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Month: January 2016

Painting With One Color

I like to write songs that are sad. I’m great at wistful, bittersweet, hurt. For a long time that was how generally how I felt in life. I got into a groove of writing songs that reflected my inner melancholy. I know the formula: a repetitive piano riff over moving chords, a pleading chorus, a few punch-you-in-the-gut lines. Sadness is my “zone.” But I’m generally not a sad person, at least not anymore. I have…

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Do You Have To Be Tortured To Make Good Art?

Where does inspiration come from? It’s a classic artist conundrum: to be content and uninspired, or unhappy with lots of material. We’re attached to the archetype of the brilliant tortured artist (Kurt Cobain, Elliott Smith) or the musician who only writes songs about breakups (Lily Allen, Taylor Swift).

Given that my favorites are dark, tortured souls (Fiona Apple, The National), I’ve often felt like I had to make a choice in my personal development: to pursue happiness, or to pursue art. But not both.

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