The Ruse

What is it about music that forges an immediate bond between strangers?  What is it about a song that makes us sit in our cars at 1 AM and think to ourselves, I will marry whoever wrote this?

For me, it’s honesty.  I remember the first time I heard a record by The Hush Sound (Like Vines), and I realized somewhere between the groove on “A Dark Congregation” and the poetic arrest of “You Are the Moon” that I should probably fly my golden minivan down to Sherburne’s in Stillwater, buy Greta Salpeter a rock the size of a small planet, and propose to her without introducing myself.

It’s the same reason that Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago puts me in a funk for nights at a time, that Eminem’s yeah-I-went-there subject matter gives me the greatest level of respect for him, and that Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak is one of the most heroic releases of our time.  There is something about a person willingly pouring out their soul.  It is inevitably relatable, and it is my lyrical ambition.

I have discovered over the past few years that honesty is actually the least forcible thing I can do: it happens when I’m not analyzing; when I’m not striving to make some sort of conscious impression.  After releasing Left, I found myself facing an unbearable writer’s block for months, supplemented by difficulties to reconcile with the content on the EP.  But after about five months, a funny thing happened – one night, I sat down in my basement and wrote a new song in one go.  No edits, no thought, just the “emotional necessity” that was responsible for Denuo back in 2007.

In July 2010, I spent a day at August Ogren-Dehn’s Barn House Productions in Mahtomedi recording the song, then posted a video of our session on YouTube:

Almost a year passed, I came to England to study, quietly penned a lot of new material, and put The Ruse mostly out of my mind.  Then one day about a week ago, I started getting some interesting Twitter mentions.  To make a long story short, there was an outpouring of support for The Ruse from people saying that they had unintentionally stumbled across the video while looking up someone named Stana Katic.  My first thought was, who the hell is Stana Katic?  Luckily, I was born into the Google era, and I quickly discovered that Stana Katic is none other than the star actress of ABC’s Castle, where she plays Detective Kate Beckett alongside Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion).  I had to laugh when I figured this out, because my outspokenly nerdy buddies at Luther College are huge fans of Fillion from his work as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

Next Question: Why the hell would a celebrity actress be generating publicity for one of my songs?

To answer this, I did what any respectable modern citizen would do; I combed through her Tweets like an identity thief in a back-alley dumpster.  Ultimately, I found out that a fan had compiled a Castle video montage in celebration of the show’s 2nd anniversary, which she had selected as “Fan Video of the Week” on her fan site.  The fan – wonderful person that they are (who are you?!) – used The Ruse as the featured song.  4,000+ views later, people were taking notice and giving me some very encouraging feedback.  Watch the fan video below:

There is nothing I love more as a musician than my fans.  They are responsible for giving me something to do, and letting me know that it all counts for something.  It is in the aftermath of that video, and of the subsequent feedback from it, that I decided to have The Ruse properly mixed & mastered, and released as a single.  Click the link below to visit the Official Online Store.  It has to be processed by iTunes before it will be available there, but I will post updates on Facebook and Twitter as soon as that happens.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support.  Keep listening.

HWN Official Online Store


~ by hewhonever on March 23, 2011.

10 Responses to “The Ruse”

  1. Aaron, I’ve been silently following your music ever since my friend Alison introduced me to your album Left. I’m a huge fan and supporter of your music and I’m so happy for your mysterious video posting! I think it’s a sign you and your music are meant for big things. Keep it up, talent like yours is made to be shared. 🙂

  2. Beautiful song, love it 🙂 And love this fan video which Stana has chosen as the Fan Of The Week at her website. She has really great taste in music :)))
    BTW, check out “The Librarian 3: Curse of the Judas Chalice” movie, so you can hear Stana singing 🙂 And she’s really great at it! – or browse Youtube for a vid clip using the whole version of “Simone’s Song”, from CD soundtrack. Joseph LoDuca, composer of the music for Librarian 3 was full of praise for Stana about her performance of that song 🙂

  3. Saw this post via a retweet by Stana Katic. I’d never heard your music before but this song is just stunningly beautiful. I’ll be checking out more of your music and your blog. Thanks for sharing it.

    Oh, btw. Your comment above about the first time you heard The Hush Sound? I felt exactly the same way!

  4. Your song is amazing! And we should all Bow down to the awesome Stana Katic! Just saying…

  5. Just saw this post via Stana Katic’s facebook re-blog – I hadn’t heard of your music before, but love the song! As soon as it comes to i-tunes will download it – so glad you decided to release it!

    and to the above comments – I’ve only heard “Simone’s Song” but I love it – will have to check out Librarian 3 🙂

  6. What a haunting, beautiful song. Are the lyrics posted anywhere?

    Consider me a new fan 🙂

  7. I just wanted to comment and say how refreshing and heartwarming it is, to see an artist actually pleased to see someone using their music. All too often video montages get wiped from youtube, due to copyright claims by Big Name Lables and while that is their legal right, its such a shame because those videos get thousands (and sometimes tens/hundreds of thousands) of views, and that adds up to a whole lot of people being exposed to great music and new musical talent. While that may not be important for artsists that are household names, it is really important for other musicians. So, thankyou.

    For the record, I came here via one of Stana’s tweets too. And I am so pleased I did, because I’ve discovered you. I’ll definitely be checking your music out on itunes.

  8. I’m here because one of Stana Katic’s tweets.
    I just discovered your music, and I really love it!
    Greetings from Italy ;-D

  9. Hi Everyone! As of this morning, The Ruse is now available on iTunes:

    To all those who have posted and read this over the past couple days: thank you SO much. I truly appreciate the fact that you came here, read the blog, and dropped some love. Without people like you, this career would not be possible.

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