She’s Gonna Wake Up and She’s Gonna Shake Us Off

NOTE: I originally wrote then published this piece on, my music site.

A few years ago I was slogging through the long but great book Collapse by Jarod Diamond. It’s a study on the systematic failings of some of history’s greatest societies and the lessons we could potentially learn from them. Around this time I was sitting on a few melodic pieces of what would eventually become the song Shake Us Off. For a few years it remained mostly incomplete; it had basically stalled. It wasn’t until I finished the masterfully devastating novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy that I was sparked back into action again; dragging the tune to within a few yards of the finish line. The rest of the tweaks and changes happened slowly, most of it fell into place as I was shaping up the recordings for what would eventually be An Underwater Dream, the album it landed on.

I haven’t told anyone this because I feel weird but WTF… after the initial writing rush I was overtaken with some pretty heavy emotions and had myself a VERY unexpected sob. This has only happened once before with songwriting. What Works I started in the heat of an intense and imploding relationship. Crying just isn’t one of my go-to moves. It usually takes quite a lot.

Weary Traveler, which I posted to my Youtube channel a few weeks back, was completed within this same time-frame and basically cut from the same cloth though of a vastly different color. Both Shake Us Off and Weary Traveler really are one-in-the-same sentimentally. It’s not a coincidence they’re back-to-back on the record. Both were born out of my obsession and infatuation with the looming possibility of societal collapse which will probably always be a threat in the “not-too-distant future” of every generation.

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