The record represents "a year and a half of life," says Policky, and it does so literally. The album's cover is a photograph Policky took on an "inspiring" trip to Amsterdam; while there, he made some field recordings of people talking, which are included on the song "Departure," written just before he left for the trip. The following track, "The Night Before," is a song Jeffries wrote the night before his second son was born. And in a development that Policky calls "almost psychic-induced," just as he and Kramer were finishing the album, and just as he had decided to call the album Recollections of Memory, for reasons he wasn't even sure of yet, he heard that his dear friend Michelle had died, and all of a sudden the album title took on a great deal more meaning. By chance, he had just rejected one mastering of the album, which gave him time to include a recording of Michelle's voice, which brings the album to a haunting, poignant close.

Indeed, the members themselves concede that the album seemed to come from somewhere beyond them. "It's bigger than we are," notes Merrell. "Things were just falling into place — sometimes they were falling into place before we realized they were falling into place." Torraca concurs, saying that while the shape and direction of Avoiding the Consequences seemed clear from the start, "this one was kind of blurry. Like, I would come in to record, and I didn't know what I was recording." Just the same, he's pleased with the result; of all the bands he's been in, whether here, in New York, or in his native Puerto Rico, this is the only time that he's listened to an album he's been on, he says.

And any band would have plenty of reason to be proud of a recording as accomplished as Recollections of Memory. But while the members of A Shoreline Dream are basking in the praise that will certainly come their way, they'll get the much rarer pleasure of knowing that they did all of it themselves.

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