How I Wrote it: "Chicago"

The last song on my record is titled "Chicago." It's a very minimalist track featuring myself on acoustic guitar, vocals and electric piano. I do a lot of performances where it is just me and an acoustic guitar and I wanted a song on record that captured that vibe. Of all the songs on the record this is the 'newest' song - in fact I finished writing it the night before my last day in the studio.

I started writing "Chicago" towards the end of the recording process. It was a fairly fast song to write. I finished it the night before my last day in the studio. I remember making a quick demo of the song on my iPhone and I e-mailed it to my producer along with the lyrics I had written.  This was about 10pm. The next morning around 9:30am I was back in the studio. Carey liked the song and made me record it right then. It was an awesome experience to literally go from the writing process to the recording process in a matter of hours. This didn't give me a whole lot of time to rehearse the tune very much or overthink it - this helped maintain the raw vibe I was going for. 

The tune itself is perhaps the most autobiographical track on the record. It's no secret that several years ago I found myself relocating to Chicago for a relationship. Ultimately, the relationship did not work out but I was left with a great affinity for the city. Having moved back to North Carolina I found myself missing Chicago and made the decision to return - this time on my own terms. This almost prophetic element of the tune is another reason that sets it apart.

So often as a songwriter I tend to feel very transparent, but I think it's the real honest writing that people notice. Sometimes I'll get to this song in my live show and skip over it because it just feels too personal. At the same time, putting my insecurities aside and going for it is something that an audience almost always responds to. 

Check out the track below: