Moscow-based singer, songwriter and ex Azari & III member Cedric Gasaïda, aka Starving Yet Full and August Jakobsen have teamed up on a new album Cemetery Gospel. The record is soulful, emotional, clubby and at times hazy and other times uplifting. The vocals from Starving Yet Full mesh impeccably with Jakobsen for a record that features odes to the clubbing, while also delves into heartbreak and the injustice of the world we live in.

“Money” has slight nods to Pink Floyd, even if they don’t initially acknowledge it, while also drawing inspiration from the London electronic underground. As the album evolves, Cemetery Gospel is both danceable, but also thoughtful. 80’s funk serves as the backdrop for a song about fight against oppression, police brutality, injustice, and the fight for LGBTQ rights with the album closer “On My Mind.”

To get a better idea of how Cemetery Gospel came together, we asked them to break down the inspirations, ideas and creative concepts track-by-track for a new Director’s Cut feature. Read on for the breakdown and stream the record as you read. Pick up your copy here.

Words By August Jakobsen

1. Purge

“Purge” is something of a heartbreak song that came about following parting ways with Azari & III. The bittersweet sentiment attached to unveiling the emotional fallout and the birth of Starving Yet Full made this song what it was. This is probably the most song-based track on the album, and a chance to get deep with the lyrics, production and arrangement. Also worked as a perfect opener for the project.

2. Money

When we first got together in the studio, “Money” was the beginning of the making of the album. The songwriting and production here draws inspiration from the London underground house scene following nights at fabric and then heading back to the studio next door. The song is about betting on oneself and having skin in the game. The hustle baby. The lease on new life represents the arrival in heaven.

3. Cemetery Gospel

“Cemetery Gospel” is the title track of the album. This was the mourning of a love affair, celebrating something that was. Cedric had a vision of a lady dressed up for a funeral, driving a vintage convertible, hair up under a hat. She arrives at the church for confession before the service, which is essentially the speech at the start of the song, unburdens herself and as the release heads to a celebration in the cemetery. This track has the more melancholic, coming home, end of the night feeling in mind, with the atmospheric synths and spoken vocals.

4. Lost In Heaven

“Lost In Heaven” is a song is about having a place in the world and being ready to conquer it. It is about getting to a brand new space or situation and finding yourself… sort of the arrival moment in heaven and the feeling of finding a new lease on life as a journey begins. This one is a testament to our love for pop music and it feels like a nice melodic break on the album.

5. Revisions

“Revisions” is more of an attitude track, and we made this one at 3am. The song is about refusal and misunderstandings. Learning and growing from going back and forth, and finding common ground. With “Revisions,” we tried to capture a more disco fun 90's vibe. The songwriting and production is based around making something fun for the dancefloor, with a positive, fun, almost “dirty dancing” groove.

6. Journey Of Ours

The beat and song writing on this song is all about the bassline and groove, and brings us back to why we started making music together -- for the dance floor. The journey to get it right took us a few months, but after Cedric laid down the first vocals we got the vibe straight away and I personally knew that it was going to be one of our favorite tracks on the album right there and then.

7. Left It Behind

This one is all about moving on, and leaving behind the drama. “Left It Behind” started as jam between the other half of APP, Peter Pixel, and myself. We got the groove and bassline down, then Cedric joined in to provide vocals, and very soon after the song was in the box and finished. It has a more dark and dirty house feel, very much in tune with our vibe at that time. 90's inspired house music for the dancefloor.

8. On My Mind

This song is close to our hearts and was the last one we made on the album. It's a song about oppression, police brutality, rallying against injustice, and the fight for LGBTQ rights. “On My Mind” is actually a little bit older thank the whole project, but I never felt I got it right until Cedric and I sat down in the studio one evening and worked on it together. It felt like Cedric was adding the missing part to the song, the crucial elements and nuances it had been missing, and it’s unquestionably one of our favorite songs on the project.