Valley Maker Examines the Temporality of the Day-to-Day on "Branch I Bend" (KEXP Premiere + Interview)

Interviews, KEXP Premiere
Jasmine Albertson
photo by Bree Burchfield

They may say you can never go home again, but in 2019 Valley Maker’s Austin Crane and his wife turned their noses up at the well-known idiom and did just that, trading the grey, liberal, metropolitan city of Seattle for the famously hot capital city of the historical and racially divided state of South Carolina. And as change frequently does, the experience proved to be creatively inspiring for Crane. The uncertainty surrounding the decision and reflection on the life he was leaving behind are foundational touchpoints on his forthcoming and best Valley Maker record When the Day Leaves.

The singer-songwriter had spent the better part of a decade in the Emerald City, after getting his PhD in human geography at the University of Washington. Here, in between classes and exams, he had grown Valley Maker into a touring, Frenchkiss Records-signed bonafide band, with a number of name-droppable friends amongst the sprawling Seattle music scene. But before that, in the aforementioned “famously hot” town of Columbia, it was simply a college thesis project, raw in presentation and unencumbered by expectation.

This cyclicality and the temporality of life is examined within the context of the mundane minutiae of the day-to-day in “Branch I Bend.” The first song on the record and last single to be released before the record drops tomorrow could be seen as a workday anthem, as it points out the sometimes-defeating trudge of another day passing you by. Before you know it, you realize that time, people, and beauty have been fading away and you’ll do anything to hang onto it. The opening lyrics, “Hold on, day, don’t cut me loose” set the thematic tone for Valley Maker’s gorgeously ruminative fourth record.

KEXP is excited to share “Branch I Bend” via a finger-plucked live video shot by Dust of the Ground in Columbia. The solo rendition strips down the Trevor Spencer-produced original that includes contributions from Fleet Foxes’ Morgan Anderson on woodwinds and frequent collaborator Amy Godwin on backing vocals. Other contributors peppered throughout the pre-pandemic-recorded album include drummer Chris Icasiano, Abbey Blackwell, and Fleet Foxes’ Casey Westcott, among others.

Crane spoke with KEXP about the collaborative and “sweet” experience of making When the Day Leaves, the pros and cons of returning to his hometown, and how he’s balancing a career in education with a life in music. Read the interview and watch the video for “Branch I Bend” below.



KEXP: You've got like a month-ish until the album comes out, which is exciting. How are you feeling about it?

Austin Crane: Yeah it is. It really is. I recorded this record actually in Seattle right before I moved to South Carolina, which was right before the pandemic and everything. So it's been so fun to feel like it finally is getting out in the world. And it's been something I've been looking forward to for a while and kind of have known was in the distance even during the strangest times of the pandemic. So I know we're still like in that, but it feels really great to be putting the record out now.

Yeah! It's probably giving you some hope to carry on. Something to look forward to.

Yeah, exactly. And just a way to connect with people, to have conversations like this about the music and life and stuff. But also, you know, I just hope shows can come back soon. We'll see about that. But even just in social media and whatnot, it's been nice to put some stuff out there and get to just share some messages with people kind of all over the world and places that I would be touring if I was going to do that in the coming weeks, you know.



Yeah. Staying engaged.

Exactly. Yeah. How are things in Seattle? I miss it there a lot.

Yeah, it's good. The weather's been all over the place. We have had like crazy torrential downpours the past few weeks or so. And then it'll be sunny for a few days. I don't know, it's out of control. What's it like in South Carolina right now?

Well, you know, my memory – because I grew up in this area – my memory is that the winters are pretty mild. And I think they usually are. And it's sunny most of the time here. But honestly, the last like three or four weeks, I've had friends here texting me, being like, "You brought Seattle here." [laughs] It's been gray and rainy and in the thirties, like for a month, it feels like. So yeah, I feel like here it gets cold for a short time in the winter like this, and then it'll be like seventy degrees in February. It's kind of weird like that. It doesn't stay. It's actually too hot for my liking for a lot of the year so I need to enjoy this time.

Oh absolutely. So you moved back there a couple of years ago from Seattle. My question is, why would you ever want to leave such an expensive, gray, tech bro-filled city? [laughs]

[laughs] Well, yeah, it's been about a year and a couple of months. We moved in the fall, but the move was sort of, I guess, elongated for me or a long process because we moved here...I had done a big tour kind of across Europe with Steve Gunn opening for him for like five or six weeks across Europe. And then my wife and I drove across the country and then I was here for like a few weeks and then went back out to Seattle for a month to make this record with Trevor Spencer and a lot of friends in Seattle, which we can talk about.



But yes, so we bought a house here, which is not something we ever felt like we could do in Seattle. So that's one thing that's kind of cool. It was very affordable and in like a cool downtown zone, but it needed so much work. It was like definitely the worst house in the neighborhood, if you know what I mean, in terms of like just being a massive project. So we decided to take it on. It seemed kind of fun. And so we didn't even move into our house for like three or four months, because parts of it had to be kind of gutted and redone. So the fall of 2019, from the time I left Seattle till when we actually, like, moved in, it felt like four or five months of just being very much in limbo and making the record was maybe the most grounding part of that season.

But to answer your question, why we left Seattle, my wife is a midwife, and she delivers babies for her work and, you know, there aren't a ton of those jobs around. I think we'd had an idea...she was working as that in Seattle for many years and I was doing my PhD there at the University of Washington in geography, which I'm almost done with now. I'm almost done with my dissertation. But yeah, my wife got a job offer here in Columbia. It was sort of this moment where we knew, long-term because our families are in this area and we have a lot of friends that we've been close with for like a decade, that kind of one by one - they're from the Southeast and have moved back here kind of one by one. So we realized like, "Well, this is probably a really rare opportunity that she would get a job offer in this exact place where we have so many family and friends. And it's definitely way more affordable than Seattle, too." So it's kind of partly a job, partly community-oriented.

And then, you know, this is before the pandemic when I was planning to be touring a lot and I was like, "Well, I'll be back to Seattle often and I can be kind of based anywhere as a touring musician." So, yeah, that has gone a little sideways, of course. But yeah, on the whole, it's been feeling good to be here though. I do miss Seattle. I miss a lot about Seattle to be honest. It's a special city and I will be back as often as I can be, for the people and the..I don't know, I just miss a lot about it. I was thinking about it today, knowing we were going to be talking.

Does it feel different to be back there now that you've lived in this culturally vastly different city?

It definitely is culturally different. Though, you know, I kind of think about this a lot from touring and talking to people who live in different places. It kind of feels like...I don't know, all cities have their bubbles or areas where people are somewhat fellow travelers, if you know what I mean, or like-minded in a way. The place I live in Columbia is almost like how Seattle is, like a somewhat culturally...It's not a homogenous place, but people tend to have a somewhat similar perspective, I guess, like within twenty miles or something. Here in Columbia it feels like that in like two miles or something. Like the university is close by and we're kind of downtown and a lot of our neighbors are...I don't know, it's just been really cool to settle in here and get to know a lot of them and learn about their lives. A lot of them are educators and professors and creatives of different varieties.

So yeah, in some ways it has felt very different. And I knew it would because I grew up in this area and a lot of my family and the place I grew up are in kind of in more rural parts of South Carolina. And, you know, so I was fully aware that it would be. But it always felt like that when we lived in Seattle, coming back like a couple of times a year, like almost like a different country or something. But I think maybe I've been surprised about how it hasn't been as extreme as I thought, kind of based on where we're living in Columbia and just getting to know...I think that's been a cool thing about the pandemic, honestly, is that I've just been home nonstop and because the weather's been pretty nice for the most part, people have been out on their porches and everyone's a little stir crazy and wants to talk to one another. So I feel like I've just met a ton of people around me. And that's been a nice byproduct of the pandemic, being here and getting settled in in our neighborhood.

Absolutely. Is there a music scene in Columbia?

There is, yeah. I think like, touring-wise, it often gets skipped over just because Atlanta is like two and a half hours away. And like Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, the triangle is about two and a half hours away. And Asheville, North Carolina, is like two hours away. So they're a few kinds of bigger destination spots. But yeah, I have probably the advantage of being here and having known a lot of people and musicians in this city for a long time. And people even who've been in my band on and off over the years and have toured with me, in both Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina. So I definitely feel like I have some fellow travelers and fellow musicians in the area.

But, you know, that was one of the things I knew, leaving Seattle, just the – I know it hasn't been like this the last few months with the pandemic – but the reality of so many shows happening all the time and it being so easy. When I lived in Seattle, I was maybe five blocks from Neumos and Barboza and a band that I loved would come through town and I would just be lazy and be like, "I'll see them the next time." [laughs] Because I knew they'd come back! It's just like that kind of place. You have to work a little bit harder to see shows here. And the community is a little more DIY and kind of organic. But I think there's something kind of cool to that as well.

I feel that. I'm totally kicking myself now about all those nights that there are like five shows going on and I'm like, "Do I really want to pick one? Maybe I'll just do none of them." Just because it's just so easy. Like, "I can go out tomorrow."

Yes. Yeah. Definitely felt spoiled with that in Seattle.

Oh yeah. I mean it's kind of full circle, to be back there, considering you made the first Valley Maker record in Columbia as your senior thesis project in 2010.

I did! Yeah.



Does it feel full circle to you?

It's funny to have moved back here and sort of see music as I guess the main thing that I'm doing in my life or alongside my studies and teaching, you know, a huge part of my life. I guess vocationally I mean. Because when I last lived here, I don't think I had the faintest idea or imagination that I could be a touring musician or be on a label. Just because, I guess I was friends with Chaz and am friends with Chaz from Toro Y Moi and his project had kind of gotten off the ground during our last year or two of college together, but other than that, I didn't really know or have a context for how music could be something that I did at a more regular level outside of kind of a hobby. I think that it was very much a hobby and a community-oriented activity and extremely DIY.



So, it was really kind of moving to Seattle that helped me get a sense of that and step into that more and meet people that allowed that to kind of take form. So yeah, in one way it feels - I mean, of course, it feels full-circle in terms of many parts of my life and I think I struggle with that some moving back. Like, in some ways it felt really right, especially with our friendships and community here. But then it was also like just moving from a pretty big, diverse city with a lot of stuff going on to a more kind of mid-sized southern city. And I knew there would be a lot that I'd miss with that.

But yeah, I think, honestly, I've had a lot of peace, even in a very unsettled, strange year where I thought I'd be touring and I haven't been. I've had a lot of peace being here. I think it's been pretty cool to be able to settle into a home. And I've got a little space here that I can write music and do some demoing and eventually when it's safe, have band practices. It's been nice to be home and just to sort of build a home here, kind of quite literally. We've done nonstop work on the house like all year. And yeah, there's been like cool futurity to that. And I think I'm going to really enjoy being, like, based in this place where we have so much community around us and then be able to travel into or out of that and do the music thing once things pick back up after pandemic life. Hopefully soon.

That's good. I love the optimism that you have about it because at this point I feel like we have to be optimistic to keep going.

For sure. It's been really long and yeah, I have good weeks and bad weeks with that, to tell the truth. But, in the moment, I'm like, "The record's coming out in a month." And, at a very fundamental level, it's just really exciting to be able to share the release with people and the music with people. I think it's my favorite record that I've made from a production and songwriting standpoint. So, instead of dwelling on the things that I can't be doing in this moment, I'm trying to practice gratitude and kind of find joy in the reality of that.

That's beautiful and the album is beautiful too. I love it. And you get into a lot of the themes surrounding the move, like the uncertainty that comes with uprooting yourself, especially in songs like "Mockingbird" and "No One Is Missing." It sounds like this move was an incredibly creatively motivating process.

I think it was. I mean, it definitely kicked up a lot of questions around identity and, "What is going on with my life?" And, you know, I think this song has a dimension of kind of questioning what it means to be living in this country over the past few years and wrestling with that. Even the first lines of "No One Is Missing." There's a line in that, "People make you angry. People are your puzzle." Just knowing that I'd be leaving a place like Seattle for a place like South Carolina, I think in a time like this, it definitely raises a lot of questions. And I feel like writing this record and recording it and especially the moment, that transitional in-between moment in which I recorded it was a chance to process a lot of that.



So, the record, I'm proud of it and it means a lot to me, personally, because I think it's kind of a timestamp of this season of my life in some ways, but also just engages a lot of questions about being alive in this moment and then this stage of my life that the songs will kind of be an ongoing conversation for me, I think.

Absolutely. It also seems like these concepts of movement and roots and transitory movements correlate a lot with your PhD in Human Geography. How and when did you realize that this was an interest of yours? It seems fairly niche to me.

Yeah, it definitely is. I guess human geography is one of the smaller academic disciplines. The University of Washington has a really good program and there are programs throughout the US and it's a little bit bigger in the U.K., I guess. But yeah, I had the opportunity to travel a good bit in younger stages of my life and I guess I always was kind of interested in different inequality differences and how people live, and the opportunities people have in different places. I studied economics from undergrad with a focus on international development and then kind of through a bit of work I did after undergrad, I got really interested in migration.

Because I studied Russian language as well for my undergrad and did some work in Eastern Europe and just kind of became aware of how much migration is happening and how much that impacts people's lives and how much people risk to migrate. And the politics and kind of social and economic dimensions of that just became really interesting to me. And that was when I learned about geography as a discipline, which kind of allows you to ask these big questions and think about spatial processes and the many interconnections between people and places.

So, yeah, I did a master's degree at the University of Kentucky and then in 2013 decided to do a PhD and moved out to Seattle. And that kind of was the beginning of the rest of my life I guess. [laughs] So, yeah, and I'm still teaching. Because it's all been online, you know, I taught a class at the University of Washington over the fall that was focused on global inequality. And then this semester I'm teaching here in Columbia on just kind of world geography classes. I'm finishing up my dissertation. I'm hoping to be done with that sometime this year, middle of this year. So, yeah, I very much kind of have a foot in both worlds and enjoy that.

Yeah. Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly does one do with a degree in human geography besides teaching?

Yeah, I mean it could be a lot of different things. It depends on what you focus on. Like a lot of people study GIS - Geographic Information Systems - and that would be more kind of oriented towards like city planning, urban planning type stuff or, you know, even a company like Google with mapping, you know, different kinds of mapping and infrastructure considerations, city planning stuff. I think a lot of people could work for international development organizations or humanitarian organizations or, you know, government jobs. I guess? [laughs] I've been very much on the path to be an educator and teacher, and I've known for a long time that that was gonna be...A lot of people, like my grandparents and different people in my family, were educators and I had sort of known for a while that that's what I wanted to do. So, yeah, that was the idea of doing it.

And yeah, music kind of continued to blossom throughout the time I was in Seattle and doing the Ph.D. and then I got signed to Frenchkiss Records for the last release in 2018. And they're putting out this record too and that's definitely opened some cool doors. I got started working with booking agents for concerts kind of around that time too so I feel like, especially in the last three or four years, music has been something that I've been able to step a lot more into. And it's happened pretty organically over time, which is cool.

How will you coordinate that when you do start touring again, as far as teaching and touring?

That's a great question! [laughs] We'll see! It's a little stressful in the moment, actually, because it's just the question of when shows are going to start again like feels very relevant to that. So, yeah, that's an ongoing conversation. I don't think online teaching is like the best thing in the world. It actually is kind of difficult in some ways. But I do think that could be an avenue in which I was able to blend these things or, you know, take it semester by semester, record release by record release. I will kind of see how how the future plays out. But yeah, as much as I can strike a balance between the two, I'd like to.

So let's talk about the making of the record. Like you mentioned, you came back up to the Northwest to make the album with Amy Godwin and producer Trevor Spencer for a three-week session. Do you feel like having this one time period, this three-week period to work where you couldn't just like pop to the studio whenever the moment strikes and you no longer live in the area was a helpful push to get it done quickly?

Yeah, it was. I would actually say like even more, it felt really luxurious and comfortable and I don't know, sweet even. Is that a cheesy thing to say? I feel like it was such an awesome season that I'm always going to remember because I've never recorded like that before. And I think in some ways it felt like a kind of final moment in the Northwest or, you know, like the final chance to have a lot of time together with these people, at least for a while. So there was definitely a close-knit kind of community aspect to the recording because Trevor has been a really good friend of mine for like the whole time I've been in Seattle, basically. And Amy and I go way back. She's from the Southeast, too. So even when we were in college here, we were playing shows together. And every record I've done, she's singing on it. So she's an extremely close and dear friend and collaborator.



So yeah, the community aspect and collaborative aspect was really cool. And, you know, Chris Icasiano played drums on it. He's one of my favorite musicians and just such a great person and such a great drummer. So it was really cool to have him involved. And Morgan Henderson and Casey Wescott and some other people, Abbey Blackwell, a lot of people around Seattle.

And then, on the time thing and kind of flow of it, I've always done recording in a pretty compartmentalized way, like a few days here, a few days there. Like drums and bass for one weekend and then guitar stuff another weekend and then vocals. So this was so cool to just construct a record sort of brick by brick, you know, over a chunk of time. And the consistency of that, I think it's probably one of the reasons I feel really proud of this record is it feels cohesive in the way that I wanted it to be. You know, the goal is to create something that felt really cohesive and environmental, like created an environment that felt like you entered into and stayed with throughout the record.

So Trevor and I were in there together every day. I actually even stayed out in the studio. I think I only came into Seattle like one time during that whole period. So I was just kind of out there in the woods the whole time and Trevor would come every day like around noon and we'd just sort of work into the evening and people would come by on different days to track their stuff. But we thought we'd kind of get the basics down and then build from there on all the songs. And Amy and Trevor and I had a few weekends even in advance of the recording where we just hunkered down, the three of us, and got a game plan together for which songs we were going to track and the basic outlines of it, Amy and I kind of started working on our vocal parts together. So, yeah, it was very much like a community-focused and continuous process, which I really loved.

Yeah, that sounds like such an amazing experience. You mentioned all those names. We love Chris Icasiano and Casey and Morgan, of course. And, honestly, just the concept of someone dropping by to collaborate without having to quarantine or get a Covid test just sounds incredible at this point!

[laughs] I know. Yeah, it really does feel like what happened could not have happened during the pandemic. We got in just under the buzzer, you know.

Yeah. Have you thought about how it might have turned out differently had you made it in the middle of the pandemic?

I haven't, no. But it would have been very different. [laughs] For sure, yeah! I guess we would have...I don't know, I'm not sure because even the idea of me traveling back to Seattle, I haven't gotten on a plane since this all started. Yeah, it would have been, to say the least, logistically very complicated to do it safely.

Yeah. I've only recently gotten to kind of know Trevor during the pandemic. He's referred a lot of artists he's worked with to me and I did a piece on his project, Tré Michael. But I really, really like him, from what I can tell! And it seems like everyone else really, really likes him, like he's very loved.

Yeah, he's a great guy. You can count me as a fan for sure.



How did you guys meet?

We met through our mutual friend Drew Fitchette. I think Drew and Trevor knew each other going back to college days and in the Bellingham music scene. And then they both ended up in Seattle. And, yeah, Drew had found my music online before I moved out to Seattle and reached out to me. So he was kind of my first friend there. And that's actually how I met Chris Icasiano as well. So, yeah, I feel like I kind of entered into his friend group. And Trevor was one of the first people I met through that.

Pretty much the whole time I lived in Seattle, I lived within the same two blocks on Capitol Hill. And Trevor and I were neighbors for a lot of that season, so that was pretty cool too. I feel like we had a lot of musical reasons to be friends and connected and then also we ran into each other on the street a lot or out around the neighborhood or it was very easy to kind of hang out in the evenings and whatnot.

Do you think you'll continue coming up here and working with him on future projects? Or are you looking to find someone in South Carolina to work with?

I mean, I'd love to. Trevor and I have done three records together now, or at least maybe two and a half, so I feel like we have a pretty special flow down and relationship. And that felt very much the case on this record. Just working together, it felt like we had a lot of history underneath our belts and a lot of kind of shared language and sensibility. So I would love to.

I mean, I think it's been a sad thing about this pandemic, just personally, is, leaving Seattle I sort of planned to be back as much as I could be. Whether starting a West Coast tour in Seattle and having some time there on the front end or just kind of back to hang out. I still feel, Trevor and many people there, I still feel a lot of affection for and just the general kind of environment and nature of the Pacific Northwest too. It's something that I miss a lot and want to stay in touch with. So, yeah, I plan to be back often, as much as I can be.

This interview is coinciding with the premiere of "Branch I Bend." Can you tell me more about the song and how it came about?

Yeah, for sure. "Branch I Bend" is the first song on the record. I wrote it in my Seattle apartment and it's a song that, to me, it felt like a good song to open the record with in a few different ways. I guess because it very much thinks about time and the cyclicality of life and the kind of day-to-day and how that can be really mundane and defeating at times, but also can be really beautiful, especially living in relation to other people. So I think there's a really personal dimension to that song of kind of where I was at with my life in the day-to-day and writing it, but also kind of throws out some bigger questions and considerations about temporality and living in relation to other people. And I think that that kind of sets the tone for the record.

Recording that song, too, was so fun because I love Amy's parts on it. They feel really transformative for the recording. And then when Morgan Anderson came in to do the woodwinds and the break of the song, that also was just one of those moments in recording where you get so excited. Especially as a songwriter and I play a few instruments but guitar is, in the context of recording, I mostly just do guitar a lot of the time because that's where I feel the basis of the song is. So I feel like I'm kind of always doing the foundation and then I get to enjoy seeing how it blossoms from there. And this song in particular was just a really, really fun one to record. I feel really proud of how it came together.

I realized, too, that the first line - and I didn't even do this on purpose, it just kind of was one of these weird things - but I realized after deciding to call the record When the Day Leaves, that the first line of the song is, "Hold on, day, don't cut me loose." [laughs] It's kind of felt weirdly aligned with the big picture of the record too.

Wow, yeah! You did not even think of the title in correlation to that line at all?

No, I didn't. Because "When the Day Leaves" is the name of the title track, of the last song on the record. And it's a line that appears in that song. So that was very much kind of where my head was at initially and in titling the record that it felt connected to a few different kinds of overarching themes on the record. But that was just another one of those things you realize, after the fact, that kind of feels like it was meant to be.

And then it kind of rounds the album out by starting with this song and ending with the title track. Thematically, wraps it up in a little bow.

Yeah, exactly. Bookended. [laughs].

Exactly. Which songs are your favorites on the album?

Hmm, that's a good question. I guess I'd have different [songs] depending on what I wanted to consider about it, but like songwriting-wise, probably "Mockingbird" would be my favorite song on it, which is actually out now. We released that as a standalone single in the fall of last year. And I think I just feel attached to that song because I wrote it immediately after moving here to South Carolina. So I think that song to me feels like a little bit of a, I don't know, momentary representation of where I was at then, but brings up a lot of the questions I was feeling around moving and past and present and future, you know. Yeah, I think that that's one of my favorites on it.



I think "Branch I Bend" would be another favorite production-wise and then one that was the most surprising to me maybe is "Pine Trees," the third song on the record. That was one I was not planning on tracking or at least it was a pretty, I guess you could say, distant B-side in my mind, to be on the record. And then I was in the studio with Chris Icasiano and I just started playing the riff of that song on the guitar and Chris started in on the drum part that is featured pretty prominently on the track. And it just kind of transformed the song for me pretty immediately into something I felt very excited about. And we sort of started tracking it in that moment.

I love that.

Yeah, when I think about the process of recording, that was maybe the least expected moment, and now is one of my favorite songs on the record too. So, thank you, Chris.

Chris comes in and makes a sleeper surprise!


I'm gonna wrap things up with a very KEXP question. Since KEXP is a station where the music matters, why does music matter to you?

Yeah, I think music matters, maybe first and foremost, I've realized this in the pandemic pretty acutely, that it connects me with other people in really deep and meaningful ways. You know, getting to tour and build a community around the world and around the US and beyond, that's been amazing. But also just the mystery of how I can record something and then release it and that enters out into the world and people respond to it and being lucky enough sometimes to get a sense of that and to be able to chat with people about that. And, like all the many people over the years who've made music that has changed my life and impacted me, I think music is very relational in a beautiful way.

I think also music, to me, especially spending a lot of my life in academia, which is very analytical and often is pursuing like explanation and answers and a deeper understanding of things, I think I really value the way in which music awakens my imagination and allows me to kind of sit with questions. And, you know, a lot about life and existence is pretty mysterious and unknown. And I feel like music is one of the few things we have to be able to kind of rest in that uncertainty and mystery. I don't know if that makes any sense, but...

Oh, no, absolutely. I can totally understand when you're in this academic world and there are all these straight answers for things, to have things that are more personal or existential or don't have a really clear-cut answer, just a feeling.

Yeah. But also like to feel less alone with that stuff. You know, I watched this, I forget the name of the documentary - I should find it, but it was a documentary I found on YouTube about Leonard Cohen. And one of the things he said and it just always kind of stuck with me, about how music is beautiful because it addresses loneliness, you know, it makes us feel less alone in many ways in our life. And I think that's really true in my experience.

Absolutely. That's beautiful.

Also, I just want to say, I'm such a fan of KEXP. I mean that, I'm not just saying it. I feel really grateful that you want to cover the record and do this interview because, you know, I'm biased from living in Seattle, but I love you guys and I appreciate what you do and have just been a fan for a long time. Even when I was thinking about moving to Seattle, years ago, I was like, well that's where KEXP is.

I feel like I have a lot of affection for you all because it was like, you know, I really enjoyed it from afar before I lived in Seattle. I loved to watch the videos or tune in online or whatnot. But then, living in Seattle, all the different ways in which you all create community-oriented events. I feel like I often got to enjoy that and benefit from it as well as a Seattleite. It's one of the things I miss.

When the Day Leaves is out Friday, February 19th via Frenchkiss Records.

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