I posted this on FB a while ago, but I wanted to be sure to document it here, as well. A few years ago, Dan asked me to help him with this project, and after hearing the music, I readily agreed. It has been such a privilege to lend my voice to these gorgeous songs. I thought I’d just write down a few notes about some of these songs, while they’re fresh in my mind.
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OPEN WINDOW: For a long while, this one was easily my favorite. It’s one of the rare songs that I wish I would have written. It feels like it came from my soul, and it leaves me feeling like Dan is a kindred soul. I am always taken with ethereal, enchanting media – and this is certainly that. These lyrics are inspired by the myth of Eros and Psyche. I imagine Psyche, in the very beginning of their relationship, being enthralled and maybe even reverent about the depth and intensity of their relationship, about Eros himself . . . but simultaneously feeling a little bewildered, curious, a sense of tentative foreboding.
FADED COLORS: On the fleeting nature of memory and nostalgia. I imagine the “you” in the song is more of a feeling, or state of being, than a specific person. Back to a time when a certain pain or stress or awareness hadn’t yet entered your life. I love how this turned out.
TEARS AND ASHES: There are definitely a few people I was thinking of when singing this. I tried to embody each chorus with a new emotion or context. I don’t know that anything is as painful as giving love, and not being loved, seen, held in return. But, in my experience, the colors shift around that pain as we re-frame our narratives around it: quiet hope, brokenness, desperation, anger, judgement, resolve. I hope some of that comes through in the performance. So many gorgeous lines in this piece. “I’d give all I have, I’d give all I am to find you at my door.” “Are you willing now, aren’t you willing now to love me as I am?” “You’ll feel me blowing through the shadows within.” Ugh. Such a evocative blend of sadness and boldness. Is it what the speaker hopes? Is it what she promises? Is it what she threatens?
SCARLET: This song feels so close to home for me at this point in time. Being misunderstood, misread, misrepresented is such a wrenching experience – in either direction. I feel like this chorus is something I need to repeat to myself often: “I will not be painted scarlet, I will not be veiled in white, I am made of both the darkness and the light.” I DO “have to move my own way.” And remembering this helps me remember that everyone one else needs to move their own way, as well.
WAYSIDE: This song is a balm on all of the pain we see, cannot explain, and can never solve. It’s a very particular lesson (a particular kind of grief) to watch a loved one experience pain that you can’t feel, share, trade. What does it mean to keep seeing and loving those in pain, knowing that your anger or bitterness or confusion isn’t helpful. Acceptance. Surrender. Hope without making predictions, or promises, or maybe even plans. Such a tricky experience, and such a beautiful song.
ANNIVERSARY SONG: Yet another “radical acceptance” sort of sentiment. Love is so many things. We owe it to ourselves and our partners to keep looking for it–to keep looking for them–knowing it, and they, will change.
BRAVE ENOUGH: I didn’t sing this (much to my personal dismay, though, I accept that Dave is/was/always will be the right choice), but it always makes me cry. “I am scared to lose you. When did your hair begin to fade? I’m not prepared to see the new lines in your face. Oh, am I brave enough to watch you change?” Crying now. Will be crying more when the last chorus comes round.
Please listen to this gorgeous album, and give Dan a follow on your favorite platform(s) to make sure you never miss future music releases. https://www.dantatepiano.com/maybelove
Happy Beauty Building,