From the Journal: I Won’t Die In Roseville

As I’ve previously shared, journaling has been a consistent part of my daily routine for nine years or so. One of the byproducts of this, combined with picking up a guitar in high school, has been forming words into verses and choruses and melodies.

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Songwriting has often been described as cathartic, beneficial to the songwriter perhaps more than to his audience. It’s an introspective process for me, especially because I prefer to write lyrics with more substance rather than just catchy pop hooks. Of course, it’s golden to strike both with one or two lines.

photo credit: Karen Kruse Photography

Telephonic

During my final semester of college, my friends and I went on a songwriting frenzy. We were out to write, record and fully produce an album of original music before graduation. Assembled under the name Telephonic, practicing in basements and bedrooms. Guitars and amps and computers and mics and recording equipment were gathered. We reserved time in TV studios and radio control rooms of our college’s communications building. We even solicited advice and studio time from a real, experienced producer.

I admire the musical chops of Brian Kalwat, Brice Labelle, Daniel Sullivan, and Daniel Stewart. They each brought a unique and tasteful style to the album. We argued over drum fills and labored over guitar tone. We grew tired during late nights of meticulous listening and tweaking. But we made each other better. And we think the album is better off because of it.

The Deep End of Hope

We called the album, “The Deep End of Hope.”  A lot of the lyrics came from some of the scribbles already in my journal from years past. Some came from Brice’s perpetual songwriting, some from a collaboration between us during jam sessions.

[Click here to download the album, “The Deep End of Hope,” for free.]

Early in the writing process, we joked about the trend that many of the graduates of our college didn’t move far away after receiving a diploma. It’s kind of like Roseville (the suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul where our college was located) had a magnetic force keeping them close. So to keep our spirits high and dream about the potential of our futures, we swore to each other that would wouldn’t die in Roseville.

For the opening track of the album, we needed something energetic, unique, and representative of the whole sound of the record. It  felt it needed to encapsulate Telephonic’s music and draw the listener into the experience, and it needed to be lyrically substantial. Here’s what we came up with:

I Won’t Die In Roseville

First time staying out all night, she loves the college life

This far out in the suburbs no one can find the nightlife

And she will search these cities for meaning

But every inch will turn up empty

.

These Twin Cities have nothing to do with each other but their place

This city is a ghost town, all the crowds are staying out of sight

But the few and the chosen take to the streets in pursuit of a fuller life

Take to the streets in pursuit of a fuller life

.

We won’t get carried away

And we won’t back down

Cause we won’t die here

.

And everyone is driving

Up and down Snelling Avenue

.

Life is rushing by, as we die here in Roseville

We’re listening intently for our call to leave

And we would like to know, sooner than later

Where we are meant to be, ’cause we know it’s not Roseville

.

She’ll take tonight for what it’s worth, start the page of a brand new story

She’ll see each breath is not in vain when there’s a deeper plotline

Drive fast, she’ll get out of shallow narratives

This city’s secret keeps her sedated

.

Life is rushing by, as we die here in Roseville

We’re listening intently for our call to leave

And we would like to know, sooner than later

Where we are meant to be, ’cause we know it’s not Roseville

‘Cause we know it’s not Roseville

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Do you write music or lyrics or poetry? Share it below.

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Read more From the Journal:

Love and Her True Implications.
Destiny.
Hundreds & Thousands & Millions.
Hang On.
Look.
Ink & Paper.
Don’t Run Away.
Diluvium.

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