1. Before I Found You
Even though this record is at its core a break-up record, I wanted the first song to establish what was being lost. That initial spark and flame is the most powerful drug in the history of the planet, and like most drugs - it's hard not to chase the first buzz. Even if you don't feel particularly lost, that shit can make you feel found.
This song started as a look into the dynamic that leads to the destruction of a relationship and has become more about how that same dynamic can lead to the destruction of a country. When so many people agree that something is truly wrong, but can't see eye to eye on how to fix things and instead get buried in intra-party squabbles, it becomes impossible to sort it out in any way.
3. Fourth Of July
This song wraps up the first chapter of the record. The first song is about that love buzz, then there's a song about it falling apart, and Fourth Of July is about the spun out euphoric mind-fuck that is "freedom." All those free hours and bottomless beers and Tinder dates and binge-watching movies that your partner never wanted to watch and Cigarettes After Sex on headphones because you can't sleep because you're too high. Freedom, baby.
4. The Country
I wrote this song with the girl that this record is about on our first night living in our first apartment together in San Francisco. The living room was cold and empty. We sat on the hardwood floor and wrote a song about all the dreams we had with a chorus acknowledging that it's all stacked against us. It’s another song that took on more political meaning in the following months and years.
5. Don't Take My Love
After we moved to Los Angeles and split up, I became obsessed with the Apocalyptic sprawl and warm winds on this desert city. It was a perfect place to reflect against for a period of heartbreak. Don't Take My Love is a love song to some of the more oppressive aspects of this city.
6. Never Had Enough Of You
This song is about the claustrophobia and anxiety that can come from a seemingly non-dramatic relationship. The roommate-ification of partnership. The lack of separation between two people in a very real sense.
7. The Middle
So much attention is put on the beginnings and ends of relationships, especially in songs. I wrote this song as an ode to the middle part, the part that most of the years live in.
The break-up that inspired most of this record exists in my brain as a series of messy non-linear memories and scenes. There was one walk in the LA hills that I'll always remember, when things were particularly intense. I'm not a religious person at all, but I remember looking up at the sky at nothing and wishing I was.
9. You'll Be On My Mind
This song is about closure. I wrote it with my good friend Mike Viola, who acted as a sort of therapist during the session. After years of trying, I realized I could never (and shouldn't!) clear my mind of the past.
10. Cosmic Sign
This is the last song that was written and recorded for the album. It was written after the election. I was feeling so much anger at the country, but wanted to focus on past experiences I've had throughout the different regions and states. I have such an affinity for this insane mess of a country we live in, and despite the current government, have hope for the future. But in the darkest moments, I really felt the need for some sort of sign that it would all work out.
11. Taking Love
Taking love is the opposite of making love. This record has uplifting moments, but at the end of the day, its a story about things falling apart. It felt only proper to end it with a song focusing on how destructive love can be.