The Amity Affliction's new album, Chasing Ghosts, will be available everywhere in less than a week - on Tuesday, October 2. Bandleader Joel Birch has written down his explanations of each of the album's 10 tracks, and we'll be sharing them with you all week, in three installments. Today, he describes the genesis and development of "Open Letter," "Greens Avenue," and "I Heart HC."

“Open Letter”: "This really is an open letter of sorts from me to everyone that listens to Amity. I've been through some tough times in the past and I've found that through our music I've been able to feel a real catharsis, and hopefully other people can relate to our music in the same way and feel that same sense of cleansing that I have felt. I wrote the line 'I'm not searching the sky for a reason to live 'cause I found beauty right here and the passion to give...' to directly relay this to the listeners; as far as our music is concerned I am dedicated to giving as much of myself to them as I can to try and help them through whatever it is they're going through. I've really found enough beauty in everyday life to get me through the toughest of times, and if other people can start to open up to it through our music then that's a truly amazing thing."

“Greens Avenue”: "I hurt a great deal of people when I was going through the worst of my depression, I was a wreck, and as in all wrecks there is generally collateral damage. I guess this is a sort of apology to all the people that were caught up in the wake of it. It took a really selfish act that landed me in hospital for me to wake up to myself, and consequently I sought help and started to work through my issues, but it doesn't need to come to that. I'm really thankful to all the friends who banded together around me and helped me through my troubles, and every day I'm around more is testament to their help, so hopefully this song can let them know how much it means to me. I suppose it's also a promise not to head down that path again, and if I am feeling that way a promise to reach out instead of heading back into my own head... Pretty tough to write this explanation actually, it's not a comfortable topic."

“I Heart HC”: "This is a song about finality. It's also a song with a slightly harsher message entwined in it. I think people really need to realise that they don't come back from death, at least as far as mortality and being earth bound is concerned. I'm not about to pass my judgement on the various different religions in this regard as I'm sure people are fully aware how I feel about it, but the fact remains that once you are dead, you are no longer walking around on this planet and the people you leave behind are left without a loved one. Everyone has someone they will leave behind, and even one person is worth sticking around for, it's something to think about."


Pre-order Chasing Ghosts from the band's webstore, and you'll be automatically entered to win an Amity Affliction skate deck, autographed CDs, and more!

The Amity Affliction will be on tour in the US beginning October 16; find a show near you!