The Get Togethers were kind enough to share their track by track for Home As In Houston with us. Check it out after the jump, along with the album stream, and purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.
I decided to arrange “January” as a kind of contrast between where I was at the time of the affair and where I was years later. So much of the relationship’s infatuation stemmed from all of our secret meetings throughout this month . But there was this haunting reminder that everything we shared would evaporate. “Nowhere January” echoes the meaninglessness of that assumed love.
This one reads more like a stream of consciousness. Unintelligible imagery mingled with stills of the movie that played over and over in my head of us. I was so pissed off all month, having to face the reality that she really didn’t love me or care at all. I was just another thrill to pass the time, another red light to run.
There’s a pretty pointed theme to March, the basis for which lies in the chorus. I spent more time waiting in my car to see her then I did anything else. You could say March is the month I turned a corner. There was no denying my infatuation had turned into obsession, only I couldn’t believe these feelings weren’t mutual. It just worked out that the punchiness of the music coincided so well with the emotion behind what I was writing.
Back in 2007, my best friend and I were desperate to get away. We drove to the Gulf of Mexico and pitched a tent on the beach. Looking out over the water, under a sheepish moon, the phosphorous in the ocean illuminated the water to a smooth green glow. I remember telling her, “it looks like there’s a million broken glow sticks out there”. The lyrics, music and mood of this song embody a sentiment we’re all bound to experience – the longing to escape.
At the time, T.S. Elliot’s “The Hollow Men” was my mantra, especially the ending remarks, “this is the way world ends – not with a bang but a whimper”. One day in May I really believed it was the end of my life; I sat huddled in the school’s bathroom floor chanting those words over and over. When the horns came in during recording on this one, it felt like victory.
There were probably more versions of June than any other song on the record. We just could not get it right. Eventually, after trying several slower arrangements, we tried something more upbeat. (We wanted it to sound like Surfer Blood.) The song just popped at that point and we knew we had something.
More than anything July was a time of change. I had this unconscious, insatiable urge to become like this person who destroyed my life. The lyrics draw a lot of that out. Being careless with people’s emotions and lives, only wanting to distract myself with the overt love and praise they would show me. It was a downward spiral.
She once told me, “you and I are like ten finger tips touching, with the whole world sitting between our palms”. Here we are, holding out our arms, lining our fingertips up one by one to make this perfect hole. And in this hole lays the world. And if we let our guard down for even a moment, if we let our palms touch, this world nestled in this perfect hole, will be crushed. To this day I can’t think of anything more poetic, beautiful or heart-braking to describe our relationship.
We were at the studio in Seattle, pressed for time and desperate to come up with something for September. Daniel had this tiny guitar idea, but there was no song, no verse or chorus, no overall idea. So we just hit record and with everyone more or less improvising, the song as it is on the album just happened. 95% of what you hear was written as it was being recorded live. Afterwards, we all had goosebumps.
We had such a blast recording October. It just feels so funky. We thought this might be the lead single but it didn’t really turn out that way. October was our favorite song during the demo process, with the tambourine and staccato guitars. For me it always feels like the year starts over in October rather than January, because that’s my birthday month and because of the change in seasons. This song was my resolution.
This was actually the first song I ever wrote for Home as in Houston. It talks about our first rendezvous, the moment the affair began. In that way the song is the beginning of everything, but musically and emotionally I feel like it’s the climax of the album. It is intentionally the most epic song on the record, but early versions were much more folky, and it just didn’t work. We were happy with the way it turned out.
We wanted December to feel like the closing credits of a movie. It’s a kind of lullaby, although maybe a little bit morbid. In the end, the relationship was doomed to fail and never could have been sustaining so I tried to have that come across lyrically. I feel like this song is both the most broken and the most hopeful at the same time, which I can resonate with looking back. A lot of that wasn’t even intentional but just came out as I wrote.