bad people ep
This song is kind of an Oscar Wilde moment of art imitating life. When I wrote it, it was directly about the succulent garden I was starting behind my apartment in LA. I rescued a succulent from the side of the road in my neighborhood, planted it, and it came back to life. However during the recording process, I got a dog from an animal rescue, and as I tweaked the song I realized THAT was what it is about. Everything is growing and evolving, and I suppose song meanings are no exception.
I tend to write songs at a brisk walking tempo…when I take important phone calls, I am constantly walking through every room of my apartment. It helps me think clearly. I was taking a walk and the ‘Bad People’ chorus began to take shape…the rest of the song took much more tinkering. I went with lyrics I could effortlessly remember, because I felt if I couldn’t remember something it wasn’t any good. My friend and fellow LA musician Tolliver inspired the last bit, with the crazy falsetto stuff. He does that so well, and I was too inspired by him not to channel my inner Prince.
can't move on
Catchy pop songs are what I tend to write when I’m sad. I was sort of happy with this one early on, but wanted to capture some of that human condition sadness on the recording, because it didn’t come through enough in the raw song. It needed an energy release after the last chorus. No joke, I spent hours and hours making that climactic synth part. I openly cried at my production desk when I finally got it right. The last chord at around 3:10 is probably the most emotional chord I’ve ever recorded with a software synthesizer. Also, it’s healthy to cry.
stick to yer guns
Trying to make a chillwave song in the style of Washed Out, I got completely sidetracked and created this instead. It’s so much fun to sing, and the guitar part after the chorus is like playing Guitar Hero on expert. If anyone still remembers what that means - I had to practice it for hours. I gotta say, the lazy summer vibe throughout this song is right in the vibe pocket of The Sometimes Island, it’s like floating on a wakeboarding boat in Austin near the actual ‘sometimes islands.'
wish i met you before
After I wrote ‘Golden Rule’ I wanted to explore that vibe more deeply, because it was so new to me. I was in love while making this song, and it does a great job capturing those feelings. This came together so effortlessly. I was rehearsing it with my band before a big show, and as a goof I pulled my lighter out of my pocket and played the melody with it instead of my fingers. My bandmates at the time, friends-who-are-twins, Trent and Troy, both looked at me like, ‘DUUUDE.’ It sounded so good! Slide guitar with a lighter! No freakin’ way! There it was.
mornings are the worst
Sweet and sour. The lyrics to this song are regretful, but the music is hopeful and naked, like a sunrise. I love juxtaposing lyrical themes and musical feeling. That’s the power of music, things that are difficult to describe with words can be plainly expressed through song. The ‘happy-sad’ herein, it’s the beauty and pain of being alive.
I’ve covered a lot of ground writing songs since the age of 14, and it’s pretty rare that I write something completely novel. Enter this song. I don’t normally write reggae flavored tunes like this one, and on top of that, this song more or less wrote itself. I was like, ‘Is this done?’ It was so simple…I was confused…there had to be more to it, right? Then I played it live. Oh man. I kind of forgot where I was, and it appeared as though so did the audience… There was this awareness of an infinite depth in between the notes, like being on a space station and looking out at the stars. I decided the song was done.