Introducing Our Ghosts is my first full-length solo album, and I'm striving to make it fully representative of me as a musician and songwriter. Instrumentally, this means putting my best foot forward as a guitarist and pianist, and the sound will be bolstered by lots of drums, electric guitar, orchestral arrangements, and many subtle indulgences into instruments like the hammered dulcimer, accordion, and more. Most of my previous releases have been acoustic and “singer-songwriter” in nature, yet I love listening to epic, driving rock arrangements. While producing this project, I’ve been indulging in that influence repeatedly, and the result so far is sort of acoustic, folksy songwriter meets dramatic, gratuitous producer, and I am enjoying myself so much in all these contexts. It’s rock, and it’s folk, and it’s huge, and it’s intimate. I’m getting good practice at producing moments that maximize the power in my lyrics and I think the result is something that’s more felt, where I’m being moved not just by the message, but also by the medium.
Lyrically, there’s still a lot of darkness and exploration of a sort of fatalistic human experience. So, it’s incredibly authentic and honest, yet very much infused with a cognizance of eternity that makes these explorations worthwhile. I am a Christian, and a songwriter, and those elements of who I am have never really been at odds. When I first starting writing songs around the age of 12, I wrote exclusively about my faith, and God, and the church. For the most part, since I was in my infancy as a songwriter, I wound up regurgitating ideas that I had heard or that I thought people would want to hear; so, although those songs were in line with who I was, they were rarely authentic expressions of creative thought. From there, I transitioned into mostly relational writing, pushing myself artistically by opening up about experiences on which I was comfortably authoritative. I sort of rummaged around in heartbreak from failed human relationships, and used my writing as a means by which I could wallow in emotion while applying some logical constraints and reasoning to fashion the sheer emotion into something that at least had some semblance of purpose. It turns out that I was actually quite good at this, and sort of kept going back to that well and became habitual about that craft. During this season I was growing by leaps and bounds as a songwriter and progressing steadily in my faith, but those maturation processes were somewhat segregated from each other.
Introducing Our Ghosts is the unexpectedly strange marriage of those identities (songwriter and Christian), and it was less intentional and more coincidence that what I thought were separate journeys arrived at the same place. This collection of songs is still very focused on the human experience, and I’m still applying a non-linear, circling-vulture kind of approach to various topics, where each song develops as I write it – sort of indulging emotion to a point, and then governing it with faith and reason, and then easing off, and so on…and all of this is done with a decidedly eternal perspective that makes everything decidedly unhurried. It’s comfortable chaos and sort of this approach of being content to be discontent here, without being rushed to wave a magic wand of faith or God to wisp away some really heavy frustrations that the album confronts. Instead, there’s an atmosphere of eternity that elicits patience in the process: the process of redemption and salvation as it relates to humans who love each other - sometimes well and sometimes quite poorly.
A good friend of mine opened my eyes to the truth that if God the Creator created us to be in His likeness, then our creative process is a way in which we can honor him by displaying that likeness. For me, the process of songwriting is my closest approximation of making something out of nothing, and the engagement of this endeavor results in a sort of inherent communion with God as Creator while I make use of the faculties of thought and invention while recognizing that I am innately using the materials He has given me. In this manner, Introducing Our Ghosts is a little bit less of a message and more of a medium. It’s part invention and part development and part discovery, and very much process-oriented rather than product-oriented. In this way, it’s authentically artistic and yet all of it is done with a sort of overarching acknowledgment of eternity. It is my anticipation that the finished product will transform your home, car, or headphones into an environment that invites honesty, validates despair, and advocates hope.
Risks and challenges
Because I'm currently working full-time and studying for the CPA exam, time allocation will be crucial for me to complete the project by the target deadline. Because the project is already half-done, it's a question of "when," not "if." My excitement for this project continues to grow daily, so you can be ensured I am doing everything I can to get it ready for you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)