Grief​/​Closure

by Spencer Streno

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about

Grief/Closure is my story. It's not a happy one, but it surely is a triumphant one. Each song is a dedication to a relationship that has either been ruined or strengthened.

I learned a lot about grief recently. Growing (more like stumbling) into adulthood, I've found the grieving process to be applicable to more than the passing of a loved one. Life is never what you expect it to be, and sometimes you have to grieve what those expectations were. Those expectations of who you could have been. The expectations you had of the people you once considered dear.

Regardless, grief is a necessity. You cannot truly find closure without it. My favorite movie is a horror film called The Babadook (cue Sami Pyne rolling her eyes). It's a beautiful horror in the sense that the entirety of it is a very cleverly disguised lesson in grieving. (Spoilers ahead) The Babadook is the monster under the bed that consumes and infects the heroine of the story, and is very much just a metaphor for the pain one feels without properly grieving. In the end, she learns that grief is daily. To find closure one must give that pain a little attention every day.

This album is my heart and soul. My blood, sweat, and tears. My grief. My closure... Hope you enjoy.

1. Death of a Bachelor
(Mastered by Josh Pare)
I'm a sarcastic ass. This song, originally by Panic! At the Disco, is a lovely testament to that. A great friend of mine recently went to extreme lengths to attempt to ruin my life. It's my way of telling them I'm doing just fine.
"A lifetime of laughter at the expense of the death of a bachelor."

2. Clean
(Mastered by Josh Pare)
A cover of a Taylor Swift song (co-written by Imogen Heap) dedicated to the ones that left when I needed them most. You truly find out who your real friends are when you're at your lowest point. I have specific memories of driving hours to pick them up after a traumatizing car wreck, holding them when they cried to assure them they were not alone, forgiving them countless times for hurting me both unintentionally and intentionally. Then I find myself bedridden for three days straight due to clinical depression asking myself where they were. I grieve you endlessly. I forgive you yet again.
"I think I'm finally clean."

3. She Will Be Loved
(Mastered by Alex Haley)
Sometimes you heal incorrectly. Sometimes you end up unintentionally hurting yourself and others in an attempt to heal. If this happens to you, I hope you have a friend close by that will be the perfect combination of encouraging, tolerant, open-hearted, and willing to slap you if you mess up. This Maroon 5 cover is for Sami Pyne. I love you. Thank you.
"My heart is full, and my door's always open. You can come anytime you want."

4. Home
(Mastered by Galen Clark)
Originally by Phillip Phillips, this song is a dedication to my dad Glenn. He and I have been through the wringer together and came out on the other side stronger than ever.
"If you get lost, you can always be found."

5. Fuck You / Uptown Funk
(Mastered by Josh Pare)
Shockingly enough, not every boyfriend I've had has ended terribly. There is one that ended in a very good place. I'm just gonna assume he wants to remain nameless, but Dion Mills has a piece of my heart that is rightfully his. I sang "Fuck You" with a fresh asymmetrical haircut, a new vest that I considered way too cool and wore too frequently, and an acoustic guitar... I was feeling pretty sexy. Dion told me months later after we had been dating for some time that he agreed. I'm always gonna love you, Dion!
"I still love you. OH!"

Uptown Funk, however is one of my step mom's favorite contemporary pop songs. She knows about 15% of the lyrics. I doubt she'll listen to this cover much because of all the F bombs and S bombs in the first half of the track... She was raised Nazarene, but we don't hold that against her. Also, she just turned 60. Happy birthday.
"Girls hitcha, hallelujah."

6. Manhattan
(Mastered by Alex Haley)
This Sara Bareilles song is the hardest goodbye. Thanks are in order to my close friends Kyle and Mike for helping me say goodbye to her. I don't have the strength to do it alone. While she already said goodbye in every way possible (on every form of social media #millennial, holla), I was left with the most pitiful, pathetic hope for some sort of reunion. I held my breath, and it nearly killed me. She lives a lovely life in Manhattan now without me. Crying as I write this, I hate myself most for still harboring a shred of hope for us. For what we were. For what can never be.
"Hang on to the reverie. Could you do that for me?"

7. She Used to Be Mine
(Mastered by Alex Haley)
Sara Bareilles song number two is the closure part of this album. I posted a very angsty poem on Instagram called "I Grieve." (Sick of that word yet?)

"I grieve.
I grieve for who I was.
And for the things I hoped for.
And the life I was excited for.

I grieve for the loving, trustworthy
community I believed I had.
And for unrequited love.
And I grieve for you."

(Are you dead from angst yet? No? Good. Because this is part two called "I Celebrate.")

"I celebrate.
I celebrate the brightness
of my future.
And the coming of the life
I am truly meant to live.

I celebrate clarity.
And every ounce of love
I ever shared with anyone.
I celebrate you, too."

Okay, so it went somewhere positive. Any way, "Celebrate" eventually changed to "Closure" and here we are four months later with Grief/Closure. I sang this song alone on top of a parking garage overlooking my college campus.
"It's not simple to say."

8. There Are Worse Things / Be As You Are
(Mastered by Alex Haley)
Alex Koza, this song is for you. Of course I had to have a classic musical theatre song from Grease on the album. I am very homo. I mixed it with a song by Mike Posner (trying to avoid the term "mash up" because I'm pretty sure Glee has that term copyrighted). Basically this track is everything Kozie and I say to each other when we're faced with judgement from our peers. "Worse Things" is a big middle finger to anyone that has something to say about us. Kozie, we have no control over what perspicacious people decide our reputation is. We just have to be as we are.
"I can feel, and I can cry."
"You are stronger than you feel you are now."

credits

released September 20, 2016

Natalie Ahearn (Keyboard), Austin Chang (Vocals), Galen Clark (Producer/Mixing/Drums/Guitar), Bronsen Euard (Bass), Kyle Mangold (Vocals), Vijay Menon (Vocals), Josh Pare (Mastering/Piano), Michael Recchia (Vocals)

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about

Spencer Streno New York, New York

Spencer was raised a straight, Roman Catholic football player.
Today, he is none of those things!
Always seeking a sense of interpersonal connection, Spencer constantly searches for new experiences whether they be in Breckenridge, Colorado; Oslo, Norway; or even back home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

"Do your thing and don't care what they think."
-Bossypants by Tina Fey
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