We had the first snow of the season a couple of weeks back. In the days ahead I expect more snow and a nod to the Christmas season.
The weather changes daily. On the days the sun shines and the warmth can be felt, the landscape has a sense of possibility. When the overcast sets in and the rain mixes with snow it gets harder to stay awake. My body believes it should hibernate. It is during these winter months that I find the studio to be a busy place. Lately I have been working on multiple projects and the flow has been good and steady.
Words on a page is about just that – getting words on a page. Sometimes the writing needs to start with a borrowed phrase or some idea that has been nagging at me for a while. Whether or not those ideas are there I still write. For me writing is more about routine rather than inspiration. I show up each day and write. It may take four or five songs before I find one that has the spark I am looking for.
Wait until dark came as a title first and then a guitar line that worked well with the words. At the time I was reading a book on writing. The main idea of the book discussed writing towards an idea as opposed to pulling things out of thin air. More often than not I tend to pull things out of the air and then mesh them into a cohesive mess. Writing towards an idea works well when you want things to have a more linear alignment. I’m not sure it shows up perfectly in this song but the driving idea was the first line, “Daddy said wait until it’s dark”. All of the other lines were written to support that line. I think the song captures the time when days get shorter. I’m standing on the driveway as the yellow lights from the garage shine on the pavement and the sounds from the kitchen spill outside.
I played Moment of peace out for over a year before I realized what the song was about. I try not to judge or control a song when it spills out on to the page. I will let it come into being and be comfortable not knowing what it is about or even where it came from. What I learned one night playing the song live was that the song was about a relationship that ended years before. When I figured it out it scared me because I was unsure how I could write something so specific and not realize what it was about. The relationship left me scarred for sometime and I guess this was a way to process the damage. I am thankful for the hurt because it made me stronger and it gave me indication of where I would allow myself to spend my time and energy. I didn’t know that at the time but that’s how life works, right?
Strewn about is a simple love song. Sweet. Gentle. My wife is from Texas and this was written for her. I tend to write a lot of songs about my wife and I feel bad about this because living with a songwriter can be difficult. All of those little private moments find their way into songs. Sometimes it is intentional and other times it is not. Sometimes it is nice and sometimes it is not. There is a lot of humor thrown into this song. This song was influenced by John Mayer’s Comfortable. I remember hearing that song for the first time and thinking it really captured a relationship’s ups and downs.