This may be my favorite recording. The lyrics are clever and consistent and the music is simple but interesting. I still enjoy playing all of these songs and they regularly end up in my sets.
I had a tough time recording this album since I was finishing a Computer Science degree at DePaul University and had an unemployed roommate and all I wanted to do was record in private and get these ideas out as soon as possible so I could be admired for all the unique and creative ideas I thought came up with. These lyrics are deliberately more religious than the first two albums. I wanted to create something more mature and personal. A lot of Christian influenced music is exclusive and cold (on purpose) and this was my first attempt at trying present my views in an accessible and universal way to music I would listen to if I didn't write it myself. The production is a minimalistic and folk influenced reaction to the ideas that came out in Bush and meant to bring more attention to the lyrics and melodies than in previous recordings. I really enjoy dual-vocal, call-and-response type lyrics and I am proud that I could write some of my own. I purposely wrote Sow, Ring, and Reflection to include Maid Marion and relieve myself of vocal responsibilities.
Flight is a good example of me breaking my own rules. The Rule is: Never write about emotional current events because they always end up cheesy and forced. Well, in this case always was changed to usually. I am really proud of these lyrics. I even put these words on my first web page (before I had written the music). The hymn-like music just came to me one day and there it was. This song is also on my first compilation appearance on VBM. I should have used trained singers and a real trumpet player. I had a great vision for Sow and couldn't execute it the way I wanted. But it is still a great song that I spent a lot of time on. It took on many forms with lyrics that changed often until I settled on this one. When I was finished recording and cleaning up dead space on the tape, I accidentally deleted the very end of the percussion part. I was so angry I wanted to break things. I decided to drop a cup full of loose-change to mask the blank space instead of recording the whole part over again. The drumset part at the end was recorded at Auckland Bach's house on his drumset. I like how Ring is centered around one chord. I used an upside down snare drum (because the top was missing), ride cymbal, and floor tom for the mimicked drumset part. Reflection is my first traditional three-finger banjo and folk style arrangement. I like it a lot but sometimes I am embarrassed to play it because I think it is too cheesy. Devil Death had to be redone so here it is with a better pace and breaks. I recorded it in the upper part of Maid Marion's garage and you can barely hear birds in the background if you listen close. I thought this was cool until I remembered that they were in the background of a couple of Damien Jurado songs. Cowboy also had to be redone to make it more listenable. I sing the line, "land called Wisconsin" as "land o'er the Mountains" now to make it less personal. I meant to record this version that way also but forgot. I love when the slide guitar and keyboard combine with the banjo uke. There was a time when I wanted to feature at least one banjo, banjo uke, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drumset, percussion, keyboard, etc. part on each album but now I just do what I feel is best for the songs (or maybe I'm just lazy). Sentences has a nice picking pattern that goes from major to minor equivalent. The lyrics are just as vague as Ring which I like because they can apply to anything.