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CINEMATIC

FIJI WATER

"Fiji Water is a song I wrote about the vert beginning of my career. I was 22 years old, I got on a plane for the first time in my life, I flew to New York City, and I signed a deal with a major record label. I wrote this song because it's a song I haven't told very many times. It was this really pivotal moment in my life this weekend in 2008, and the more I thought back about that trip, it suddenly seemed like I had this song right in front of me. When you listen to this song, I hope it leaves you with the feeling that life is full of things that happen for reasons you don't always understand. But sometimes if you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and you do things that scare you, you take risks, you take chances, sometimes those leaps of faith can change your life in positive ways that you never could have imagined."

THE 5TH OF JULY

"The 5th of July is a song about the night I was born. I sat down with my parents and I said 'Can you guys tell me about everything you can remember about that night and what it was like for you?' And they said, 'It was the middle of the night, we jumped in the car, and we raced to the nearest hospital.' My mom likes to say 'We drove like Jehu.' And they said 'Yeah, that was the night we welcomed you into the world.' I wrote this song because I like this idea that we all began life at a certain time on a certain day, but none of us have any recollection of what the events of that day were like, so we kind of have to rely on the descriptions of the people who were there. When you listen to this song, my hope is that it inspires you to want to imagine what that day was like, maybe interview your parents to see if they can tell you what they remember. But the most important thing is that I hope it leaves you feeling thankful for life and for the parents that brought you into this world."

ALL MY FRIENDS

"All My Friends is a song about the relationships in your life that are rare. It's a song about the friendships that you know you're never going to forget. When I listen to the song, I think back and I remember some of my friends from junior high and high school. Tim and Kyle, Jake and Colin, Tony and Andy, all these guys who I just feel so lucky to have been involved in their lives. My hope is that this song can serve, in some small way, as a way of honoring these amazing people who have been in my life, and I hope that as you listen to it, it also reminds you of the friendships you know you'll never forget."

HOUSE WREN

"House Wren is a song about the summers I would spend at my grandparent's house in Iowa when I was a kid. My grandfather used to hang hollowed-out vegetable gourds on the back porch and the wrens would live in them. I found myself wondering what it would be like for a house wren looking for the perfect home."

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES

"Not All Heroes Wear Capes is a song about my dad. He loves cars, he can fix anything, he's a man of few words and he's my hero. I wrote the song because I can express myself better with music than with words, so I thought 'I'm gonna write a song for my dad simply just to tell him I love him.' When you listen to it, I hope it inspires you to tell your dad: 'Hey, to everyone else you probably seem like a normal guy, but to me, you're a hero."

MONTANA

"Montana is a song about an 82 year-old guy in my family named Bill. When Bill was 15 year-old, he jumped on a train in Saint Paul, Minnesota and he rode west until he wound up in a small town near Glacier National Park, and that was where he instantly fell in love with the Montana wilderness. I wrote this song because there's a real look of wonder in Bill's eyes whenever he talks about Montana. His little cabin in the woods is like Heaven on Earth to him, and I wanted to write a song to honor the story of this man going on this grand adventure almost 70 years ago and finding his special place in the world. When you listen to Montana, I hope you feel the way I felt when I was writing it. I hope you feel inspired to live spontaneously, to go out there and face the great unknown, and if you haven't done it yet, to embark on your own adventure of a lifetime."

LUCID DREAM

"Lucid Dream is about the best flying dream I ever had. When I was writing this album, I kept a dream journal next to my bed and I remember waking up from this incredibly surreal dream. I wrote down everything I could remember and that writing later became the lyrics to the song. I wrote this song because I wanted to round out this album that's full of personal, very literal songs, with more of an abstract, conceptual song, because that's always been a huge part of what I do. I love music that suggests to the listener how to feel rather than spell it out for them. When you listen to Lucid Dream, I hope it makes you want to close your eyes after a long day, drift off, and let your imagination carry you away."

ALWAYS

"Always is a song I wrote about my father's struggle with chronic health problems. It's about how God tells His followers: 'Fear not, for I am with you.' I hope it reminds you that there is incredible power in even the simplest of prayers. Being raised in a family of faith, this is something I wanted to tell my dad - to just hang on. There is a light at the end of the tunnel."

CLOUD NINE

"Cloud Nine is a song about learning to keep your head up, even when you feel like the entire world is doing everything it can to bring you down. My vision was to write something that tonally represented this feeling of ascending at all times. So I wound up putting in three different key changes, one after each chorus, that just gives you this feeling that you're always moving upward. When you listen to Cloud Nine, my hope is that you feel like there's nothing on this earth that can possibly bring you down."

WINNERS NEVER QUIT

"Winners Never Quit is about dealing with the struggles life throws your way. It's about learning to be patient, knowing you WILL finish the race if you don't give up. I hope this song inspires you to work hard and enjoy the journey of life."

MADELINE ISLAND

"Madeline Island is a song about the best vacation I ever had. My parents, our dog Max, and I went camping on Madeline Island in Lake Superior in the spring of 2013. I wrote the song to make sure I never forget what an amazing time I had with my family. I hope it inspires you to take a brief respite with the people you love. The four of us went there, and it was pretty uneventful. That was the point... It was so good to reconnect with with my parents and to realize that I have an amazing relationship with them. Not everyone can say that. It made me feel so blessed and grateful when I was looking back. I wanted to honor my parents by telling this simple story of us going camping and enjoying nature."

BE BRAVE

"Be Brave is all about the night I met my girlfriend. It was a bitter, bitter cold Minnesota winter night. On a whim, I went to a midnight showing of a movie, I turned around, and there she was. I wrote this song because the events of that specific night completely and utterly changed every aspect of my life, and I just wanted to put into writing everything that happened because I don't want to look back someday and not be able to remember every tiny detail. When you listen to Be Brave, I hope it leaves you with the realization that you never know what could happen if you do something as normal and everyday as just going to the movie theater."

NEW YORK CITY

"New York City is a song about the first time I ever really left my hometown and went on a trip and I saw some of the world. I wanted to remember some of the small details that I'm realizing, the older I get, the more I'm starting to forget. So I was 18 years old. We took my piece-of-junk first car (the driver side door didn't lock), we ate junk food 24/7, we showered at truck stops, I got to see the ocean for the first time on this trip. It was a very coming-of-age story for me. When you listen to New York City, I hope you feel inspired to pack your stuff, jump in the car, take a trip, see the world, maybe get lost from time to time, because I think if you do that, you'll be glad you did."

FIREBIRD

"Firebird is about a close relationship between siblings. It's about how life changes quickly and how I don't want to take anything for granted. I hope it reminds you that each and every moment is priceless."

CINEMATIC

"Cinematic is about the concept of a person's life being viewed by an audience from another galaxy. It describes how life is full of magic if one strives to see it, and how we should all embrace our time to the fullest as if we are all making our own movies that will live on for eternity. I hope it encourages you to reach for the stars. I wanted a song at the very end of the album to sum up the tracks that had come before and that said to the listener, 'You just witnessed a few scenes from my life that I love, just a few stories I never want to forget. So, what does that mean to you? What are your movie-magic moments from your life?'"

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