First and foremost, this EP jumped into full throttle when I proposed to my partner. It fueled a more intense look at myself than I had previously endeavored as I saw myself reflected in a mirror of total love and support. That being said, each of these songs have a story of their own.
1. Question (feat. Cubs the Poet)
“Question” arose from hearing a James Baldwin speech from 1963 (plus the added emphasis from popping THE question). In it, Mr. Baldwin posits that by asking a question, you can learn how you truly feel. By asking questions and feeling your feelings (your body is an excellent guide, so trust yourself), you can tune in more clearly to the universe around you. When you understand your own process, anything is possible. This is where Cubs the Poet comes in. After we were brought together to record him for another session (shout-out Alex Massa), I showed him this song I was working on. We found our minds were attuned to this concept and he quickly came up with the words that took the song to the next level. The vision became clearer and as Cubs puts it, “Questions are for answers when everything’s on you.”
We’re in this together and the only way forward is through being honest with ourselves.
2. CovenantPt1 (feat. Iris P)
You gotta look at it if you want to make it better. This country has been under pressure for a long time and during this pandemic it’s all been coming to the surface. The archaic systems designed to divide and widen the gap between us, using racial and socioeconomic justifications to terrorize whole groups of people must end. We are in this life together. We are powerful beings fully capable of so much. Black Lives Matter. This is a call for the immediate end of police brutality and abolishing the prison system (enslavement under a different name). It is a call for empathy, to not just look out for yourself, but for someone else.
The music is inspired by the vibe of early 60’s soul jazz, a la Les McCann & Eddie Harris, two incredibly powerful musicians who used their platform to speak their truth, as relevant as it was in the early 60’s with the Civil Rights Movement as it is today. I wanted the vocals to feel full and have the power of unity through duality, and Iris P came in and crushed, adding a layer of depth and soul to the track. On the bass, the Bass Doctor himself Mitch Deitrick came in and thumped out the powerful bass line. May we come together with a new Covenant between us that lifts up all of our souls in unity. But first we gotta LOOK at it and SIT with it to UNDERSTAND how we play our PART.
3. Sunny Day (Vern’s Theme)
My partner and I adopted this tree we call Vern in the beginning of quarantine. Vern has served as a beacon of hope, of self sufficiency, of creatively moving forward. As he grew from a young lad to a young adult, through heavy heat and high winds, he has discarded the branches and leaves that no longer sustained him and steadied himself by tying his own leaves together as he stretched towards the sun with the purpose of fulfilling his plant destiny. Vern remains a steady friend and reminder that we have it within ourselves to keep on our path, just keep steppin.
This is not as much a story, but rather a few sentiments I wanted to share, some things I continue to work with everyday.
Don’t forget to be yourself. Lean into life. Follow your crescendo, into the sublime. Take the leap into trusting yourself. Love yourself. When you listen to your heart, you got everything that you need. Take a pause and consider what you really feel. Free yourself of judgment and speak from the heart. Act with kindness. Meet yourself with kindness. Stand for something. Every opportunity is a chance for love. Take a chance and live romance, forever will you float.
I really enjoyed making this record and it serves as a bit of a guide to love and thoughtfulness in my life. I hope it connects with you in some way and that this music finds you with peace and openness. Shout-out to my fiancee for living this record with me in this pandemic. She also was the album photographer. She's the real MVP.
Becca and I hanging at Palo Duro Canyon