As December 6th is growing closer, I am getting even more excited for you guys to hear the new album RED! Thank you so much for being so supportive as well as interactive. I love reading your comments, etc. on my facebook, twitter, or here!
I just wanted to say a few words about the album, how it was made, what the songs mean to me, etc. :)
This song is by far the most personal to me. So personal in fact, that it almost makes me feel uncomfortable. It's as if I ripped out a page of my diary and put it on display for all the world to see. This song is very much about me, and very much the truth. He is still a very special person to me in my life, whether he knows it or not. The vocal tracks on the album were supposed to be "demo" vocals. I laid down some vocals right after writing the song, and during that time, I was going through a really rough emotional war inside me about this special person. The vocal takes were...imperfect, sad, raw. A few weeks later when this song was confirmed to be on the album, I went back into the studio to record "Perfect" vocals for the tune. After a few takes, Toby (an awesome producer and writer) said, "When you first sang it, I felt like you were about to cry... Now it just sounds like you're tired and stressed. Go home for a bit. I'm keeping the very first take of your vocals. There's just something ... special about them." I wrote this song for me...and I wrote it for Daniel.
"Hearts out to dry"
Possibly my favorite track on the record. (It's a bonus track on the I-tunes version...and sorry, but that is the only place you can get it). I wrote this song with my sister Meg. It's fun to write with friends and work with amazing producers, but when I work with my sister...I can just be myself 100%. We are also close enough to say....yah, that part sucks. Ha. No hard feelings. Meg and I wrote about 10 songs for the RED album, however, like I said, decided all of them, except this jewel, weren't good enough to make the cut. As an artist, it's really important to weed out the "okay" songs. I wanted the chorus of this song to hit you like a train. Thankfully, I had Meg there, and she knew exactly what to do instrument wise, to make that happen. This song, to me, gives me an out of body experience. I can just close my eyes and listen to it and feel happiness, pain, sadness, excitement. I wanted all the vocals to sound dissonant, like you were hearing a choir through a hall. Neal Avron, one of my all time favorite producers, produced this track. It was co-produced by Meg Frampton. Go Meg!
I wrote this song with Isabella Summers. The keyboardist of "Florence and the Machine." This song came together like a 5 year old throwing random ingredients in a bowl attempting to make a cake. We weren't thinking about song "rules," or "hit" making. Hahah. We were just making a racket in a tiny little room in LA. It was terribly hot that day and we had to keep turning off the AC every time I would cut vocals or lay guitar down. I still remember just sitting there sweating. We got a lot of the percussion sounds by tapping picture frames together and high heels! I wrote all the lyrics for this one...and wanted it to sound very anthemic, almost as if you are running or being chased by something terrifying but also exciting. She was an amazing producer to work with. She didn't hover over me and say, "Well, that line doesn't really rhyme," but rather encouraged my crazy creativity.
This song came about in a rather funny way. I was hanging out with my two friends who are also great writers, Dave Hodges, and Dave Harris, (the guitar player for John Mayor), yes, I geeked out. Dave #1 started playing a tune and I said, "Wow, I love that beginning. Let's build on that song. It's great!" And he laughed and said, "I was just messing around. That's a Bob Dylan song I was playing." Of course I felt rather stupid, but then we just started jamming folk songs and "Trapeze" came out. I wrote this song, lyrically, about a friend of mine who had a very tragic childhood. However, he never spoke of it until after 4 years of knowing him. It was odd because, lots of people with their dark pasts tend to dwell on them and sometimes victimize themselves, leaning on their crutches as an excuse not to press forward. My friend, on the other hand, lived as if nothing had ever happened. When he told me of his past I was shocked. It's amazing how some people can overcome hardships and move forward, becoming their own person. He never spoke of his past, or "told me what he saw," and all of his hardships. He did, however, always speak of the future....and how to press on and make it a bright and beautiful one for himself.
This song is about a very close friend who was molested when he was a child by his neighbor, who was guilty of molesting many of the kids in the neighborhood. Unfortunately the boys were too scared and confused to tell anyone, thinking that they were "good boys." The neighbor died of old age.
I wrote this song for my little sister. No, her real name isn't Isabella. During the time that this record was being written, my parents were going through a really, really tough time. Divorce papers were pulled out, and the fighting and immaturity began. I won't go into much detail, but basically, when I was out in LA and London and Nashville writing and recording and creating....half of me felt like I should be at home, taking care of my 4 little sisters who were stuck in a mess and having a really hard time dealing with things. I never realized what an ugly thing divorce is and how terribly it effects children...their ideas of love, their ideas of "forever," and their ideas of family.
I was sitting with a friend one night, talking about first loves. I rambled on...Yeah, my first love was my boyfriend in high school. We had our first kiss on a hammock outside. He called me, "My sweet," because that's what they say in Hemingway novels. Etc. Etc. (That really was my first love. I was 15). He then story-topped mine. He got really quiet for a moment and then said, "My first love was when I was 11. She was nine. Her name was ****." I interrupted, "Aw, cute! When was your first kiss?" He said, "I never kissed her. We just held hands all the time. We'd sit together on a hay stack outside, or by our secret tree. Her dad used to share her with his friends for entertainment." I asked, "What do you mean?" He looked down and said, "Ya know. They'd all come over for a football game or something, and then he'd let them take her in a bedroom...." I was absolutely shocked. "You didn't do anything? And all these GROWN MEN thought it was okay? All of them?" He shrugged. "I was too young...I didn't know who to tell. I wish I did say something.... But, when she was with me...she felt safe. I told her I loved her all the time and would take care of her." He shrugged again. "One of his dad's friends got her name and painted it on his truck." I was even more shocked. "He did what? And no one noticed or thought it was weird!? How do these things happen?" He shrugged again. "It was a weird time...a weird neighborhood." He paused. "I wish I would have said something." I asked, "Well, what happened to her?" He said, "I tried to find her on the internet once but I couldn't. I don't know what happened to her."
I thought on his terrible story for a few days, and then I also thought...."Where is she? What became of her?" And then I decided that ... if she didn't get her vengeance... if she didn't get her revenge...I was going to give it to her, in this song. All of a sudden I started day dreaming, and thought of her as a girl in black, running across roofs, catapulting from the ceilings of tall buildings like a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE chick. Running on moving trains, hitting targets from miles away with her hand guns. She became this...weird kinda super hero to me. And then I thought about her going back for all those men who hurt her. She had, as the lyrics say, "A bullet with their names," and she was coming to get her revenge! I know it sounds kinda silly, but it made me happy to think of an alternative ending to her story. And of course I wouldn't want someone to go shooting everyone's brains out. 100 years in jail would be more like it, but sometimes I get carried away, and she just looked so cool in my head as some kind of CIA chick with guns on her thigh holsters and an evil "Cat woman-ish" glint in her eye. Go get 'em girl, and then "walk away!"