Bio / I Sleep Alone History
Technically I Sleep Alone started in 2011, when I visited Richmond for maybe only the second or third time, in an effort to record with Allen Bergendahl. At the time a 3-year relationship was nearly finished and, though incredibly sad, I was feeling super productive. We met, along with Allen’s studio partner Adam Rose and songwriters Jonathan Vassar and Anousheh Khalili, and jumped into the session, capturing four songs together live. It was easy, fast and cathartic. Then the songs just sat for two years.
Mike Batchelor and I always intended to follow-up where we left off with Anchored to Oak, hoping to record a full-length together. In the late Summer of 2013, at times with Brad Hinton and Chelsea Allen, we recorded nearly twenty songs; old material, brand new songs, carry-overs from EP’s, live favorites. It wasn’t very hard to thin the herd once the dust settled in the Autumn. “You’ll Never See the Morning” and “Ships and Stones” (nearly a decade old each) bookend the album. And though they both express a loneliness I’m always confronting, the songs represent a before and after, a day-and-night, of the conversations I’ve had about that loneliness – be it between me and a struggling friend, or internally. Nothing is resolute, merely (and temporarily) tolerated, accepted, or adapted to. We can only be comforted so much. And likewise, we can only be alone for so long.
“Every Day is a Widow” was written on a cross-country trip, where horizons bled across my windshield as I drove through North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Utah. Before I left I was tasked with writing a song to accompany a painting, but during the trip all I kept thinking was “Keep breathing, keep breathing, keep breathing. I have everything I’ve ever needed.” The piano-only arrangement is meant to honor Chelsea’s part in making this song what it is. “Burying Words” is scrapped together from different songs, mine and others’. There are additional verses left from the final cut, that I hope to record anew soon. I recorded it in my kitchen at night.
The only track from the VA sessions, “Flesh Turn” retains the intimacy and reliance described in the lyrics, with a lushness thanks to Anousheh’s organ and Adam’s guitar/pedal work. And try as I might, I couldn’t get away from “Stars Pt. 2” and its importance to me last year. Once I discovered the Molina lyrics buried in there, I had to re-record once again, to say my respects. I’m thankful this ended up being more beautiful than I’d hoped.
It’s not easy to keep doing this. It’s actually getting harder. I Sleep Alone, despite its title, is for my friends, and family; my loved ones, still fighting, still resting, always with me. I felt them when I wrote the songs, surrounded myself with them when I recorded, aimed at them when I drew back my bow. The album is full of familiar imagery, with its metaphorical focus on birds, trees, the moon, and other natural splendors, to convey a sense of searching and waiting for fulfillment, followed by withering and then disappearance; there’s a maturity I’ve gained from disappointment and a learned patience developed for survival.
Get to know the band
Kronotsky (2010, self-released) (listen/buy)
Anchored To Oak (2011, self-released) (listen/buy)
Baby, I’m Wild (Live) (2011, self-released) (listen)
Hymn Of Lions (2012, self-released) (listen/buy)
Songs For A Red Bird EP (2013, self-released) (listen/buy)
Old Waves (2013, Hope For The Tape Deck) (listen/buy tape)
My Endless Black (Live) (2014, self-released) (listen/buy)
I Sleep Alone (2014, Big School) (listen/buy LP or cassette)
Old Waves Pt. 2 (2014, Hope For The Tape Deck) (coming soon!)
Press for I Sleep Alone