I began writing this song after a text conversation with my friend Kyle Andrews about our shared sadness and frustration at all the shootings and apathy about gun control in the USA. I felt like it was a crisis that somehow wasn't emotionally impacting people enough, and both of us were at a loss for what to do. The only thing I really know how to do is write songs, so I knew I needed to try to come up with something if for no other reason than to express my sadness and angst about everything. In our conversation, Kyle almost casually mentioned the phrase "I thought this was a safe place", and that sort of gathered and focused everything in my mind. It said pretty much everything we were thinking in seven little words.
Within a day or two, I had written a little vignette consisting of what is now verse three and a chorus. I thought that little thing was the song. I was done. Kyle heard it, liked it, but thought that the concept of the song shouldn't be limited to its rather narrow scope. He gave me an idea or two, and a couple days later, I had verse two.
I sent the song to my friend and collaborator Patrick Damphier who had produced the debut Pale Houses EP a couple years back. I asked if he wanted to work on it. Somewhat to my surprise, he did. However, he too felt like the song could delve deeper still. And so we emailed ideas back and forth until we had written what later would become verse one.
It should be stated that I'm not much of a co-writer. What I mean by that is that I tend to view songwriting as something personal and downright precious/fragile. I don't usually (never?) want people meddling in that process. My favorite songwriters tend to have a singular voice and message, and I prefer it that way. I hate the whole image of five people in a writing studio trying to find the most manipulative lowest common denominator. That's not what happened here. These are good friends who are great musicians and writers and who latched on to the concept of the song from the beginning and finishing it became a labor of love.
It's sort of a departure for all of us, but I really hope you enjoy what we made.
released March 18, 2016
music by Aaron Robinson
lyrics by Aaron Robinson, Patrick Damphier, and Kyle Andrews
Pale Houses (this time) is:
Aaron Robinson - vocals, guitar
Patrick Damphier - drums, percussion, synths, etc.
Russ Pahl - pedal steel
produced by Patrick Damphier
recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Damphier at Club Roar, Nashville, TN, Winter 2016
cover image by Elizabeth Williams
special thanks to the other members of Pale Houses (Ryan Rayborn, Josh Hood, & Aaron Yung) for letting me explore this song and release it under the Pale Houses moniker.
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