I don't usually do music posts, but when Rory shared his recently completed EP (Other Peoples' Houses, under his band's name, Practice. We Talkin' About Practice), I just had to share it. I really love these 5 songs, and I think you will too. Click here to listen. Read below for Rory's words on his process and inspiration for the record:
This record comes out of about two years of work in various fits and spurts. I write songs in a way that mostly serves to frustrate - writing and recording a song, sitting with said song for a short period of time, finding faults, editing, sitting with the new version, finding faults with it, and continuing to chop it up and craft the thing until I (hopefully) find the song I actually want to hear. I like songs that don't seem tethered to any particular verse/chorus structure as well as songs that play with instrumentation and layers of sound. So when working on a song, drum tracks are added and changed, choruses are stripped down or cut out, and anything else I can think of is reassessed and reassembled.
My inspiration comes from the records I've been obsessed with in the last few years. I've spent a lot of time listening to Electric Light Orchestra, to the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David (particularly Dusty Springfield's versions), and most of all to Joni Mitchell. I only started listening to Joni Mitchell in the last two years and she's an artist I haven't taken off my ipod in that time - her songs are smart and funny and beautiful in ways I find hard to process. I try to write sophisticated pop songs like these artists and countless others because they have affected me and inspired me and because at this point I can't not write songs.
In a conversation with my dad about this record, he said, "People will see the songs as a portrait of heartbreak and loneliness, but they're only songs." He's right - the songs are not a reflection of a sad life, just my love of sad songs. The exception is the line, "She smiled and said 'You're cute but you're not cute enough'" from "Dancing With My Eyes Closed" - that really did happen to me.
(Album cover art from the book The Animal Fair, written and illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen)