a november life
released: May 20, 2008
re-released: August 1, 2019
1. a conversation - lyrics
2. coffee and lighthouses - lyrics
3. rubicon - lyrics
4. babies and life lessons- lyrics
5. colorless - lyrics
6. green eyes and black lights - lyrics
7. laine - lyrics
8. ric - lyrics
9. glow - lyrics
10. burned - lyrics
11. ten thousand telescopes - lyrics
12a. bonus track: sunrise - lyrics
12b. bonus track: miss lucy lue - lyrics
A November Life means a lot to me, and I struggle to write about it without sounding romantic or cliché. It was the first collection of songs I really put a lot of time into (writing, recording, and mixing), and in a lot of ways I'm still the 17-year-old boy who created it. I still play the songs at shows, and when I do, it still comes from the heart.
I can vividly remember recording and mixing the album. I set up a mic at the back of the piano upstairs and another on a boom stand for vocals, ran cables down our stairs to the family desktop in the basement, and used 1/8" converters to plug the cables into the microphone jacks. I'd perform songs straight through multiple times after hitting the record button and running upstairs so I wasn't running up and down the stairs hitting start and stop. I'd record when no one else what at home so they couldn't hear my mistakes and so there wasn't any background noise on the recordings. There was considerable bleed between the two mics (aka when the piano mic picked up vocals and vice versa) so I had to do a lot of work with EQ and reverb and filters when mixing to try to get the balance right. This album has the most processing of anything I've done, and it's the most "studio" album I've done in the sense that there are extra instruments and effects I can't reproduce live.
I often feel like I need to apologize for this album when people buy it because I don't feel the recording quality is good enough for people to spend money on. But in reality, I was a 17-year-old kid who had never taken classes in recording, was reading tutorials online, and was passionate about what he was doing. I poured hours into recording and mixing this, and for what I produced, and I'm proud of it. Is it what people are used to for album production? Probably not, but when you know how old I was and what I had to work it, it's kind of awesome that A November Life turned out like it did.
The album turned ten in 2019, and I've thought several times about re-recording it. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. The jury is still out. Regardless, I'll keep playing parts of it at shows, and I hope you'll give it a listen and read the stories behind the songs. This album is very personal to me, and I was in a pretty healthy place when I wrote it. Several albums since then have been more dark, but this album has the warmth of fall to it. I was born in November and always pictured my life as an embodiment of the fall: it could be quiet, it could be loud, it could be cold, cool, or warm, it had days of beautiful leaves and days of naked limbs, it was full, and it was simple. I lived a November life, and this album put it into words.