I did an interview with Dope Cause We Said which I'm really happy with. Check it out!
Recently, I released a live video of "Winter Nights" with my band. I'm really happy with the video! Lemonade Magazine premiered it and wrote a really nice review of it. They said of the song, "The jazzy, acoustic number is filled with brilliant tenderness that can only be written when feeling are running out of control and the only meaningful outlet is songwriting."
Ah, so nice! And then: "The track comes off as high-class lounge act that waking up at 2AM to catch the show would not be out of the question. Then listen to the heartbreaking song with a whiskey neat, a Cuban cigar and a booth and take it all in. Actually, I suggest doing that in your living room anyway with this song and for that matter the rest of her album, The Space Between."
So, that was cool! I hope you like the song.
I asked for song requests on twitter and this was one of the first. Coincidentally, it's one of my favorite songs, so here ya go! Please feel free to share and subscribe :)
I wrote my favorite song the night before I went to the hospital in December of 2015. After attending a classical concert at my college, I was near bursting. As the music caressed me, I’d been feverishly jotting down ideas in my pocket notebook. At the close of the concert, I couldn’t stomach standing (waiting waiting waiting, always waiting, standing so agonizingly still) with my companions and ran off to the music building, with its abundance of baby grand pianos, and began to write. At the end of writing the song, I played it and realized that I’d just written a song about disassociating and climbing to the top of a building, presumably to jump. “There’s no sound, but I’m climbing; the elevator stays lonesome up to the top floor.” I don’t remember much else from that night other than that I cried a whole lot. The next day, I was admitted to Northern Westchester Hospital, where I spent a week in 9 North, the psych ward.
My suspicions of being bipolar were confirmed as the mood stabilizers and antidepressants and low grade anti-psychotics took hold and made me feel normal, even happy. As trapped as I felt, that week inside locked doors was the beginning of feeling better. Some days now, I’m overcome by a happiness which felt impossible a few years ago.
But “Save My Soul” is still my favorite song I’ve ever written. Dark as it is, it’s true and it brings me back to a time of great loneliness and self doubt, but poignantly. The truth is that a lot of my best songs have come from the exact, if less exaggerated, spot. My whole catalogue is filled with rumination on my own unhappiness. My mental health has been my biggest and most faithful muse.
So many brilliant musicians died at their own hands. Chris Cornell’s recent suicide is an obvious one. One of my favorite musicians is Elliott Smith, who suffered the same fate. Kurt Cobain, Phil Ochs, Nick Drake. Many, many others died of overdoses undoubtably tied to their frail mental health. It extends to non-musicians and even people who seemed full of joy, like Robin Williams.
I look back on those times of climbing trees barefoot and staying up until 7 in the morning, those times of wanting a light switch attached to my own existence I could blissfully reach out and flick. They were times of great inspiration, but they were also my worst. The maddening highs were too intrinsically tied to the cruel lows.
Writing now takes effort. It takes a patience and steadiness. Other things inspire me. Even in those days of fiery inspiration, music making was a muscle I stopped flexing. My muse was my downfall. As I grow more stable, I’m practicing, writing, recording, and gigging more and more regularly. The music muscle gets stronger every day. At the end of the day, my mental health was too important not to save.
I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing this all, but I do know that things got way better for me.If you feel terrible more often than you feel better, please seek help. There is so much out there. New things will inspire you. Your art is more than your mental illness.
That fateful December night I wrote, “You were blooming as my eyes grew distant, as my mind grew frantic as my mind.” But the thing is that now I’m the one who is blooming.
A while ago I felt myself craving music that would made me slither and wiggle my arms, but couldn’t quite put my finger on what I wanted to hear. That put this playlist in motion.
As I went about my recent daily listening, I was thinking of some SUNY Purchase Conservatory alumni. Going to Purchase led to me discovering so many talented artists who’d gone there. Mitski’s Last Words Of A Shooting Star was still in the back of my mind when I remembered Evan Shornstein, a music theory classmate, and his project Photay. No Sass’s serpentine groove provoked just the dance move I’d been waiting for.
Vampire Weekend is a band I hadn’t listened to in a few years. I was thinking about the Spanish word “contra”, against, because some Spanish speaking friends were in town and it had come up and instantly Vampire Weekend’s second album came to mind. Horchata is the first song on the album and just takes me back to an older time, sepia tinged and softly faded in my memory.
When you love someone deeply, something about them permeates your being. Once I felt that and wrote Your Skin On My Sheets.
Oh, Sampa the Great. This song. She’s such a badass woman and the more of those I get in my vicinity, the better things are. The groove on Born To Be Blue is so beautiful and dizzying, like falling down a rabbit hole. As I started falling in love with hip hop, she was my girl.
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Degrees of Light by Taylor McFerrin, but it’s also dizzying and delightful.
Them Changes is just brilliant. The production is so lush and stratified and every baseline and melody is gorgeous in my opinion.
Yes, I’ve become obsessed with Frank Ocean. This is the song that first drew me to him.
On New Years Eve, we listened to Flying Lotus all night. This music is how going into this year for me feel in a good way. And Kendrick is one of my idols. Him being on this song is the icing on the cake.
And James Blake is just stunning. In feel such a deep groove in this song while the washed out tone in the beginning feels so hypnotizing and beautiful to me.
Anyway, that’s what I think of these songs. I hope you dig them!