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Singled Out: Stewart Eastham's In The Morning

08/12/2016
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Stewart Eastham

Stewart Eastham released his brand new album "Dancers in the Mansion" today (August 12th) and to celebrate we asked him to tell us the story behind the song "In The Morning". Here is the story:

The core of this song was inspired by a scene in a long short story I wrote about a trip I took to Rio De Janeiro for Carnival many, many years ago. I hadn't read that story in a long time and when I re-read it years later I was really struck by one particular scene. No specific details from that story made it into the song -- it was more just the general concept of "the comfort of strangers" and being free of the expectations (whether real or imagined) put on us by those who know us well.

I recall coming up with the chorus part while I was driving in my truck from Nashville to Franklin County, TN. (It's rare that I come up with a melody or lyrics without a guitar in hand, but for this one I did.) I liked the concept of almost verbalizing a dance ("move to the right"..."move to the left"...). I had the basic melody and chorus lyrics sitting around for a few months. I wasn't sure where to go with the song until I came upon that story mentioned above. Once I had that basic idea, it all fell into place and I wrote the rest of the lyrics fairly quickly.

Once I started writing, I became intrigued with the idea of having multiple timelines running through the song. Almost like a movie cutting back and forth between different timelines in the same characters' lives. So to put the story in chronological order, you'd have to re-arrange all the verses, pre-choruses, and choruses.

We actually attempted to record this song for my previous album, The Man I Once Was, but we could never get the timing/vibe right for the song. Before recording that last album, I recorded acoustic demos of all the potential album songs for my producer Burke. I burned all those demos to a CD and sent a copy out to my dad in Northern California. His absolute favorite song was "that San Francisco song" (aka "In The Morning"). When I broke the news to him that song wasn't making the album, I think he was genuinely angry!

Since I love that song so much, I was bound and determined we'd get the song on this album. (And I didn't want to disappoint my dad again!) While the song might seem straightforward, the timing is tricky. I think Kim (bass), Allen (drums), and I worked harder on that song in pre-production than any of the others. That song has a swing to it... but different parts of the song have a different swing. As the rhythm section, the three of us had to be perfectly locked for everything to sound right. Just picking a tempo for that song took ages. After much trial and error, we finally got it all dialed in. It ended up one of my favorite songs on the album!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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