Last Friday, the second single from the new album came out. It’s called “Hold My Son,” and it might be my favorite song on the record.

I started writing it the morning of the presidential inauguration back in 2017. I can already hear some of you squirming in your seat, wondering where this is going. I don’t want to get too deep into the political weeds here if I can help it, so I’ll attempt to summarize rather than adding one more rant into the abyss of the internet. Continue reading


It’s been a long time coming, this record. I think I wrote the first song for it back in 2015 or 2016. Planned to record it in 2017, ended up recording it in 2018.

And here we are now, with our calendars/planners/online widgets saying February 2019, and the first single of the record is finally getting to see the light of day.

In the grand scheme of the universe, or even in the mid-sized scheme of pop music in America, that probably won’t raise many ripples. But in the tiny scheme of my own journey, it feels worth celebrating. (Celebrating is, perhaps, a relative term. Tomorrow it looks like watching old Mr. Rogers episodes with my 2-year-old who is stuck at home with some version of pink eye.)

Better Man cover final

listen to “better man” now

I’ve always had mixed feelings about artists who over-explain their songs, but if you’ll humor me, I’ll share some of the backstory on these new tracks.

“Better Man” is not only the first single, it’s also the first track on the record. And if you’ve listened to any of my stuff before, you’ll notice pretty quickly that we’re not in Kansas anymore, so to speak. There isn’t a single note of acoustic piano on the record, and that space has been filled with rhodes and wurlitzer (i.e. old electric pianos), and layer after layer of analog synths.

As for the lyrics, well, here goes a rambling attempt to unpack this one. Continue reading


Most days, I’m more comfortable interacting with characters in a book than actual humans. Some people call it introversion. Other people call it being a nerd, I suppose.

Contrary to what you may hear, there are a lot of pros to being an introvert/nerd. But one of the cons is that it can be difficult to make a new friend. So a lot of my friends are books.

But you know what’s even better than being friends with a book? Being friends with a library. And that’s just what happened to me recently.

boombox

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“…they were accepting each other back, and that feeling, that feeling of being accepted back again and again, of someone’s affection for you expanding to encompass whatever new flawed thing had just manifested in you, that was the deepest, dearest thing.”

—Eber in George Saunders’s “Tenth of December”


I used to have a pair of blue corduroy pants that didn’t fit right. During the years I owned them, they went from being too tight to be fashionable to being too baggy to be fashionable. Some days during college, if I felt like I was getting overly concerned with how I looked, I would make myself wear those funny pants. Forced humility through a little self-humiliation, I guess. We humans are odd.

0xeqj06wgro-steve-halama

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It’s a Friday afternoon
Or maybe a Thursday
Sometimes it’s hard to say

I’ve felt a fog throughout
However many days
Have happened so far this week

We are small town people
Living in bigger towns,
Pretending we’ve always been.


Good Wednesday to you, friends.

If you happen to be new to the Internet, there’s a thing called Pandora that’s kind of like radio, except that it plays songs you like instead of playing “Pillowtalk” by Zayn again and again.

pandora
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Good Wednesday, friends.

I’ve been thinking a bit about houses. Most of us rent one or own one or sleep on the couch of a friend who does. And in most cases, these houses have funny little quirks about them, things that don’t quite work the way they’re supposed to. Maybe you have to lean your shoulder into the door to get the lock to catch, or maybe you can’t use the microwave and the hairdryer at the same time without blowing a fuse, or maybe you get a lot of ladybugs in your upstairs every spring.
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Yesterday I turned 30 years old.

I think that milestone seems scary to some people, but so far it feels just about right to me. So often in life, it doesn’t seem like anything is really happening, but then you look back over a big chunk of years and see that things have indeed changed. Somewhere along the way, you became more of the person you are becoming. It may not be happening on the timeline you envisioned, but it’s happening nonetheless.
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