We have a new record out called “Amsterdam”. It’s a four-song EP about the time I moved to Amsterdam for a girl I liked. But there's a little more to it than that.
I love learning about how things are made. Documentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, blog posts, podcasts, and how-to videos. Fascinating stuff, even when (or especially when) I don’t understand it all.
Years ago Ben Folds did an iTunes Originals session where, between songs, he told stories and talked about his life and career and the events that shaped them. Not just a voice in my earbuds, Ben Folds became a person, with his own thoughts and opinions and flaws and weaknesses. The boldness of the vulnerability drew me in, and I’ve aspired to that same level of humanity with the things I’ve created since.
The book contains the same four studio tracks as the EP, but a new format allows us to go further; every song is a chapter, with the music, lyrics sheet, original demo, and stories that inspired the song.
We're also including a short video we made while goofing off in the studio, some photos of our experience, and a special hour-long podcast with the band and producer Michael Wuerth talking about what it was like to make the record.
Over time, as we make music videos or play shows to support the album, we can update the iBook with new content. In the digital age there's no reason why a record can't be a living document.
It's weird to release a record as a book. A decade ago it would have sounded like a joke. Yet with iPhones and iPads and digital everything, the line between mediums is starting to blur. We wanted to take advantage of that blurring to tell our stories in a new way.
For me, every step of this story is deeply personal. From that hotel in Amsterdam to the recording studio in Manhattan, I've lived every minute of it. I'm grateful to create art in an age where independent artists have the tools and ability to tell a story on their own terms.
We've worked very hard on this record, and I've never been so excited to put something into the world. We hope you like it, and we hope the stories inspire you.