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OUT NOW: "Redshift", my debut album
A road-trip album to soundtrack back-road drives in the Midwest
I wanted Redshift to feel like a road-trip album.
The kind of album where you don’t skip any songs, because each one talks to the next. The kind that reveals a new facet each time you go back to it.
I named Redshift after a song whose central image seemed to define the theme of the whole album: the sense of something receding. The universe itself. Youth. Possibilities, familiarity, certainty, comfort. The sense of things that once felt bright and close slipping out of reach. Dimming.
To me, each song on Redshift keeps some feeling of my younger selves from slipping away entirely. Joan Didion wrote, “I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.” Listening to the album, I hear the ghosts of people I used to be as I’ve moved through my 20s into my 30s. Attractive company or not.
Releasing Redshift marks an end for me. Because today, the album slips out of my reach. For the better part of a decade, I’ve been dreaming up, revising, abandoning, and falling back in love with these songs.
The oldest melody on Redshift dates back to 2010. That choir of water singing in wine glasses (which you may make out at times in the background) is made of samples I recorded back in 2006 in my childhood bedroom. We tracked the first in-studio note in March of 2018. The last in spring 2022.
And today, there’s nothing left to do but let go. Which of course itself also marks a beginning. Because now, these songs aren’t mine to hoard anymore. They belong to anyone who discovers them and connects with them.
And... well... of course: I hope you do.
I hope you take time to get to know them. I hope you (or at least a few of you) might choose not to skip any of Redshift’s tracks when you listen on a road trip. I hope these songs can keep you company, as they’ve kept me company over the years.
OK, clearly I’m stalling to avoid hitting send—jeesh! Heaps and heaps of love and gratitude to all who helped make today a reality. Your energy and support means everything.
One last thing: If you’ve read this far (bless you) I’d like to leave you with a little gift. It’s a poem from a fellow Michigander, one which I returned to countless times while making Redshift.
See you down in the mud,
P.P.S. See you at the album release show in Chicago on Sunday? Cool!