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Nightfall
Week 5 of 5 | September 23, 2014
This final song of the Nightfall Video Series is probably the most meaningful to me.

This was the first song that I co-wrote with Emma Harvey. I remember sitting on the couch writing with her, with two verses and no chorus. We waited for that chorus for a good 3 hours until it finally found us.

The idea of impending Nightfall is exciting and also terrifying. It's a concept that has shaped all of the songs on this EP, but particularly the track that bears its name. Nightfall finds us whether we are ready for it or not. It covers our entire world.

Making this EP is the most important thing I have done in a long time. It was two weeks of a few people coming together, putting all of our efforts into making something meaningful. As the week went on I was able to watch the songs that started as my simple creations become all of our songs. I am so humbled by the people that I got to walk through this with. You should know them too.

Matt Taylor:
My dearest brother who is probably the best person I know. Matt did so much more than play bass on these songs. He wrote every string part, he was the final head nod for every new mandolin part, and he was the overall glue of the entire project. Matt sat with me before every practice to go over how we wanted to express the real feeling of each song through the instrumentation. But even more than being a musical genius, Matt's spirit is contagious. He made the music come to life.

Emma Harvey:
My best friend and my musical soulmate. There is nothing quite like the happiness I have when we make music together. There were so many days of Emma and I sitting on my bed hashing out harmonies and mandolin parts. Emma genuinely gets swept up in the music. I am so humbled that she takes my songs and makes them something worth getting swept up in. A smart friend once said "Emma's harmonies are like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer, covering my whole body." Nothing could be truer.

Andy Munoz:
Andy Munoz is the audio wizard behind it all. I owe my life to Andy Munoz. But he's more than just a great sound engineer- Andy is also good at everything in the entire world. His musical ear was so essential to the direction that the songs went in. He has a work ethic like I've never seen and he accepts payment in boxes of goldfish.

Jason Kollar:
Jason is probably the coolest out of all of us. Jason made all of my drumming dreams come true and he never complained when I made him use brushes. We love Jason.

Kenneth Coca:
I am so honored to have Kenneth on this EP. Kenneth played in one of my first shows with me here in Nashville and has been with me for everything since. I can't imagine these songs without him. Obviously he is an amazing musician, but he is an even more amazing person. Kenneth, you are light.

Chase Wofford:
Though chase is not on this EP. He was the original writer of the drum parts on "Sleep" and "Time Will Tell." Chase knows how to write a drum part that sings.

Blythe Thomas:
Blythe drove us around the entire city to film five videos in two days. She is so talented at what she does and makes us look so much cooler than we are. As matt would say, "She makes us look like cool, disgruntled youths."

Anna Teeter:
Anna takes the coolest pictures and teaches me how to make normal faces for the camera.

La Luna Styling:
I don't know how to pick out outfits. My friends at La Luna are responsible for all of it.

Thank you to all of these friends involved and to all of you reading and watching my posts! I really do love you guys so much.

"Now to him is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever Amen!" - Eph. 4:20
Sleep
Week 4 of 5 | September 16, 2014
"And if you're not asleep,
cause you're up there somewhere sitting back just listening,
but you won't speak,
and you'll say that it's all for the best cause you know me,
do you know me?"

Sometime last year my friend was telling me that throughout the Bible the Lord is constantly asking us to wake up, to open our eyes and see Him all around us. I remember nodding my head in agreement thinking that I was very much awake, but I hadn't seen or heard from the Lord in a long time. So long that I was sure He had been asleep.

He wasn't.

The truth is that sometimes He's just quiet. And faith is believing through the silent moments. It stings a little at first. I wrote "Sleep" when it stung.
Time Will Tell
Week 3 of 5 | September 9, 2014
This is a silly song.

It didn't feel silly at that time. And occasionally it still doesn't.

To place your heart in the hands of another is scary. It's definitely scary. But to hold another's heart is a different kind of fear. A gripping fear because... I don't know what time will tell me. And I don't really have control.

What if I realize I'm not supposed to be holding anyone's heart? Or what if no one is supposed to be holding mine? I pretty much decided to let this fear swallow me whole while I wrote this song.

Then I finished.

And I looked at my fearful, mind on the page in front of me and remembered trust. Not in myself or in anyone else, but trust in Christ. And suddenly the song was silly! Of course I don't know what time will tell me. But I do know what time is telling me right now. To enjoy and to live and to breath with ease. To altogether forget about tomorrow. And to forget how to worry.

That's what time tells me.
Fortress
Week 2 of 5 | September 2, 2014
In my first few years of songwriting I figured that writing about boys and love and first kisses was the norm. So I did. A lot.

I think I was under the impression that it was the only thing to write about. But because I never had any personal experience in that field, my "love" songs were just about as bubbly as they come.

"Fortress" was written long after that phase. As it turns out, writing music about a genuine relationship is much more difficult.

Everything is suddenly real and much harder to explain.

"Fortress," at its simplest, is about that feeling of being so in sync with someone, so connected that it's like living in a different world. About the feeling that being alone with him drowns out all the other noises in my head.

The happiest kind of quiet.

And even if this is only for a moment, how amazing to know that something like this exists.

Somehow my high school teen pop songs just didn't understand this concept.
Nashville
Week 1 of 5 | August 26, 2014
As far as songwriting goes, I'm as inefficient as it gets. I'll spend 3 hours wrestling with one line. So to all my songwriting professors out there that are trying to teach me how to co-write... bless your heart.

However this song was done in about twenty minutes. It felt like the song pretty much wrote itself. It was pretty amazing because songs are usually more timid when we first meet.

I remember sitting down in my freshman dorm room and convincing myself that Nashville was where I was supposed to be. I decided that majoring in songwriting was my calling because I was "really going for it" with music.

Turns out everyone in Nashville is "really going for it."

I think that all hope that I had for my life was in music. Coming to Nashville and becoming a singer/songwriter was pretty much THE answer. So basically, if my hands stopped working and I became tone deaf, then I would just have to move back in with my parents and lay in my bed for the rest of my life.

But, very slowly and very painfully I learned that hope isn't something that I could create for myself. As hard as I work and as much of myself that I put into pursuing music, music hasn't made me full yet and I don't think it will.

However, I did find what I was looking for here.

It's not the music itself but the maker of music that found me and told me that He is my purpose. That He is Hope.
Team (Lord Cover)
March 28, 2014
When I grow up, I would like to be Lorde. She's 16.
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