Notes to Self Lighten Up

Notes to Self Lighten Up
If you're curious about Notes to Self were aiming for on their new album, Used to Be Dark, Swamp Donkey says the song "Life's So Hard" is everything you need to know. Starting as as a standard-issue brag rap, the boasts get progressively more absurd until the Toronto-based indie rappers are engaging in Richard Branson-esque displays of wealth.

"I think we're going in that direction on this album, not being silly, but being ourselves and having fun," said Donkey. " I think on [2009's A Shot In the Dark], the seriousness of making music really comes through, but [the fun] was lacking."

"It was a younger approach, whereas we know who we are now. Let's have some fun," adds colleague Bronze One.

Their full length-debut wasn't really everything the group had hoped for, according to Bronze. Containing material that was recorded over a period of more than three years and released by high profile British indie Barely Breaking Even, Bronze says that record wasn't as well thought out as it could have been, nor was it reflective of where the group was at at the time.

"We were held to tracks on that record that we shopped to [the label] in like '06, and they were like 'We need this to be on the album' in '09," he said.

Donkey believes that Used to Be Dark ― which is being released for free online ― will give listeners a proper introduction to Notes to Self. "This is a free album," he says. "It's like 'This is our music. Know us, understand us, get into us.' If you want to support us, buy a shirt, come to the show, but this music is for people to have."