letter 015: the making of globe
dear junk mail club,
recommended listening: globe by carwash <3
the making of this song is a sweet story to tell. “globe” came out of a late night hangout with my friend lucian while he was here visiting america last september. we spent a lot of nights eating donuts and going for walks past midnight. it’s a blessing and a curse having a 24-hour donut shop across the street from where you live. lucian is one of the first friends i ever made in music back in 2018. we met online via a dm i sent to him because, yes, i was a fan of him. anyways, him and i have been friends ever since, exchanging musical ideas, dreams, and how our days are going on opposite sides of the world--he lives in new zealand for clarification. however, for three months last year he came to visit in LA, and in the first week he was here we were sitting in my room jamming to old demos from deep in our itunes. he started playing some chords on the guitar and i started singing melody ideas. for some reason, the melody that surfaced was actually one i had written for a postcard boy idea back in early 2020. however, over these new guitar chords lucian was playing, it had a new feel and excitement.
since then, i do that more and more with my music, recontextualizing old ideas and melodies by switching the instrumentation under them, whether that be chords or maybe the rhythm of the drums. we all have inherent songwriting and melodic tendencies, so this process can bring a whole new life to something and take an idea in an entirely new direction that i wouldn't have thought of initially. often i’ll recontextualize so many sections of one original idea that i end up with multiple distinct songs in the same project file. a good example of this is that the carwash song “boyfriend, girlfriend” and the postcard boy song “picture book” were actually written in the same project file. they are the same tempo, same key and everything. there actually is a third song part to that project file that will never come out. “boyfriend, girlfriend” started as an outro idea for “picture book,” and the other song in that project served as an intro, though lyrically “boyfriend, girlfriend” ended up spinning off into its own separate story.
okay--recovering from that tangent. what lucian’s guitar chords and my first instinctual melody ended up becoming was the chorus of “globe” and within a couple hours, lucian and i had written the whole song--i never write that quickly by the way. it commonly takes me days and weeks to write a song. it’s a real hindrance to me finishing songs. writing is a skill i’m still working on getting better at. i’m still trying to find my voice and how i want to say things. i think reading more poetry and watching more films could help me get inspired from the way others recreate their interpretations of the world as well as provide me with imagery that could spark my own ideas. if anyone has poetry book recommendations, don’t hesitate to send me a message.
ironically, although we finished writing the song that night, we didn’t actually complete it until months later. we couldn’t quite get the guitars or vocals to sound right. our faith in the song never wavered, even over months we were convinced it was just a matter of time. we kept saying “the bones are all there,” meaning the structure and the feel was in there from the first night, but it was just about fleshing it out and taking the time to get each part right. i even debated just doing an acoustic version. it was getting tedious. through all this we changed the key of the song multiple times and fully re-recorded every instrument, before eventually landing on the version that is out now.
in the end, “globe” came together and blossomed into a really feel-good song that i’m so happy came about in the way it did. it’s the first song that lucian and i have ever really started from scratch together and made in all the years of us being friends--even more gratifying that it got to be done in person. making this song was a process i’ll always look back on fondly and hope to do over and over again with friends that care about making art and music in the same way i do.
the video was a sweet one as well to have so many different friends be a part of it. if any of you are reading this, i just want to give one more thank you for letting me into your life with a camera for a day. all the smiles in the video make me smile.