Plano, Texas is a very special place, but in a much more real sense it's nothing special whatsoever. As the vibrancy and old money of Dallas continue to chase away the final vestiges of rural torpor in its once-agrarian suburb, citizens of Plano are just close enough to the action to taste it, yet removed enough to remain bristling at their suburban boredom. It was here that I spent my entire childhood, and I couldn't be more grateful to my hometown. After all, if my predominantly unremarkable surroundings hadn't forced me to get a hobby, I might have never picked up a guitar.
I started playing my dad's old guitar at age fifteen, and I was motivated largely out of jealousy that most of my friends played instruments and I didn't. Anytime they would jam after school, I would be the guy in the corner playing the tambourine, dancing like a middle-schooler, trying desperately to seem like a cohesive piece of an obviously dissonant whole. Usually people don't look back fondly on the times they gave in to peer pressure, but in this case it worked out for the best. I taught myself by watching YouTube covers of Iron & Wine songs, and my parents are truly a testament to the resilience of the human spirit for not throwing me out during those first few months before I'd learned to play either quietly or well. Eventually I got tired of playing covers, and luckily the timing of my interest in songwriting aligned well with the emergence of the concomitant identity crisis that's almost more characteristic of the high school experience than classes or books. So I wrote. I wrote in class and I wrote at home; on camping trips and road trips and field trips I wrote. At least three songs on this album were written while watching "Law and Order: SVU" marathons into the wee hours of the morning. I wrote out of boredom and I wrote out of passion, and I often found that it was when writing mindlessly that I could cajole sentiments from my subconscious that had been percolating, unarticulated, for longer than I'd realized.
Most of these songs were written when I was sixteen or seventeen, and for the entire time I was in high school the only people who even knew I wrote songs were the immediate circle of friends with whom I shared them. Eventually, however, as I gained the nerve to share with more people, I realized my extreme fortune in having known these people who had supported me when I didn't think I'd written anything worth playing beyond the setting of a convivial bedroom with friends passing a guitar back and forth. These same friends who convinced me to pick up music came to help make this record a reality, and it unquestionably could not have been done without them. So listen at your leisure and think about what you hear; there's nothing cooler in the world to me than the idea that these songs are helping someone somewhere the same way they helped me. These are songs for love, for rage, for fear, for apathy, for growing up, for getting old, for moving on, and for coming home. --Travis C Klein
released April 21, 2015
Travis Colegrove Klein - acoustic guitar, lyrics, lead vocals, bells, group vocals
Mitchell Ross McDonough - bass, backup/group vocals
Richard Brown Welday - electric guitar, melodica
Michael Baldwin - trumpet, piano, backup/group vocals
Guy Ceretti - drums
Album artwork by the lovely and talented Sarah Shaffer
Recorded, mixed, and mastered at Civil Recording in Denton, TX by the paragon of patience himself, Michael Briggs
Additional thanks to my parents, my sister Sarah, Andrew, Mr. and Mrs. Welday, Hong, Bonnie, Denver, Alex Montenegro, Kyle Farley, Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. Lichty, and whoever it was at the USA Network who decided to make semiweekly marathons of SVU a thing.
And the biggest extra-huge thanks goes to Mitchell McDonough. Thank you for seeing something in those poorly sung, sloppily played phone demos even when I didn't, and being excited to hear whatever dumb song I'd written after another day of not knowing how to deal with things. It took me a while to work up the self-assurance to share these songs, and a lot of the reason I eventually did was that you were there to listen to me air my grievances and play the same tired chords and yet still called me a good songwriter. Any success I ever have at this is largely owed to you, and I really mean that. You're one of my favorite lyricists and you're better than me at tennis and you're a really really good friend.
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