Ayria Song Dissections

Flicker’s 10 year anniversary: Song Dissection for “Cutting”

Song:  Cutting

The 10 year anniversary of “Flicker” (2005), my second release hit this past fall 2015 and I find myself growing more and more nostalgic and increasingly aware of the passing of time. I’ve been very lucky to do what I do. I’ve been luckier to have found an audience in you guys that interprets what I do and connects with it enough to continue supporting me. I like to think I’ve grown wiser with time, but as I look back on “Flicker”, all the themes covered in those songs, and my scribblings in my notebooks that eventually become lyrics, I notice that not much has changed. I still scribble in notebooks, I’m still that frightened and insecure person at times. I’m still saddened for humanity, while simultaneously aware of my own guilt for my own apathetic contribution to society. I’m still struggling with the same issues and thoughts I had 10 years ago. The sharpness of some of the painful themes has numbed a bit with time. I even captured this realization in a lyric on my last release “Plastic Makes Perfect” when in the song “3 months” I sang “It gets easier than this I swear, you just can’t see it from there” almost a as a message to a younger self. (PS. “3 months”  was a theory that my younger self came up with, that it takes 3 months to get over anything painful in life if you can just wait it out, you’ll feel normal again.. my current self has since realized how wrong that was? 😉  But I digress as this is not a song dissection about that song.

I found it hard going back to choose a song to dissect from “Flicker”, made even harder since sadly, I’m lacking most of my old files from that time period. I’ve been through a few computers since then, and have had one hard disc crash since then.  I was able to find a few items, but disappointingly, there just isn’t enough to do my complete dissections like I did when I started the whole dissection concept for “Hearts For Bullets”. So, I’m planning to dissect three tracks from Flicker, my thoughts, and memories, the process and anything that I can remember. After that, I’m ready to move on to dissecting the new material.

The writing process for Flicker

The year had just turned 2004, the only social media I had was my Kittenflug Live Journal, which I just reviewed. Funny! I used to write more when posts could be long! I guess I’m wordy 🙂  mySpace was just getting started if you can believe it. Ayria was only one year old, with the  “Debris” release that came out Fall 2003. I was coming off my very first tour of the USA supporting Razed In Black and Glis. I was just a baby it seems!  I was motivated and inspired about everything. I had learned a lot from the work on “Debris”, I could already write songs, but I realized, if I wanted Ayria to continue on my own terms, I’d have to become more self sufficient at programming and music. I had a lot of ideas, I had so many songs in my head, and I really wanted my next release to express even more of me.

Me on New Year’s Eve of 2004:


One of my closest friends in Toronto (Joe Byer of the band v01d, who also helped produce Flicker – go check out his music it’s amazing and I sing on his track “Weakener”) he helped me get my own home studio setup and taught me the basics of how to use Cubase and Reason. I got a bunch of soft synths, some cool instrument packs, and I bought my first synth, a Nord Lead 2 off ebay. I already had my guitar that I used for writing songs (such as “Disease” years earlier), so I was all good and ready to go!

Before I write about a few songs specifically, to sum up this release, I’ve always felt that “Flicker” was my experimental and indulgent album. I was exploring a new creative outlet having learned to program meant I was free to play with loops, and instruments and samples all day long, and structure songs however I wanted. It was fun!! Most songs on Flicker ended up being around 6 minutes long, which made some of them hard to play live, especially when I’d perform as the opening act when I’d get short 30 minute sets, it meant I could only play 5 songs in total!  The next release “Hearts For Bullets” I really tightened the song writing approach as I grew as a song writer. But I’ll forever hold the songs on Flicker dear to my heart and so important in my progression with Ayria. The songs still stand out to me, I still love them all even if I rarely listen to them anymore.  They are darker than I even remembered when I listened through it all recently.  I can’t wait to break some more of these songs back out on my 2016 headlining tours again!  (If you’re reading this far, and you didn’t already know: the UK leg of the “Paper Dolls” tour will be in June 2016, and the US leg in October 2016. We will book any other interested markets too of course).. back to the process of creating music..

Song:  Cutting

The Music

The first song I wrote, on my guitar, was “Disease”, but the first song I programmed ever all on my own was “Cutting” It’s a minimal 80’s influenced track, sounding a bit like old New Order. It’s simplistic and full of arpeggiated synths (I had just learned how to do that with Reason after all! They were all over that song 😉  a bit of a strange beat underlying this track, that breaks into a militaristic bridge with a hypnotic layered vocal chant… and I’ll admit, this song overall is perhaps a bit repetitive, but I was hooked with the verse/chorus and thought it hooked enough with the change to the chorus, and besides, I didn’t care, I went for it and I still believe it’s completely addictive.

I sadly don’t have any brainstorming scribbles of lyrics, or any specific outtakes for Cutting. But we backed up a bunch of the files and I have a few isolated music tracks if you’re interested in hearing different layers isolated of the song. I’ve put them in a dropbox folder if you’re interested in listening.

Instrument Clips

Here’s a bunch of isolated stems of the song instrument layers.

I also remember bringing this newly finished track on CD to my local club here in Toronto called Savage Garden.  I came early when the club was empty, and they let me blast it on the system to check out how it sounded. The most exciting feeling ever is when you get to hear your music loud and in the environment it really shines.. in da club! ;P It also gave me this confidence that, yes, this was going to be good. I’m doing it! This is happening!


It’s probably no mystery. This song came from my own personal experience, but from what feels like another lifetime ago. When I was in high school, I occasionally got so angry and felt so overwhelmed and helpless. I felt I had no outlet for these extreme emotions that I would occasionally hurt myself.  Some lyrics: “dispersing what I feel, so I feel nothing”.  I look back at this song sometimes and can’t believe I wrote such a straightforward honest, outward, song about every personal emotion about self harming. There is nothing to hide behind in this song, but what made it all worthwhile, was the outpouring from some of you guys after it came out. I can’t believe how many people wrote me to express that this song saved them in some way, or they (sadly) identify with it all too well. I know so many teens and adults do this/have done this, and struggle with angst and depression, but if this song helped you in any way, it made putting my weaknesses out on display, feeling exposed and vulnerable, totally worth it all. I look back even further to high school now, and it feels so very distant. It doesn’t even seem like me.  It really was a long time ago for me 😉 but I’m also so far from that stuff emotionally now. I still remember the emotions, and I still have one tiny scar on my left arm. My tiny reminder. We all grow, we all struggle, we all look back, we all regret, we all (hopefully) move on and get stronger and wiser.  It does get easier than this, I swear… You just can’t see it from there 🙂

Since I don’t have many cool artifacts to share about the writing of this song. Here’s me in highschool going through what highschool people go through.. OMG that hair! My natural colour! Shocking.. If I thought I was a baby in 2004, check this out! ;P

(Me rocking my guitar at a friend’s party in my first “band” where I covered songs by Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Hole, Rage Against the Machine, L7.. etc..)

Lyrics for Cutting

My favourite lyrics from this track:

“In this over conscious world all I want to do is dream”

“I don’t know what to do to be as numb as you. I must be doing something wrong to always feel this down with an overwhelming urge to shut out those around”

“I try to reach out to my past, but the lesson learned was to not look back. The memories will just confuse, an overwhelmed and frightened youth”

This song is also really fun to sing with that beat… the full lyrics are below. They were also printed in the booklet.  I stopped printing lyrics in 2013 on Plastic Makes Perfect, when it was easy to find them online, and I wanted to maximize the photos, art & design.

Live Performance

I loved doing this song live.  For those of you who caught Ayria live around the 2007-2008 Cruxshadows US tour era, I used to sneak in the lyrics of “Milkshake” into this song, which, combined with the theme of this song, is probably HUGELY inappropriate, but that’s what I do.. I’ve always put fairly energetic music to the most depressing lyrics ever, so the contrast of my being ridiculous somehow seemed to work 🙂 I also used to do an edited version of this live, since the original track was very long for a live show.

Full lyrics:

Tell me how to feel
Show me what is real
I tried to back away but everywhere the same
And in this over-conscious world all I want to do is dream
I don’t know what you held on to
To get this far but I need some too
Because I’m slipping from existence
And there’s just no resistance
To stop this all from happening

Today the pain
It got so bad I had to scream
Today the pain
It got so bad I had to scream
I’m cutting myself
Because I cannot face
The world around me
Is nothing
I’m cutting up myself
Because there’s no way out
Dispersing what I feel
So I feel nothing

I don’t know what to do
To be as numb as you
I must be doing something wrong to always feel this down
With an overwhelming urge to shout at those around
I tried to reach out to the past
But the lesson learned is to not look back
The memories will just confuse
An overwhelmed and frightened youth
I’ve learned to accept it
I know that that’s pathetic
I can’t explain to others
I know that they’ll reject it

Thanks for reading!

I know you’re all internet ninjas and can hear and own the full song for free, but as the artist behind it, who works hard at both a full time “regular” job, and music in every spare moment I can find, if you enjoy what I do, please consider supporting me directly at the following outlets: Bandcamp, iTunesphysical CDs from my shop with a beautifully designed booklet that I will personally sign to you.

Much love,


Next 2 songs I’m planning on dissecting from Flicker: Lovely Day & My Revenge On The World.

Concert Dates Concerts

Europe 2014: Tour Dates

The below dates Ayria will be supporting Project Pitchfork in Europe, 2014

Feb 28, 2014 Meier Music Hall Braunschweig Germany Website Tickets
Mar 01, 2014 Alter Schlachthof Dresden Germany Website Tickets
Mar 07, 2014 Waschhaus Potsdam Germany Website Tickets
Mar 08, 2014 Alte Spinnerei Glauchau Germany Website Tickets
Mar 09, 2014 Backstage München Germany Website Tickets

Project Pitchfork, Ayria, Architect Tour 2014

Concert Dates Concerts

Germany Fall Tour, 2013 (supporting Project Pitchfork)

The Below dates Ayria will be supporting Project Pitchfork in Germany!

Sep 26, 2013 Hirsch Nürnberg Germany Website Tickets
Sep 27, 2013 Anker Leipzig Germany Website Tickets
Oct 03, 2013 Markthalle Hamburg Germany Website Tickets
Oct 04, 2013 C-Club Berlin Germany Website Tickets
Oct 05, 2013 Landskron Kulturbrauerei Görlitz Germany Website Tickets
Oct 06, 2013 Batschkapp Frankfurt Germany Website Tickets
Oct 10, 2013 Pulp Duisburg Germany Website Tickets
Oct 11, 2013 Gewerkschaftshaus Erfurt Germany Website Tickets
Oct 12, 2013 Factory Magdeburg Germany Website Tickets
Concert Dates

Sept 15, 2013 – Ayria to play Gothic Cruise

Sep 15-22, 2013 Gothic Cruise – The CarnEVIL Experience 7 night cruise Orlando FL Link see link & use promo code ayria009 for a discount Booking

Gothic Cruise - 2013
Gothic Cruise – 2013

Want AYRIA to play your city or event?

Send all pertinent details (including city and preferred dates) to Bookings may be discussed with Ayria directly, or with her booking agency.

Concert Dates Concerts

Toronto, CAN August 15th, 2013

Aug 15, 2013 Velvet Underground Toronto ON Link 19+ pay what you can Booking

Want AYRIA to play your city or event?

Send all pertinent details (including city and preferred dates) to Bookings may be discussed with Ayria directly, or with her booking agency.

Concert Dates

2013 Spring Tour Dates

The following dates are in support of Project Pitchfork.

06.15.2013USA Los AngelesComplex WebsiteTickets

Date Country City Venue Web Tickets
05.23.2013 USA Minneapolis Triple Rock Website Tickets
05.24.2013 USA Chicago The Abbey Website Tickets
05.25.2013 USA Detroit Smalls Website Tickets
05.26.2013 CAN Montreal Kinetik Festival 5.5 Website Tickets
05.27.2013 USA Rochester Water Street Website Tickets
05.28.2013 USA Pittsburgh 31st Street Pub Website Tickets
05.30.2013 USA Boston Church of Boston Website Tickets
05.31.2013 USA NYC QXTs(Jersey) Website Tickets
06.01.2013 USA Philadelphia Shampoo Nightclub Website Tickets
06.02.2013 USA Washington DC Empire Nightclub Website
06.03.2013 USA Richmond Fallout Website Tickets
06.04.2013 USA Atlanta The Shelter Website Tickets
06.06.2013 USA New Orleans Siberia Website
06.07.2013 USA Austin Elysium Website Tickets
06.08.2013 USA Houston Numbers Website
06.09.2013 USA Dallas Trees Website Tickets
06.11.2013 USA Denver Club Sanctuary at 3 Kings Tavern Website Tickets
06.12.2013 USA Albuquerque Launch Pad Website Tickets
06.13.2013 USA Phoenix 910 Live Website Tickets
06.16.2013 USA San Francisco DNA Lounge Website Tickets
06.18.2013 USA Portland Tonic Lounge Website Tickets
06.19.2013 USA Seattle El Corazon Website Tickets

Kinetik 2013 - webflyer
Kinetik Festival 5.5, Montreal 2013

Ayria Song Dissections

PMP Song Dissection #1 – Letter From An Angel

Listen to the full song here:

To start off 2014, I’m bringing back my song dissections for “Plastic Makes Perfect”, which I often abbreviate as PMP. This photo represents the song journal that contained all the musings and lyrical brainstorming for the songs for PMP. I swear I posted about this before, how every album I start on, I get a new shiny journal to begin the writing process, but I can’t find where I posted about this. The second picture is an inspirational phrase that I glued right into the front of my lyric journal to inspire me during the writing process of “Plastic Makes Perfect” from Winter 2010 to Winter 2012.

My Journal - Plastic Makes Perfect
My Journal – Plastic Makes Perfect

Ayria Lyric Journal Inspiration
Ayria Lyric Journal Inspiration

Lyrics: Letter From An Angel

I’m not your perfect angel
I guess you know that by now
I feel more lost than ever
It’s been so dark since you’ve been gone

I never knew the man you were
I thought there’d be more time
And when I hit rock bottom
I went numb to survive
Not sure I turned out how you thought
by now you know my demons
I’d like to think you’re waiting
For me to say I’m sorry

With regrets
I’ve come undone
the fact is we all have demons
I’m staring up at the sky
I’m hoping that you can feel this
I never knew the man you were
I thought there’d be more time

I’m not your perfect angel
Somehow you’ve become mine

I’d like to think you’re right here
I’m scared you’ve drifted too far
I carry on as best I can
Not shining as brightly as before

An Introduction

Here I am again, starting on the next round of song dissections for 2013’s  release “Plastic Makes Perfect” and starting with a familiar theme.  If you’ve been a fan of mine for a while, you’ll know that for my last CD “Hearts For Bullets” I dissected many of the songs. I call them dissections, my definition of dissection is to describe the meaning behind the lyrics, inspiration, the song writing process and production.  Sometimes in interviews, I’m asked “what inspired this latest CD” which I find difficult to answer since the timeframe spanning my writing was about 2 years of my life. To me, each song usually has a different theme,  which is why these dissections help express each track in the detail it deserves. You guys seemed to like hearing more details about the songs, so for that reason, I continue.

I think I was dragging my feet starting these up again. I sometimes have trouble with words.. not in my songs strangely, but expressing them in more detail. So this can be challenging. I wanted to start them this past summer. I even asked you guys to vote on which one you’d like me to do first (thanks to you guys on Facebook!).  It’s sometimes painful to dig up the emotions behind the songs I write. So I ridiculously thought I’d ease into them again starting with the most painful song on this CD (haha), but also, one I think doesn’t need too much explanation. So go easy on me as I open up again.  I need to start by saying that  I had a hard drive completely die on me in November 2012 as we finished the production work for “Plastic Makes Perfect” so, while I had some backups, some of the earlier demo and rough work was in bits and pieces and harder to find to recover.  Luckily, the CD was already finished and stored in multiple places but what this means is, I don’t have as many of the demo files and the raw, and sometimes funny clips to share. Forgive me. Here goes..

The words

Letter From An Angel:  The title of the song came first, before any lyric or music writing was done  but I always knew I was going to write this track specifically as a ballad for this CD. “Hearts For Bullets” lacked ballads and I was determined to return to them again!  This song is a continuation of the grieving process I went through losing my dad in 2007.  If you haven’t read the dissection I did for “1000 Transmissions”, it will explain EVERYTHING. Meaning I don’t have to talk about it again too much here 😉  But basically, that harsher industrial track from HFB, represents the anger phase of grief whereas “Letter From An Angel” is my closure song. Being the Sadness Phase of grief, maybe some acceptance, and finally moving on.  It’s funny to dissect this song first for PMP since “1000 Transmissions” was also the first song I dissected for HFB.  Looking back through my emails, “Letter From An Angel” started it’s production with Seb on October 31st, 2012, it was the last song to go into production for PMP, and fittingly, the closing song of 12 songs on “Plastic Makes Perfect”. I had wanted to place this song earlier in the CD, but when everything was done, nothing sounded right after it. It ended up being the perfect closer.  Also, I think I’m done with needing to write anymore songs about this subject..(for now). I’m think I’m finally ready to move on and have said all I need to.

Letter from an Angel is me writing a letter to my dad, telling him I’m sorry. I was my dad’s little angel. The song starts with the opposite lyrics though:

“I’m not your perfect angel
Somehow you’ve become mine”

After his passing, I put my father on a pedestal, turning him into my angel, I know it’s a projection and an idealism that he could never live up to in real life as he was human with all his faults,  but in my mind, it’s now me, the imperfect one, left here without him to deal with my own demons.

“Not sure I turned out how you thought
by now you know my demons”

When someone dies, people often say things like “your father is watching over you now, and would be so proud of you”.  While meant to be comforting, it actually terrifies me. What if he’s not proud once he can see me for everything I am? What if there are things I don’t want to be known about me, my inner struggles, and without going into any spirituality or discussions about religion, what if, when you die, you DO get the chance to know every truth, every lie, every thing about the loved ones and watch over them. By using this theory, I used the line “By now, you know my demons” but then contradict myself later by saying “I’d like to think you’re right here. I’m scared you’ve drifted too far”  which again, the guardian angel theory, while terrifying that all is revealed about myself causing me to assess everything about me that’s not so perfect, it’s actually more terrifying to think there’s nothing, no one there.

“I’m staring up at the sky
I’m hoping that you can feel this”

In my own grieving, I associate looking to the sky, this wide open unknown space, as Heaven. I do like exploring the themes of spirituality, and life after death (again, so many religions it’s thought that Heaven is above us).  Also, the sky has always represented hope, change, possibilities, and brings a calmness to myself, and I know to many others.  To prove I’m constantly exploring equating the sky with hope, on my first CD “Debris”, the song “Start Again” references looking at the sky as my escape, and my way to learn that I could fly, and start again, despite being afraid to.

“With regrets, I’ve come undone. The fact is we all have demons
I’m staring up at the sky, hoping that you can feel this” 

I think that’s all I really feel the need to describe the meaning of the lyrics.  Once you know what the song is about, many of the lyrics of “Letter From An Angel” are straightforward and relate to my grief, but here’s a clip of verse 2, just my voice, since I didn’t talk too much about it with just the delay effect on it:


if you guys are curious about anything further that I’ve missed in describing my emotions in this song, just reply/comment and I hope I can explain it more. To those of you who have experienced and suffered through the loss of a loved one, I hope this song can somehow help you get through it.

Ayria Lyric Journal - Letter From An Angel
Ayria Lyric Journal – Letter From An Angel

Ayria Lyric Journal - Letter From An Angel
Ayria Lyric Journal – Letter From An Angel

Here are two very hard to read journal entries since constant use of computer keyboards have deteriorated my perfect cursive writing! 🙂 They are written at different times, which I then combined to become the lyrics of this one song.  I notice I repeat “I’m sorry” a lot. I see now how much I needed forgiveness in this grieving process, and how much regret I was feeling. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tearing up a bit reading these journal entries, and how hard it is to look back like this.  I carry on as best as I can, just not shining as brightly as before.

The music:

I started with a strange percussive pattern, including a backwards snare sound that I thought sounded really neat, and yet sad. Once I added the synth pattern, I ended up creating 2 layers of synth melodies that actually hit totally conflicting tones on the last note.  I was attempting a harmony, but something went wrong and I just left it clashing and abrasive. It made it super creepy, unnatural, and gave me the ability to write the sad lyrics around this sound, painful to the ears.  These clashing notes were removed in the final production for good reason, but with all the main bass notes in tact.  Here’s the snare:


While I’ve lost a lot of my production files for many songs due to the great hard disk crash of 2013, I unfortunately can’t share as many of the raw files like I did when dissecting “Hearts For Bullets”, I do recall my working notes to Sebastian Komor (the producer on PMP) for this track though. Notes I send along with the each song on what I feel it needs.  He then always takes it 10 steps further to unimaginable awesomeness. This song possibly had one of the shortest set of note’s I’d ever done (He was probably relieved! As you can tell from reading through this, I get a bit wordy. Hahaha). I recall it saying “This is a ballad about my father’s passing. I needed to get it out for closure. I don’t have much else to say. You’ll hear it, and you’ll get it”. He got it perfectly. He transformed my creepy and sparser ballad demo into an epic wave of sounds reminiscent of the mood of a song I’ve always loved from the 90’s called “Army Of Me” By Bjork. (I know you know it!)  If you’ve listen to “Letter From an Angel” closely, you’ll hear so much attention to the details of the percussion specifically.  There are many distorted layers of percussion and synths going on here to appreciate. Perhaps I appreciate it most since I know where it came from, and where it started. I think I also cried when I heard this completed track not only due to it’s theme that I still find difficult to deal with, but because it meant the CD was finally complete. I promptly went on a week vacation that November, 2012.  I needed to unwind, and to celebrate!

The chorus:

This part of the song was something that transformed the song completely too, and was the challenging swelling of vocal notes “With Regrets I’ve come undone” I haven’t done this type of chorus vocally since “Insect Calm” I think?  Anyways, I struggled with how to go on the second line, how to sing “I’m staring up at the sky” I didn’t know if it should follow the exact same melody of the first “regrets” line, or stay lower to change it up. We went with the latter, changing it up, but in the demo, I’d left in both layers, so in the finished production, you’ll hear the higher vocal layer as backing vocals that I think worked very effectively, almost as an echo from the first line of the chorus.  Here you’ll hear one repetition (with delay effect on it) and the second repetition with 2 natural vocal layers, this is a technique we use a lot for my voice to create a natural chorus effect for thickness:


Thanks for reading!

I know you can hear the full song here for free, and can steal it from many places, but as the artist behind it, if you enjoy what I do and want to help me to continue doing this, I ask that you please consider purchasing this song from me (for as little as one dollar!!) on Bandcamp, iTunes or a physical CD from my shop with a beautifully designed booklet by the lovely Amelia Arsenic/Destroy X. I will personally sign the CD for you if you buy it from me here.  Please know this helps me fund my tour in Europe this Feb/March (part 2 with Project Pitchfork.. YAY!), my work-in-progress UK tour in June 2014 (Brighton, London and Sheffield are booked so far, details to come), and my own American tour (this is my goal, fingers crossed) this Fall 2014.  I can’t do this without you guys. Music is my passion, and getting out on the road to meet you guys is the icing on top of my delicious vanilla cupcake! 😉

Much love & Happy New Year!



Concert Dates

August 2012 – with Covenant in Toronto

Aug 22, 2012 The Mod Club Toronto ON EVENT 19+ $25.00 BUY TICKETS


Want AYRIA to play your city?

Send all pertinent details (including city and preferred dates) to Bookings may be discussed with Ayria directly, or with her booking agency.

Concert Dates

August 02, 2012 – Seattle

Aug 02, 2012 The Highline Seattle WA EVENT $7.00


Want AYRIA to play your city?

Send all pertinent details (including city and preferred dates) to Bookings may be discussed with Ayria directly, or with her booking agency.

Concert Dates

July 2012 – Canada Day in Ottawa!

July 1st Canada Day Weekend Elmdale Tavern Ottawa ON, Canada flyer 19+ $17.00 Adv tickets avail May 1st

Show Flyer

Corrosion 2012 Flyer (July 1, 2012 in Ottawa)

Ayria is excited to be playing Ottawa – Canada’s capital city – on Canada Day! We can’t wait to see everyone at the show.

Want AYRIA to play your city?

Send all pertinent details (including city and preferred dates) to Bookings may be discussed with Ayria directly, or with her booking agency.