And you know that our continents will split.”
This is the phrase that Jason McCue reminds his audience of in the opening chapter of his forthcoming album, PANGAEA. It’s a theme that has proven difficult for him to ignore, as over the past year the Earth beneath the 21 year-old indie-folk artist’s feet has constantly been vibrating, thrusting himself upon an unsuspecting Seattle Music Community.
It began in March of 2017, when McCue competed in the Museum of Popular Culture’s Sound Off! competition for artists 21 and younger in the Pacific Northwest. Armed only with his dad’s acoustic guitar, a wispy tenor voice-box, and more than a few starkly provocative lyrics, Jason ended up impressing the competition’s judges, comprised of Seattle music industry veterans, enough to earn him first place. The prizes included a drum set, an electric guitar, a synthesizer, and performance slots at Bumbershoot and Timber Outdoor Music Festivals. Oh, and there was also a Chipotle gift card, because a young musician has to eat.
Meanwhile, Jason was finishing his Junior Year at Seattle University, immersing himself in Environmental Studies. After taking a course on Mass Extinctions, he became increasingly interested in Earth history, and started applying different aspects of the geologic timescale to his writing. With the introduction of this concept, the groundwork for PANGAEA was laid. He realized that one of the only absolute constants in the 220 million years it’s been since the Earth was together is that the ground keeps moving. Things keep changing.
PANGAEA marks a milestone in McCue’s musical life because he grew up while making it. The album’s themes revolve around the ideas of nostalgia, certainty, and the distortion of memory traveling at a rate dependent on the proportions of distance and time. All the while, these themes are deposited as references to geology, Earth history, and scientific theory. The album is intended to pose the question— What happens when the continents have drifted as far away from each other as possible? Does that mean they’ll crash again?