he co-founded and formerly played in Holy Wave) and Lisa in Gothenburg, Sweden. The second effort, 2 Weeks to 4 Months (2019), reflected the uncertain time dealing with immigration as Dustin prepared to leave the US and having the state involved in an intimate relationship. Now completely based in Gothenburg, Dustin says that Comrade marks a whole new chapter for Routine Death: “The original purpose of the project was to give me and Lisa something to do together while we live on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Because we recorded alone, in our respective bedrooms, the songs became an intimate detailing of our time living apart. After I moved to Sweden and our lives came together, there was really no need for the project to continue in the same way.” Going forward, the Zozaya’s sought to expand the project to include other collaborators within the Swedish underground and explore the possibilities to be found in camaraderie.
“When we found out we were going to have a kid, I started referring to the baby as ‘the comrade’, and this nickname sparked the rethinking of Routine Death. It was time to start collaborating with other musicians and going deeper into different approaches to music, like sampling and using field recordings taken from around Gothenburg. This LP was still recorded DIY in intimate settings, but there are contributions and collaborations with other musicians and friends, including the comrade.”