Listening back to a burnt CD of rough song demos I’d written over the past few years, I began to see with clarity a preoccupation with journeys or, in an equally broad sense, travel. In most of the songs, the protagonist or speaker is going somewhere. Of the songs I selected for Roam, each tune has its own vessel: car, foot, train, rollercoaster, wing, water, horse, plane, ship, time. Additionally, like the monomythical hero’s journey, each tune loosely corresponds with a different stage of a voyage. As such, the order of the songs mattered to me in piecing together a sense of unity for the listener. Inspired by great concept albums, I wanted to make something grand and ambitious.There are songs about beginnings, trials and tribulations, crossing the threshold into the unknown, supernatural aid, revelations, transformations, atonement, and return.
The title track gives a time-lapsed vision of a girl going out on her own in pursuit of a thrilling life.
“The Reason” details the ultimate objective of our toils: finding comfort, beauty, and the freedom to keep trying to reflect that beauty in our art.
“See It Coming” realizes there is no easy road to happiness.
“Level Headed Blues” surveys the perseverance and compromises required to sustain the long haul.
“Through the Window” addresses the danger awaiting naive thrillseekers.
“Penelope Goes to Sea” is the anti-siren song, urging the listener to keep going.
“Rollercoaster” addresses the strain and reality of noble pursuits.
“Horse to Water” is the canteen at the end of the desert.
“Soul Burning” is the transformation and new perspective from atop the precipice.
“Flight” is the hero’s return.
“If I Ever Left This Train” is the recognition of indelible change, reflection on the journey, and commitment to embark on a new one.
Whether or not a sense of unity comes through, it was my ultimate goal to make something exciting and adventurous to listen to. After all, making my first album was an adventure in and of itself.
As always, thanks for listening!
ROAM is now available for purchase at bandcamp.com and cdbaby.com.
You can also listen to it on Youtube and Spotify.
Please check out josephhouckmusic.com.
Stay tuned for my next blog: “A Note on Recording Roam”