The Story Behind - St. Anthony

Brittany Anderson

Brittany Anderson

Sometimes, there are dark days... 

St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things... I've talked to him a million times while searching for things in random moments of displacement... I never thought I'd be praying to him for the sake of my soul.

November 2015, I was coming out of one of those dark times. This one drug out over a year. I moved to Nashville because I wanted to use my talents to make something bigger than myself... something honest. After a year of empty meetings and stale advice designed to cut out anything artistic from my creative tendencies, I started to become jaded. I could feel my identity being torn apart until I fit a certain mold. It was painful, and degrading... and instead of going my own way, I let a darkness fester inside me. It affected how I wrote, how I saw the world, and slowly chipped away my awareness of all the good in my life.

So I went home, lost and unsure of what I should do next. I took time away from music and sat in silence. I woke up early with the frozen prairies of North Dakota and listened to the desolate. Slowly, I started to feel like myself again. The urge to create returned, and I began to do so by looking back at some of the songs I had written that year with my father. After reading a few of the lyric pages, he turned to me and said, "Joel, why is everything you write so sad?" This wasn't an insult by any means... it was out of honest concern. But it hit me hard. I could tell his heart was heavy... because of me.

"I'm sick of writing songs that make my father cry"

That line entered my thoughts, and I started to think about the parts of me I had misplaced... and all the time I wasted chasing the material and other nonsense. I lost my good. I misplaced honest. And I realized how many people could be affected by this way of thinking... and how much good could come from the opposite. So, I prayed to Anthony... To help me find myself, to find my purpose, and to find my second chance. Not just for me this time.

"Help me find my beautiful mind"

The Story behind -Hymn

Brea Wike Originals

Brea Wike Originals

I remember looking out the window, at the quilted prairies of the midwest 32,000 ft below and thinking that my one year anniversary away from North Dakota was on my heels. 2015 was a the hardest year I've lived. I left everyone I loved and everything I knew in order to seek out the brilliant creative minds that could help push me toward my goal of making beautiful music. In the process I was forced to relearn how to think... and this forced redirection of the mind seemed to also force me to shed everything that I loved about making music, and everything I knew about myself. My world transformed This transformation made me question my identity, it made me question who I was, and most of all it made me long for home and "what was". I so wanted to take my friends, my family, my favorite places on earth, and transport them from the center of North Dakota to my new home in Nashville to ease some of this pain, and fill the longing. It seemed like every new memory I made didn't hold the same weight the old ones did. No matter what I tried, nothing measured up.

As I sat in my 14A window seat and looked down, I realized that, outside of my now fìance, none of my friends and family had made the trip to get a taste of I was experiencing. At first, I was sad that pieces of my home hadn't trickled south to experience my new environment. But then the core idea of "Hymn" constructed itself in my mind. 

"I must go alone, cause I need you there, so my memory of home is full"

I thought back to my memories, and realized that the reason they held so much weight is because the people I love were in the place I love... and at the time, because I was feeling so much identity loss and change, the idea of removing those things would also slowly delude the clarity of these memories and make the home I was trying to hold onto less valuable.

Hymn is a story about leaving home, but discovering that regardless where you go, you take the people you love with you. It is a tribute to my family, to my friends, and an indication of how much of an impact they have made on my life. Its telling them that even though I'm 1500 miles away, I'll be there for them. Its a reminder that every memory, every heartbreak, every scar stays on your mind, heart, and skin... and even though we continue trying to navigate new areas of life with the passing of time, where we come from follows us through it all... and is intertwined to the stories we are trying to scribble down every day.