Soul Songs and Summer Soundtracks

Songwriting is intensely personal. You spend hours, days, years picking the right way to verbally and sonically realize an emotion you can’t otherwise express. You nerd-out about adjectives and phrasing - you exhaust all options. You write because it’s necessary; if you don’t, you can’t sleep, or you wake up feeling divided, like you haven’t slept at all. It’s not about being smart or impressing your friends, it’s about recreating life experiences, then absorbing and re-absorbing those experiences. The goal can’t solely be to change yourself or becoming a better person, but is simply about the process of accepting yourself. 

At some point, this personal songwriting suddenly becomes public. This is where I like to think of newborn tunes as conditioned little warriors. You’ve spent all this time packing the new songs with the armor and skills to go off and fight a million battles without you. They are contending daily for someone’s attention, striving to overcome the flip of a radio dial, the “next please!” of a mouse click, or to win the prestigious spot of “summer soundtrack”. Most importantly of all, they will be battling for someone’s heart. To break it or help it, to take on someone’s loneliness and let them know another person has felt the same way. It’s about relation.

 

Maybe it’s not even that serious - maybe you just want to make someone laugh, or tell your mom about someone you saw at the grocery store. Maybe it's about having a great day. Songs can be casual or deep; some are funny, some speak misery. Songs are the kind of things that start scattered in the universe, happen by accident, get scribbled on your hand (and perhaps transferred to your forehead during an afternoon nap) and finally, maybe, make it out into the world, whether ready or not. It’s a physical manifestation of thoughts and emotions. There is no denying the intimate connection a writer has to his/her work. It’s a representation of the chaos in your head, fluttering around with thousands of other thoughts, but coming together in one cohesive personal Pièce de résistance. As Pat Pattison would say, “Write Fearlessly” and send those little buggers out into battle!