Long Way Out Wednesday 8: [hu] Knows

[hu] KnowsThis week’s free track is “[hu] Knows,” a metaphysical wandering among the mysteries of life and what comes afterward.

This past week I came upon the heavy milestone of giving a eulogy for the first time. It was a sad but somehow comforting experience, although it left me contemplating questions about the nature of existence and how we are connected to each other. Sometimes I imagine people as mountains shrouded in varying levels of mist—some with only the tips of their peaks visible, and others revealing more of themselves. I try to think of the hidden bases of each mountain, which are all connected and essentially one terrain, whether the wind blows the mist away or not.

I tend to have difficulty expressing these ideas in colloquial terms, which is why I wrote a song about it instead. Take a moment to listen to the exploration of the mysterious side of existence in “[hu] Knows.”

Long Way Out Wednesday 7: Song of Rapunzel

Song of RapunzelThe free track for this week is “Song of Rapunzel.” After having been called Rapunzel within the past week, and having a friend happen to get this song in her head today, I figured it was a sign that this song should be the track for this Long Way Out Wednesday.

This song, as may be obvious from the title, is from the point of view of the long-haired fairytale heroine Rapunzel. It comes from a place of feeling stuck in life, as if imprisoned in a tower. However, in the end, Rapunzel must admit to herself that her victim mentality (iron-barred glasses) will get her nowhere, and that she is the only one who can get herself out of her situation.

Enjoy the emotional ride that is “Song of Rapunzel,” and download it for free while you can!

Long Way Out Wednesday 6: The Last Brother

The Last BrotherThe free track for this week is “The Last Brother.” It’s a bit of a tribute to my Irish roots, inspired by sean nós singing. Sean nós, pronounced “shan noce,” means old style. I also put my years of Irish dancing lessons to use and recorded myself in my hard shoes for percussion.

On my most recent visit to Ireland in 2004, I snapped this photo of the house where my grandmother’s brother lived while raising his family. It’s one of two small cottages on the tract of land where my family lived on the shores of County Kerry.

My grandmother on my mom’s side was one of ten children, and this song’s title refers to the brother who was her last surviving sibling. He was also the only one to remain in Ireland while his brothers and sisters all emigrated to the United States. I had the pleasure of spending time with him on two of my visits to Ireland. The last time I saw him was when I was sixteen; he was in good spirits, but suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, which had afflicted my grandmother as well. I remember his strikingly pale blue eyes, which looked so much like my grandmother’s, and wondered about what old memories might still have been swimming around behind them.

Long Way Out Wednesday 5: Easiest Prey

Easiest PreyThis week’s free track is “Easiest Prey.” After having seen Las Vegas firsthand, heard stories of its corrupt inner workings, and walked the bleak side streets of the Strip, I’ve come away with a bit of a disenchanted view of its main tourist attractions. Although it definitely has its share of fun and spectacle, and although there are some who come out winners, I can’t help thinking of the thousands of people who fall prey to the lure of gambling, and who wind up in a downward spiral of more and more debt and money lost. The casinos are designed like mazes, with lights and sounds to distract you from your path—a bit like the wolf to Little Red Riding Hood. 

“Easiest Prey” imagines a modern-day Red Riding Hood grown up and stuck in a cycle of bad relationships. She longs for love, but keeps falling into the traps of disrespectful and even abusive lovers. 

Have a listen to the minor-key quasi-reggae-beat “Easiest Prey.” It will be free to download until next Tuesday!