Listen With Headphones, Between The Notes

Out July 12, 2019

This album was born on the streets of Queens. I’ve been in New York for only two and a half years, and already I am a changed person. Am I a New Yorker? I dunno. Probably not. But this is a New York record.

It’s about aging, I guess. But aging in the sort of, still growing up, still coming of age way. I’m thirty, going on thirty-one. I have more life experience than most of my peers. I’ve been in and out of sanity, in and out of hospitals. To four different states in the union, seeing bits and pieces of what each can offer. I was never interested in a place quite like I am in New York.

But I misspeak, truly. My interest in New York is surface level. But I fall in love with certain parts of the city for strange reasons. Especially because I never know where I am in New York unless I knew where I was going. But I can get around on the urine-soaked, rat-infested death traps we humbly call the train. And whatever. I’ve never known where I am, not even in Cleveland. Almost never ever have. It’s never seemed all too important. I float around. I boggle.

This record is also about being raised Catholic. Through the years, I have grown a romance for being Catholic, confirmed and all, even though I resisted at the time, as a sixteen year old told to place himself in the arms of the Lord. And how. I like it now, to a certain extent. There’s a poetry in true Christianity. And I connect with it a great deal.

That’s not to say there isn’t just as much to love about Islam, or Judaism, etc. It just doesn’t matter in my context, ’cause I’m a Catholic. This record explores what that might mean.

Musically, this is a focused affair. Call it what you will, this is folk music. This is protest music. This is music with a point, I think. Regardless of what you pronounce to be a songwriter’s duty to himself and to music, it is to an over-arching theme that I tend to draw from my own music, at least, that some situations are inherently problematic.

Even still, this record is also about Donald Trump. How could it not be? But it isn’t overt, not in the naming of names, though I do have a lyric which goes “Oh my Donald, you’re a clown / Unwillin’ to paint his face frowned.” That’s about the sort of thing you’ll get from me. It’s tough to write a pop song – because this is also pop music – about the United States having concentration camps. That sort of bullshit is reserved for normal life. And fuck that shit, to be true. I just can’t think of how to do what I know needs done. So I vote. I write songs on my guitar.

These are also very much guitar songs. I explore my love of guitar in the layers you hear on each track. Some tunes have five or six guitars on them, each performing their own little roll. There’s also a piano song near the end of the album. And interesting percussion throughout.

Nine songs. Here’s the tracklist:

1. One More Pack of Smokes
2. In Heaven’s Light ‘Til Sunset
3. Dig a Porchlamp
4. Have My Cigarette Lit
5. To Paint His Face Frowned
6. Alright In Queens
7. Still I Don’t Shiver
8. Rags To Riches
9. It Isn’t Very Difficult

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