'Trash My Heart' is by far the most collaborative project I've ever worked on. I went through my normal process of hiding away for a while, writing the tunes, and creating the foundation of the arrangements. Rebecca and Charity took to the songs straight away- I wrote the songs with their voices and our chemistry in mind so it was a dream working on this album with them. I thought them my ideas and often they tweaked and perfected their own harmony lines to make the dreamy harmony that is the backbone of 'Trash My Heart'. Then I once again connected with Jordan Wankel (engineer and producing partner from my last record, 'David') and between the two of us we dig in to old record and fleshed out our idea of neighborhood of albums and sounds we wanted our song to live in. Working with Jordan is wonderful- he is a treasure trove of ideas, musical references, and helpful questions and suggestions that make the creative process exciting, unexpected, and always stretching my abilities imaginatively and technically.
For the first time ever, I finally realized that I shouldn't try to play all of the instruments and do everything on my own- there are SO MANY amazing folks I can reach out to who are amazing at their instruments and can play them better than I could ever hope to accomplish:) Jordan wrote and played all of the electric guitar parts on the record. His performances on this record are beautiful and iconic. I'm so honored that these beautiful moments are on this album. I found an amazing rhythm section: Ryan Roberts on drums and Jake Gordon on bass. They were incredible and the foundation they laid for the record gave Jordan and I the freedom to explore and dream as far as we could for the rest of the arrangements. Ruth and Rachel Hogle- twin string players who's sweet personalities and crazy good technique makes them the ideal people who you would want to be in the studio with- their work on this record was incredible- especially because I was literally just humming their parts to them and they were able to learn the parts and record the songs perfectly. I had my friends Jason Gerber on clarinet and Jon Colon did a whistling solo for me (because I just can't whistle... try as I might...) and Todd Seely on pedal steel these guys are amazing humans and also a dream to work with.
The album itself is an exploration of heartache songs. I've never been good at expressing my own feelings... especially the hard ugly ones. I think that's why I have such an easier time writing songs for and about other people or writing from another person's point of view. I had to stretch myself to explore my sadness and be able to write truthful songs. So, I wrote about being dumped, living in a bad relationship, losing loved ones, and unrequited love... too many of us have too much experience with these. But never fear- this record won't give you the blues! The arrangements are so lovely and dreamy that you will feel held, comforted, and hopefully encouraged.
I really hope you enjoy this record- it means the world to me and I'm so happy to share it with you!
This project has been one of the most rewarding efforts I've ever undertaken. I wrote it in a mad weekend of inspiration in November 2012. That particular month I had just finished up another project and had decided to take a break from creative work to simply relax and enjoy the holidays with my friends. But this album changed all of my plans. Its concept, the songs and all of their lyrics crashed into me like a wave and I found myself scribbling as fast as I could, just hoping I could write fast enough to get all of the lyrics down before they evaporated into the ether they came from. What I ended up with was a set of story songs about the life of King David from the Old Testament of the Bible. His story is better than fiction, his poetry is as moving now as it was when he first wrote it ages ago. I tried to tell the story of a real man, David, who was passionate and fragile and flawed. I tried to see him as a man who is remembered as a legendary hero, not because he was perfect, but because God was faithful to him in the midst of his brokenness. So, whether or not you are familiar with David's story, whether or not you are familiar with God, I'm grateful that you are here listening.
The Young Adult
Most of these songs were written while I was stricken with the most horrible cold/ flu of my life in January 2011. I found myself sick and unable to leave my little Chicago apartment or even my bed for about 2 weeks. About 8 days into that isolation, my mind was racing with so many thoughts- so I just started writing furiously. The poems I wrote during that time ended up being 9 out of the 11 songs on this album. The songs all share a common root, an externalized though process of what it means to be a "grown up". I found myself dwelling on conversations I had been having with my friends about how incredibly strange it is to be in our mid-20s. We all had always thought that we would have ourselves and our paths in life figured out by now... and we've found, to our own great confusion/ panic that we've never been more unsure of ourselves, what we are supposed to be doing, and how to do it. The songs I wrote in January wrestle with this. My album, The Young Adult, tries in my own simple way to explore that and hopefully, see some hope through it all. Give the songs a listen, I really hope you like them and they bring some beauty into your life:)
The Living Room
Everyone loves a house show. This EP is dedicated to everyone who hosts, attends, and plays shows in living rooms all across the country. Keep it alive:)