The Campfire Headphase tells a story.
- Mike Sandison claims that the album has a concept (that concept being a guy who is at a campfire and is tripping on acid), but I like to think that the album traces the path of said trip. Though a bunch of the song titles are just hallucinatory oddness, some actually relate to the plot, so those are the ones I will put here.
- Into The Rainbow Vein - taking the acid and starting to get in the psychedelic zone.
- A Moment of Clarity - according to Wikipedia, some LSD users experience a lucid sensation and feel greater insight into themselves. This is happening to the protagonist.
- '84 Pontiac Dream - the protagonist is likely to be in his early 20s (unless I have my acid-taking demographic wrong - and I probably do), meaning that at the time the album was released (2005), he would have been born in the early 80s. This syncs up with the year the car was released, so this song is a representation of a psychedelic experience that involved said car, likely that of his parents. Alternately, it's a reference to KITT from Knight Rider, which is an '84 Trans Am.
- Oscar See Through Red Eye - it's been several hours by now, and the protagonist is getting tired (represented by the especially drawn-out synth tones, but it's kind of hard to go to sleep on acid (as represented by the at-times frenetic beats.) Also, his name is revealed: Oscar.
- Ataronchronon - the title refers to a particular tribe of Huron Indians, which may mean that he's in the Midwestern United States or - wait for it - Canada. Quite possibly one of the sneakiest band name drops ever.
- Hey Saturday Sun - it's really been awhile; in fact, over the last two songs, a whole night passed. Mr. Sandison claims that acid messes with your perception of time like that. It was Friday night, and now it's Saturday morning.
- Constants Are Changing - this is when things he assumes are constant truths about the universe, even on acid, start changing. And you know what that means: The trip's turned bad.
- Slow This Bird Down - metaphor-speak for "Get me off this acid!" However, the song's pretty calm; it's more of a general unease than an Oh Crap. Alternately, this isn't a metaphor, and he's hallucinating riding a giant bird.
- Farewell Fire - The trip's over, everything's normal again, it's time to go home.
Geogaddi tells the story of the final moments of the life of a Branch Davidian killed in the Waco massacre.
He's flashing back to previous points in his life, like watching educational films in school ("Energy Warning," "Beware the Friendly Stranger," "Dandelion"), falling in love ("Julie and Candy"), getting married ("The Beach at Redpoint"), having sex ("Dawn Chorus"), joining the cult ("1969"), performing rituals with them ("Opening the Mouth," "The Devil is in the Details"), and getting mortally injured in the massacre ("I Saw Drones"). As he dies ("Diving Station") he sees hell and heaven ("You Could Feel the Sky" and "Corsair" respectively). Then his soul leaves his body for good ("Magic Window," the silent track).
- This becomes Fridge Horror and/or Nightmare Fuel when you realise that Branch Davidians don't believe in immortality of the soul. In layman's terms, they believe that when you die, you're dead, there's nothing, until Jesus comes for you.
"The Color of the Fire" is about an android that is trying to learn how to be human
Which explains the stretched, distorted near-Machine Monotone
effect on his voice. The constant repetition of "I love you" is either a malfunction or we're dealing with an android whose learning subroutines have been fried.
The albums are a trilogy telling the story of a life.
- Music Has the Right to Children is about childhood. It's innocent and happy. All is well.
- Geogaddi is when the character enters his teens and progresses to adulthood. A common source of angst for teens is their loss of innocence- Geogaddi takes the joy and peacefulness of MHTRTC and twists it in disturbing, unsettling ways.
- In The Campfire Headphase the character has become an old man (or woman). It's a lot slower than the past few albums, but has a sense of serenity and peacefulness to it. Finally, the character passes away in "Farewell Fire."
The Campfire Headphase and Tomorrow's Harvest are deliberate sequels to Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi, respectively
Specifically, in that they're "echoes" of those albums; THC
is serene, melancholy, and wistful compared to the sunniness of MHTRTC
, and TH
is faded-out and haunted-sounding with samples of mysterious government radio broadcasts, compared to the seething creepiness and numerological motifs of Geogaddi