Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Longest Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there, and happy Summer Solstice to all of the pagans. I happen to agree that the changing seasons are definitely worth celebrating... plus it works out well that all of us dads (at least here in the northern hemisphere) have more time to grill out in the sunshine today than we do any other day of the year. For that, I'd like to offer a very special thanks to the earth's tilt. 

On a more serious note, Father's Day of 2020 was one of the last occasions that I ever spoke to my own dad before he died unexpectedly. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly things can change. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes not. Make every effort you can to appreciate the time that you have with the people you love. Life is too damn short. Trust me on this. 

My dad never got to hear my two most recent albums, but I think that he might have liked them. In honor of Father's Day and in the memory of my own dad, I'd like to share with you a song from each. 

The first track comes from Embers (2021). I wrote this song with my dad in mind. Basically, anything that might have made the playlist on the NPR show Car Talk was cool with him, and it's not hard to imagine this song being sampled between callers. It's called Original Miles, and at almost 44,000 streams, it is by far my most played song on Spotify to date.  

The other song comes from Petrichor (2021), which I just released a few days ago. Haunted is about how strange it is to go back to the house I grew up in, where there are all of these things that my dad built, even though he's no longer there. This is one of only two songs that ever made me cry while I was writing it. I usually try not to conflate art with therapy, but this song definitely provided me with at least a little bit of catharsis in that regard. If you happen to need it, I hope that you can get something from it as well. 

Enjoy the music. If your dad is still a part of your life, I hope you'll thank him for something--the more specific, the better. Personally, I tend to believe that we don't regret the things that we do so much as the things that we don't do. 

Thanks for listening to my music and checking out my blog. Now get outside and enjoy the sunshine, and if at all possible, spend some quality time with your dad. 

Ask him to tell you about the craziest thing that he ever did, along with what, if anything, he learned from the experience. There's bound to be a good story in there.

Friday, June 18, 2021

New Album Available Worldwide

Happy Friday.

Petrichor is now live on Spotify, or wherever you get your music. You can stream it in full at the embedded link below (the songs will open in Spotify -- these are just lo-fi clips):

Thanks for listening. If you like what I'm doing, please share it with others.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Album Breakdown

The tracklist for Petrichor, my new album (released today!), is as follows:

1.  Shadow Puppets - the only instrumental song on any of my six eponymous albums
2.  Light Pollution - about the things that blind us to an objective reality
3.  Rat Race - about dedicating a life to making money for someone else
4.  Out to Get You - about people who believe in insane conspiracy theories
5.  The Regular - about that guy at the end of the bar who is always there
6.  Haunted - about the memories left behind when a person is gone
7.  Plastic Flowers - about the ever-adaptable American Dream
8.  Petals in the Grass - about the self-destructive nature of insecurity
9.  Dandelion Wine (If Only...) - about making the most of what you've got
10. Holiday - about going stir crazy
11. Wasted - about how bad habits can affect the people we care about

I don't really think of my songs in terms of singles, so if there's one in here that you particularly like, by all means, please promote it. Personally, I like all of them and wouldn't have released these songs if I didn't. I just kind of operate on the assumption that if I like my music, then hopefully other people will, too. (I tend to think of comedy in a similar light, where the first step in crafting a joke or a bit is to make myself laugh.)

In case you're wondering, the album cover of Petrichor came from a picture that my spouse accidentally took of the inside of her pocket. I then played around with it in Photoshop until it looked like an abstract oil painting. On the physical CD (available soon), the back cover is also an accidental photo that she took. 

Basically, I like the idea of finding beauty where you least expect it, so I attempted to transform these "happy little accidents" (to quote the late, great Bob Ross) into art. I should note that my partner is actually a very talented photographer. In fact, Jamie took the cover photo for Better Days as well. I remember that the first thing that I said when I saw it was that it looked like an album cover -- even though it would be another eight years or so before I got around to writing and recording it. 

I have a lot of favorite songs on Petrichor (and Better Days, for that matter). Granted, whenever I make something new, that's usually my favorite thing that I've done, at least until the next one, but I really am quite proud of these songs. I hope that you like them, too. If so, please share my music with others and encourage them to do the same. This is how it spreads. It'll be good to spread something positive for a change, don't you think?

Four Years Ago Today

It just occurred to me that it was exactly four years ago that I released my first three self-produced albums. Weather Patterns; Mechanical Bull; and Good Night, Fahrenheit all made their worldwide streaming debuts on June 17, 2017. 

Personally, I think that I've come a long way in terms of production value since those earlier albums, which I more or less made in the order listed above. In fact, If you start with track one on Weather Patterns and listen all the way through to the last song on Good Night, Fahrenheit, I think you can probably hear at least somewhat of an improvement in my producing skills.

That's the thing about being self-taught and learning as I go. While I think that total immersion is usually the best way to learn something, at least for me, I also have to claim responsibility for the mistakes that I make along the way. I'm still learning through immersion, and I am responsible for every single element on all six of my self-produced albums, including the stuff that sucks. Sorry, but that's just part of the process. 

At the very least, I hope that you can appreciate the songwriting in my earlier work. I don't mean to suggest that the production is terrible, either, just that I think I've gotten a little better at this over the past four years. That said, if you wish to continue the experiment of hearing firsthand the slow and steady evolution of my producing skills, which are still very much a work-in-progress, the other three albums in chronological order are: Better Days (2019), Embers (January 2021), and Petrichor (today!).

Thanks for listening. Truly. You are the reason why these songs exist outside of my porch and my sunroom. 

New Album Now Available!

Petrichor is now live on YouTube, Apple Music and Pandora. It should be available on other services very soon, if not already. You can also listen to the full album here:

Thanks for listening. I hope you like it. If you do, please share it with others. 

As a one-man-band, I am also a one-man-marketing department, so I really do need your help in getting my music out there. If everybody who likes my music shares it with two friends who might also like it, I'd be interested to see how far and wide it can spread.

Thank you for supporting independent art.