YOUR SONGS ARE VERY LYRIC-DRIVEN, AND THE MUSIC DOES A REALLY GOOD JOB OF ILLUSTRATING THE LYRICS. THEY ALSO STRUCK ME AS VERY DIARISTIC, AND I WAS WONDERING: DO YOU KEEP A DIARY? No. A lot of the lyrics for this record were written without being put to paper. Some of them were from notebooks, but most were taken from streams of consciousness. Or I would write the music to a song — like "Crane Your Neck" or "Bird Balloons" — in the basement of the DVD store and just play the music over and over all night long, improvising the words until I memorized the lyrics. So those words were never written down.

THERE ARE A TON OF IMAGES THAT THE LYRICS EVOKE, BUT ONE THAT REALLY STUCK OUT TO ME IS THE IMAGE OF THE DEER IN "REGARDING ASCENDING THE STAIRS." IT SEEMED VERY VIVID, AND I'M CURIOUS IF YOU DON'T MIND SPEAKING ABOUT THAT ONE. Sure. This'll be the first time I've talked about it. That part is really one of the more emotional things on the record. In fact, I cried during that vocal take. That weird breathing sound in my voice when I'm humming is me holding back tears.

It's something that happened to me that's a similar experience to seeing a deer dying in the woods. It's about this time I was driving on Harpswell Road near the islands at night, and this animal jumped out in front of my car and I had absolutely no time to react. I turned around and it was this beautiful orange housecat. So I accidentally killed a cat. I got out of the car and looked down at it, and there was no blood or anything. It was just this beautiful cat. And it was the strangest thing because I had never picked up anything that wasn't alive. I had this strange reaction; I was actually scared of it. I was scared to touch it. But then a car was coming toward me so I took off my sweater and scooped it up, wrapped it really nicely with a flower and put it on the side of the road in the front of the yard. And I wrote a note saying I was so sorry. The next day I drove back and there were these big orange and white flowers on the mailbox. I could be wrong, but I felt like that was them saying thank you for taking care of our cat. And that was the way I chose to write about it. That's a good example of how a lot of my lyrics are about something entirely different — as I'm sure a lot of musicians' lyrics are — but for me there are certain things that are too personal to actually say flat out, so I'll use metaphors instead. Instead of writing that I killed a cat, I wrote about a deer in the woods, which is more poetic and a little less vulnerable a thing to be singing about.

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