How music helps us heal. How vinyl is not easy.
The cosmic comedic timing of my album coming out during The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast still amazes me. Was I aware of the podcast? Absolutely. I was interviewed for it, am in episode 1, and my song Return My Heart To My Chest is the closing song in the State of Emergency episode which came out a few days after the album. None of this was coordinated. In the span of a couple of weeks the number of people discovering Halflight along side the podcast lead to some beautiful moments of conversation. I started hearing from people who were telling me that the songs provided space to work out their grief, guilt, anger, and frustration that resulted from listening to the podcast. As one friend put it:
The impact Mars Hill had on people can not be overstated. There are many who were deeply wounded, there are are victims of spiritual abuse from authoritarian and heavy-handed leadership, a leadership I was regretfully a part of. Many continue to struggle to this day. As do I. I’ve been pretty open about my struggles over the last seven years, and I poured a lot of that grief and hurt into the songs.
And I also poured my optimism and hope into them as well. In hearing your stories, in listening to the critiques of the podcast, and in examining my own relationships, I have realized one thing about myself: The thing I want for every human being is to be well, feel whole, and know they are loved. I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it at the time, but that was what was underneath so many of these songs, especially Benediction for the Broken.
We’re in this journey toward wholeness and healing together. I hope these songs help you process whatever you’ve gone through.
Good news. I approved the test presses this week! Halflight is now in the final phase of production. But there’s more to this story…
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you might have seen a post last month about the arrival of the test pressings. It was exciting to hold a physical manifestation of this work, even if it was just a test press. And with that excitement, I poured myself a beverage, dropped the needle, and got in my comfy chair to listen. It was fantastic. There was also persistent noise and scratching on Side B. Uh oh.
Test presses exist to catch these kinds of things. Manufacturers plan for it because it’s a physically printed medium, and the details matter a ton. They worked with me to make the changes necessary to get it right and I’m stoked. The ship date is going to move back a few weeks, but it’s worth it to make sure you get something you want to listen to.
If you haven’t ordered Halflight yet, you can get yours at my Bandcamp page. The holidays are almost here… ;)
With the album finally out, I’m starting to work on some other things that are pretty exciting. There’s a podcast idea I’m fleshing out that will go in-depth into the process of writing and making Halflight. (Would this be interesting to you? If so, what are you curious about? What do you want to know?) I am also working on some live events, both in person and digital. And in all of this, the thing I’m trying to keep prioritized the most is continuing to write, experiment, try new things and keep creativity pouring out. I just picked up a Teenage Engineering OP-Z and holy moly that thing is fun! Creativity for days. Check it out:
What I find amazing about it is that it bears no resemblance to any musical instrument I’ve ever played, but I was able to get from zero to creative in almost no time. It’s both enabling me to work out beats and ideas quickly and pushing me to think differently about how I create. Fun. Fun. fun.
Have these songs been meaningful to you? Do you want to help get them to others? Do you have thoughts on where this stuff can go? Here are a few ways you can help:
I haven’t quite cracked the live show thing yet, but I’m working on it. If you know of anyone who would like to help, by all means please send them my way. firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next time…