From the Journal: Hundreds & Thousands & Millions

Songs have long been vehicles of catharsis. Like any other honest human, artists must work through a wide gamut of emotions, and writing can channel those emotions to construct something that synthesizes inconsistency or confusion. Music is a world where things can make sense.

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In the same way musicians manipulate notes and bars and measures, I cling to the possession of control. When I was five or six, my parents took a photograph of my bedroom, where I had arranged all my toy cars in a straight line on the bed. I did the same thing with Legos and stockpiling toy weapons. Nowadays, I like to keep the kitchen counter clear and dishes cleaned, rather than allow them to stack up in the sink.

Writing to Control

As we gathered riffs and lyrics for the recording process of “The Deep End of Hope,” my bandmates and I wanted to ensure the variation of musical styles and lyrical themes throughout the album. I played around with a chord progression on my Taylor (pictured above), and scratched a few additional lines to a song idea from several months prior.

“Hundreds & Thousands & Millions” was a semi-abstract attempt to synthesize a concept very much rooted in realism. Wonder under the immensity of the world mingles with the whispers of loneliness. It’s a classic story theme: man versus the world, man versus himself. External and internal conflict amplify the struggles one faces. This sort of conflict is something people try to reconcile throughout their whole lives.

Writing this track expressed my shot at grasping the reins of control of my life, dealing with the irreconcilable. But trying to maintain control in such an unsure environment is like carrying sand in bare hands; it’s easily lost, slipping between fingers. In the words of a  band I listened to in high school, “Control is something out of mine.

[Click here to download “Hundreds & Thousands & Millions” for free.]

Hundreds & Thousands & Millions

The stars are telling each of their stories tonight

Hundreds and thousands and millions of flickers in the sky

And if this city is filled with hundreds & thousands & millions of people

Then why am I so undeniably alone


I counted the sands of the seashore in my spare time

They numbered in the hundreds and thousands and millions

The jagged edges of rocks pointing up at me

The salty ocean breeze attacks my lungs


So I’ll break the air into hundreds & thousands & millions of pieces

Before I breathe it in tonight, tonight

So I’ll break the air into hundreds & thousands & millions of pieces

Before I go to sleep tonight, tonight, tonight


I’m standing in a crowd but I feel so alone

(Hundreds and thousands and millions of people)

I’m standing in a crowd but I feel so alone


In what way do you exercise your control over something? How do you express externally what’s going on internally?


Read more From the Journal:

Love and Her True Implications.
I Won’t Die in Roseville.
Hang On.
Ink & Paper.
Don’t Run Away.


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