The Furious Light

The New Album From David Ullman

Deep Dark Secrets

Holding it in
Losing your grip

Don’t want to give in
But you’re starting to slip

Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark…
Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark…
Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark secrets

This is the way that it went
The last consequence

So close to the end
Where to begin

Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark…
Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark…
Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark secrets

Searching the silence for reprieve
Then came the thrashing of limbs and the gnashing of teeth
Feel like I’m stranded in someone else’s fevered… dream

Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark…
Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark…
Done a damn-good job of keeping deep, dark secrets

“Deep Dark Secrets” recounts a very alarming incident in which I witnessed an authority figure unexpectedly lose control and ultimately utter the haunting words, “I have done a very good job of harboring deep… Dark… Secrets.” 

One of my more effective songs has been “Fear Followed,” written about the time I was robbed at gunpoint while working the graveyard shift at a gas station/convenience store in Raleigh, North Carolina. The intense subject matter always seems to intrigue people. However, even at the time, I knew and would tell folks that I had been more scared at another time in my life. With “Deep Dark Secrets,” I wanted to write about that time. 

The kernel of this song came to to me during my early-morning commute. I scribbled the first line and refrain in my pocket-sized notebook in traffic and recorded a video on my iPhone at 8:28am—as soon as I got to the office. 

You can hear in my labored, whisper-singing the intent for this song to begin with a bellow; and, about a month later, I started searching for chords to match the key and melody. 

A couple of months passed… For a song whose first line and chorus arrived all at once, the rest of the few words required and simple music took a while to come together. 

After finishing “Graveyard” at the end of June, I turned my attention away from songwriting and towards rehearsing for the "Light The Dark Tour," which took place in Mid-August, 2013. 

It was shortly after this string of shows that I captured the following melody, which would ultimately become the bridge.

By early September, (my brother) Brian was starting to talk about recording some of the new songs I had lying around. This motivated me to get back to “Deep Dark Secrets.” 

The singing is still stifled, and the bridge had not yet found its way into the song, but the basic structure was there—right down to the repeating “goddmanded good jobs” towards the end, which I knew I’d use my RC-50 loop station to achieve. 

Finally, about six weeks later, I sat down and brought the song to fruition. No more pretend-singing or half-assed strumming. I’d give it a proper “go” and send it over to Brian to put into production queue.

PRODUCER’S CORNER: I learned of this song from a live video recording. My favorite part of recording this song was being on my knees and improvising slide guitar over that middle breakdown. I remember feeling slightly guilty that Dave wasn’t around to be apart of my experience in interpreting the song. I was channeling some Jimmy Page from “Whole Lotta Love”, minus the theremin.

Brian completely surprised me with this arrangement. He told me that, while listening to an early-stage recording, our dad was making high-pitched noises so as to indicate his desire for something of that sort in the mix. This became the slide guitar part Brian mentions above.

From my recording journal (dated 1/20/14):

On 12/21, I arrived in Rittman to hear a fully worked-up “Deep Dark Secrets” which was somehow reminiscent of “Head Like A Hole” and Bloodsport. We recorded a vocal that night. 

On 12/23/13,  I took another crack at “Deep Dark Secrets.” The ever-tireless B made sure I had some mixes of this and “FNY” to drive around with in the afternoon, and listening to them over and over helped me approach the vocal differently.

At first, I tried something too reserved, but I ultimately settled into a sort of middle ground that ended up working nicely. It was a more labored session than the night before, and there were a lot of interruptions from Mom & Susie via the phone, which made B kinda nuts. He did a lot of dancing in the corner during takes to get me in the right headspace to do the best work I could. What other producer does THAT?!