First off: “At War With The World” wasn’t even supposed to be an album.
Last November, I came across a piece of art that stuck out to me tremendously the moment I saw it. For the whole day, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. It almost felt like FATE... or a physical manifestation of all of the ideas I had been having and trying to express musically.
In large, hand written letters, it called out to me: “I’M AT WAR WITH THE WORLD, THEY WON’T CAPTURE ME.” The words encircled a depiction of Earth with a figure ominously hovering over it. Around the Earth were metal wires, hand drawn figures, and depictions of societal structures like banks, cell phone companies, televangelists, news organizations, and internet technologies... the “WORLD WIDE WEB” and the ideas it can promote. The whole piece is about 4.5’x 4.5’ and was made with scrap objects like cardboard, old wood, dated political signs, bent metal, charcoal, spray paint, crayons, and a lot more.
I HAD to have it.
I immediately imagined that it could serve as an album cover for the collection of songs that I didn't know what to do with. I spoke with the artist - a folk painter of sorts by the name of William Sonnier from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana - and got his permission to use the work as the cover of my album.
What I didn't know then was that I would essentially mimic his style of art in the compilation of this album. What for me was a scrap of unconnected ideas and songs, not even written to be on a specific album, became intertwined and pieced together into a complete idea.
For me, the album walks through where I’ve been emotionally, spiritually, and socially over the span of the last year and a half. It covers ideas as far apart as faith, material consumption, social media, and (surprisingly, for me) politics. Interspersed through the more lyrically driven tracks are instrumental tracks that capture the essence of my attitude over this season:
Each song is a struggle. Whether that struggle is to engage or disengage with society, to push past the shattered vessels of people whom you once admired, or how to appropriately handle and consume technology, each track on this album presents a very personal wrestling with all of these ideas.
The very act of putting this album together was even a struggle. Since the initial decision to create it, I have had to fight through cycles of doubt, wondering if this is what I should be doing or how I should be spending my time. One night, on the verge of a mini emotional breakdown, my wife encouraged me to push past these ideas and follow through with my original plan. It was also my first time recording in a studio, having my songs mixed, and sending them off to be professionally mastered (THANK YOU, CHAD VIATOR AND BLACK LAB MASTERING).
The back and forth with mixing and mastering, promotion, learning HOW to promote, sending tracks to tons of “taste makers,” and countless other seemingly mundane activities was all VERY rewarding.
But to be honest, it was an exhausting experience.
Now that it’s officially finished, I will be taking some time off to decompress and get back into a creative head space for some upcoming projects.
I hope you all enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed making it and putting it all together. It is my second full length album and I could not be more proud of it. From the production to the stickers and physical packaging I designed for it, all I can say is that I am so glad I did it.
Thank you to anyone who has ever encouraged me; ESPECIALLY to my wife, who never ceases to amaze me. I appreciate all the love and support! We all need it!
-Jordan (SKIES SPEAK)