Free Fall is definitely in my top 5 favorite songs for The Workday Release. I had just gone through a break up and I remember telling my manager at the time about it. He responded by saying something along the lines of, “Just make sure you’re writing right now”. You know, cause romantic devastation is writing material gold!
This song isn’t so much about an individual person as it is about the toll dating in general takes on us. I remember sitting down to write Free Fall and realizing that no matter the person, or the situation, or how a relationship ends, it always impacts you. It has to. It’s such a messy, complicated thing. We have all these rules and expectations, and no one really has any idea what they’re doing. Look at all the adults in their 50s-60s that are still confused and broken by it. Look at the couples that seem perfect for each other, but still have issues. It’s complicated. It just is.
When I was younger, I kind of stumbled forward eagerly into romance. I wrote this song around 23-24 and remember feeling like, “Damn this is heavy and I’m tired”.
These are the feelings I tried to bring into the song melodically and lyrically. I wanted it to feel heavy, and I really wanted it to say something about the fact that we don’t get to just walk away from these things. Even when it’s for the best. Even though we will move on and heal and change. The impact of these complex things remains in us.
This is why I used such violent language in the first verse. “The wide eyed kid that I was is gone for good / Shot through the heart and left to bleed.” I wanted to say something about the loss of innocence. Something we’re ashamed of as kids. We want to see more, know more, experience more, feel more. We see freedom on the other side of being an adult. And there is freedom. There’s also responsibility and consequence.
One of my favorite lines in the song is, “How many times will I find myself feeling fooled / Undone by you”. I love this line cause it reads like I’m talking at someone. But I’m not. I’m talking about romance in general which came, at that point, from feeling like, “Will this ever work?”
Recording this song was one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever had in a studio. This song is off my 2015 EP City Lights which was the first time I ever had a budget, producer, studio musicians, etc. The music for every song was tracked live simultaneously. I remember playing through it and my producer Warren Huart telling me he thought it would be better for my voice if I played the song a half step up on piano. Up until this point, I had always tracked piano digitally on keyboards, so if i wanted to change the key of the song, I could just do it by clicking a button. Now I was sitting in a big, beautiful studio at a big, beautiful grand piano, surrounded by amazing musicians. I only knew the song in the key I wrote it in. I told Warren this and he just responded with, “That’s okay, we’ll take a short break and you can learn it a half step up.” So I did. And I guess it worked out. Or Warren is just really good at editing. Probably both.
It’s one of those simple things, I’m proud of. Honestly, it’s not a super hard thing to do. It’s something I should be able to do. But I didn’t know how. I was asked to do it anyway. And I did it.
I like moments like that cause I can point to it and say, “Growth.” Hard things shape us. This song is about one of those hard things. Love. We have to choose what we do with the impact of it. Cause we don’t get to just walk away. We see love/romance/dating/heartbreak literally everywhere and there’s a 100% chance you have your own experiences with it. Who are you because of it?