Last week the students in my Writing Close to the Earth online class read George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language." In it ... Read More
Congratulations on the new record, Andy. Thanks to everyone who listened, commented, and shared during our Beyond the Frame launch party. If you missed it, you’ll find Andy’s compiled song descriptions below along with previews of each song.
1. “I Will”
Written for you, the listener.
Andy: Everybody tries to present the best version of themselves on a first date. The opening song on a record is like a first date. This song is the best version of myself – or at least what I aspire to.[audio:IWill.mp3]
2. “The Surface of Things”
Written for a friend in a hurting marriage.
Andy: I have seen a number of marriages that were almost left for dead before they realized there was more to their relationship than figuring out which parent was going to do the dishes while the other one started the bed-time routine for the kids. It can be hard ground to stand on some times, but I trust the soil is way deeper and richer than we can imagine.[audio:TheSurfaceOfThings.mp3]
3. “Any Less True”
Written for a couple of friends who endured the kind of suffering that can’t be appeased with answers.
Andy: I am a mathematical person. I like mathematics. This is my mathematical explanation to myself of God’s perceived silence in the midst of suffering.[audio:AnyLessTrue.mp3]
4. “Line in the Sand”
Inspired by my bowling league and written (at least partially) for some the people at a live TV taping I was a part of years back that will remain nameless, both because I forgot the name of it and because I don’t think they would be flattered by my dedication.
Andy: When I started bowling regularly, I used to make fun of the other people there who took it seriously. Now – five years later – I roll in a bag every week that holds three balls, my custom skull-decorated bowling shoes, and a towel from the Bowling Hall of Fame in Dallas, TX. Just one example of why I like to reserve the right to change my mind or position on any given thing.[audio:LineInTheSand.mp3]
5. “The Same Song”
Written in a Memphis Marriott hotel late one night during Folk Alliance after seeing a room full of people sing a Robby Hecht song to Robby Hecht.
Andy: After all of these years of traveling the country and singing songs, I still feel like one of the things people still need to hear the most is that they are not alone. We have more in common with the people around us (and not around us) than we think.[audio:TheSameSong.mp3]
6. “Favor Is A Foreign Tongue”
Written for a girl I know who stole stuff from me and my friends.
Andy: When I get upset at people, I write songs about them. Sometimes these songs start out in an attempt to exact some kind of passive-agressive revenge. But by the end of the song, I usually find myself – surprised – somewhere on their side of the equation.[audio:FavorIsAForeignTongue.mp3]
7. “Flash in the Pan”
Written about Tom from MySpace, Lou Pearlman and my dad.
Andy: It felt like Britney Spears’ reign atop the music world would last forever. At least it felt that way when it was happening. Now, she is about to start a stint at a Planet Hollywood casino. That is good news for all of us who are currently in the middle of something that feels like it is lasting forever when we don’t want it to.[audio:FlashInThePan.mp3]
8. “My Language”
Written for my wife, Jill, when I was in Sweden with Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive.
Andy: It takes time to learn to communicate with someone just through eye contact. Sometimes those glances are saying “I love you”. Sometimes they are saying “I can’t believe you just said that in front of my mother. You are in BIG trouble!” Sometimes it takes a visit to a land where strangers won’t look you in the eyes to understand that the glances are a gift no matter what they are saying.[audio:MyLanguage.mp3]
9. “The Other Side”
Written with Jill.
Andy: This song is pretty self-explanatory. And if it is true that “love will be the bags we pack for the other side”, then I have a lot more work to do.[audio:TheOtherSide.mp3]
10. “Skinny Jeans”
Written for the super cool hipster band I saw at the Nashville airport.
Andy: I write a lot of songs out of my insecurities. This is most definitely one of those.[audio:SkinnyJeans.mp3]
11. “Sleeping Sound”
Written for my neighbor who has become one of my best friends.
Andy: I had a conversation with my neighbor one day about his anxiety surrounding his son’s future and happiness. During this conversation, his son was running happily in circles around us. This was my feeble attempt to assure him that he had nothing to worry about.[audio:SleepingSound.mp3]
12. “Nowhere To Be Found”
Written for and with my friend, Nathan Tasker.
Andy: I have no clue what it would feel like to hold my dying baby, but I know that I have felt abandoned by God in situations that were much less dire. I truly felt honored to cry my way through writing this song with Nate in an attempt to honor the real feelings that come to the surface in the midst of deep suffering.[audio:NowhereToBeFound.mp3]
13. “Grand Canyon”
Written for the Taskers. All five of them.
Andy: The first time I played “Nowhere To Be Found” live, I wasn’t sure how to transition out of it and ended up just sitting there in awkward silence. I wrote this song to be that transition out of despair. When there is no hope in sight, sometimes it is good to know that our sight is very limited.[audio:GrandCanyon.mp3]