Do you remember your first kiss?
A few weeks ago my mom stopped by for dinner and brought with her a shoebox she had found in the basement. The box, now flimsy and tattered, contained love letters and notes from elementary school up through college. I laughed when she gave them to me. Over the years she’s dropped off countless things from my childhood whenever she decides it is time to redistribute the stuff neither of us knows what to do with any longer. When she left, I almost just tossed them aside. However, on top of the pile, I caught a glimpse of something that caused sensory memories to start flooding back. I took a sip of beer, mumbled “fuck it” under my breath, and pulled a few folded pieces of paper from the box.
I recognized handwriting. I recalled the way specific notes were folded. Ink colors. Inside jokes. Faded pencil sketches of pen-names and scribbled between class “I love you’s.” I started to feel long-buried memories of when these little pieces of paper, pre-cell phone and instant messaging, meant everything to me. When each letter represented possibilities and of being so in love that these possibilities, these fleeting ideas of a future, all felt inevitable. And each, now, clearly also representing a moment of heartbreak; of unfulfilled youthful promises.
“The whole process has felt reminiscent of the music industry from another time, and has restored a bit of faith in launching this project through a major label system,” Johnson tells Billboard. “There is a deep connection to the music; not just to the metrics, algorithms, or play counts. It’s refreshing to be working with a company that has ears.”
“I was trying to find love for music by making it for other people, and it wasn’t working for me,” he says. “You get older and it becomes about maintenance, maintaining what you’ve made in your life. I had to start almost completely from scratch and write a couple of very left-of-center, sad songs to help me discover what I wanted to say.”
And from New York City Monthly:
I don’t think you need to close one door to start to open another necessarily. It’s not like I’m in two marriages. I’m creating some music, putting it out there, seeing if people like it, playing some tunes. I’m trying to express myself in that way, and it’s like I still have a group of best friends that I played music with for a really long time. The past is fun, though.