Part according to plan & part in reaction to circumstances beyond our control blowing that plan up, I ended up doing nearly as much touring solo as we did full-band on Instigator, which, in its original presentation, was mostly a pretty full-on fuzzy power-pop record. It’s fun & challenging figuring out how to present the songs in each format so they feel equally compelling; with Instigator, I found the songs really felt like they made sense both ways, and ended up demanding an alternate presentation to highlight different strengths. It was, as always, a treat tackling that alongside Chris Bracco, my longest-standing creative collaborator, responsible here for production, mixing, and art design.
For the three songs that were already acoustic in presentation, we decided to build around piano/synth/other voices, and bring in three excellent friends way more qualified than I am to do that credibly. Will Schalda, who performs as SWIVS and plays with Charles Bradley & Budos Band, handled “Freddie Gray Blues;” Laura Burhenn, who plays as The Mynabirds and has toured as a member of Bright Eyes & The Postal Service, transformed “No One Says You Have To;” and Nandi Rose Plunkett, who plays as Half Waif & is a member of Pinegrove, opened up “I Was Alive Back Then.” They all absolutely and uniquely killed it.
I think the record stands as its own document, has its own voice, and completes the full story of these songs. I hope you feel the same.
- No Why
- Magic Magnet
- Freddie Gray Blues (Ft. Swivs)
- No History
- Both Ways
- No One Says You Have To (Ft. The Mynabirds)
- Guard Your Gates
- Before You’re Here
- I Was Alive Back Then (Ft. Half Waif)