Trial and error can be an effective but frustrating method for solving problems. This approach is how singer-songwriter Patrick Park records music—exhausting all sonic possibilities of a song before finally succumbing to the ebb and flow of the creative process.
After wrapping up the tour for his 2014 album Love like Swords, the weight of touring alone in a van for months, partnered with the financial realities of being a musician, began to take its toll. Park turned to writing songs for other artists but, despite having success, wasn't feeling creatively fulfilled.
"We have an idea of the things that will make us happy, if we could just get them," Park notes. "But then we get them, and they're not what we thought they would be. Or we find that they're not enough and we want something else. Or we quickly lose them. And it's just this thing that goes on, and on, and on."
Instead, Park found solace from existential dread through meditation and working as a counselor on a suicide hotline. During this time, he began to again write music for himself, and those songs materialized as letters to his soon-to-be-born son and aural reckonings on the brevity of life. Park's forthcoming album, Here/Gone, distilled to spare classic voice and guitar combinations, with string arrangements by Bobby Halvorson and guest vocals from Emily Kokal (Warpaint), encapsulates the urge to chase things that bring only the most fleeting sense of fulfillment.