The Inspiration For The Album
This album explores the journey of trying to capture the heart when its natural tendency is to get away from us. A theme in this album is slowing down in a fast paced, chaotic world. I believe we have too many sensory inputs. Advancements in technology have been great in so many ways, but they have also had the negative consequence of overstimulation. We struggle to find the balance. We’re on the go too much and we’re distracted. Tension and anxiety run deep. We can’t always escape the stressors of modern life, but we can try to live in a way that reduces the stress.
The Story Behind The Songs
Capture The Heart
In the title track, a local musician uses his songs to try to capture the hearts of people walking down Bourbon Street. Most people just walk by without noticing him. There is so much to look at and experience. People are on their phones, looking at maps of the city, and shopping at stores on every corner. How could anyone focus on one thing when their attention constantly shifts from one thing to the next? With so much going on in the world and in our lives, it’s hard to be present. It’s hard to slow down and focus on one thing, but it benefits us when we do. When we finally slow down, we can find comfort and peace with the ones we love and do our best to live life to the fullest.
This song almost didn’t make it on the album, but I played it for Mark after most of the album had been recorded and he thought it was pretty cool so we went ahead and laid it down. After putting it together and revisiting some of the parts, I’m really glad we decided to put it on the album. It has some folk elements that are reminiscent of songs from my first album, Balance & Pull, and I think it has a feel that benefits this album.
I have a recurring theme in my songs about putting my love interest on a pedestal. I came up with the line, “you know just how to steal a heart - you could be a movie star,” which is the signature line in this song, and I thought that would be a pretty great compliment. I am a sucker for a love song!
Calm Me Down
If I let myself, I can think of endless things to be frightened about - from trivial things to a loved one’s health or the state of the world. Of course, that’s no way to live. It’s better to go through life without worrying, controlling the limited things you can, and being grateful for what you have. This is naturally challenging, but I think the best chance of staying calm in an unpredictable world is to take comfort in each other’s company. If you have someone you can lean on in scary times, then that can keep your heart rate and your mental state much more manageable.
I’m not a visual artist, but in this song I imagine that I am a painter and that my painting becomes real. I try to paint a world where time slows down, deadlines cease to exist, and the scenery is picture-perfect. In this painting, there’s a sailboat that leads to a beach island where there are no worries - just peace, romance, dancing, singing, and playing.
This is my alter-ego song. The Mr. Hyde. The devil on my shoulder trying to cause mischief.
Some of the binge-worthy shows I was watching when I wrote this may have something to do with how this came out. I had just finished a string of shows on Netflix where the main characters were bad, but also had a likable side. Walter White in Breaking Bad, Don Draper in Mad Men, and Marty Byrde in Ozark. Why are we so compelled by these characters? Do we see something of ourselves in them? Probably. In these shows, the badly behaving characters always had their justifications, but their misbehavior was inexcusable.
Most of us manage to maintain our good behavior enough, but maybe we’re more fragile than we think and there’s something brewing below the surface that would make us act on our impulses under the right conditions. I vaguely remember as a kid an instinct to create mischief and this song taps into the temptations of being bad but for just a few minutes.
Rest Be the Remedy
This song is a reflection of the busy life and how sometimes you need a break. Ambition drives many of us to work constantly - to a point where it becomes counterproductive. My wife and I have always been driven people and consequently are always on the go. From time to time, we have to remind ourselves to slow down. After a break, whether it be getting out of town or just away from work and our phones, we tend to have clarity when we return to our daily routines and feel closer for having spent time focusing on one another. We just have to remember to take that time away amid the chaos.