Week 301 // A Lighter Way to Feel

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

The way ahead is clear
The way ahead is clear
The way ahead is clear
For the first time in a little while

And oh what a lighter way to feel…

The wind is changing fast
The wind is changing fast
The wind is changing
And I’m feeling it at my back

Oh what a lighter way to feel…
Oh what a lighter way to feel…

The autumn’s come at last
The autumn’s come for me
The autumn’s come this year for me
A little bit early

And oh what a lighter way to feel…
Ohhh
Ohhh
Oh what a lighter way to feel…

Notes
After a while, I think this project became a fairly good resume item. It impressed admissions at NYU a few years ago, and so I got my master’s degree here in the big city. I’m sure there were other factors involved in that admissions decision, but it certainly represents an experience that makes me sort of different from other people on paper. And so it went that on the week of my 300th Mount Everest entry, I was finally given an honest to goodness grownup job offer. That cosmic alignment felt absolutely right to me, although I confess that I would have gladly accepted it on my 200th or 100th week instead. Nonetheless, I am grateful. More than anything I am relieved. The search has been long, and I grew weary of it long, long ago. This song is a simple sigh of relief.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 300 // Throwing a Millennial Fit

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

In a cab with an open window
‘Cause I can’t take the heat
White light on an empty highway
And it’s pulling at me

Hot fire on the broadcast lately
And I’m turning it up
Oh the view from a burning building
As I’m filling my cup

And I can’t seem to get anywhere
And I lost my ambition again
And I don’t like this city no more

Hundred years just to knock it over
And we watch it go down
Feel the rain, all the angels crying
As it crashes to the ground
And it almost moves me

And I can’t seem to get anywhere
And I lost my ambition again
And I don’t like this city no more

And spitting my curse in the wind
And I’m throwing a millennial fit
And this city don’t like me no more

Notes
Now there are 300 Mount Everest songs! That feels like a lot of songs, and I’m happy that I decided to write them all. I’m also very happy to have had a lot of help from some truly wonderful artists and friends along the way. Thanks to family, thanks to friends, thanks to wife, and thanks to life. Thanks most of all to anyone who listened to any of these songs. You’re all great, and I like you.

With the heat punishing all us God-forsaken city dwellers this week, it was hard to write something cheerful, but at least I wrote something with a beat! Listen to this song loud if you can. When you listen to this song, imagine that you’re lying on hot pavement staring at the sun. Your skin is making a sizzling sound that reminds you of bacon. You’re not allowed to look for shade, and you’re certainly not allowed to complain, because nobody lives in New York by accident, so this is really your own fault if you think about it. I like New York a lot. I don’t like it so much right now.

This song touches on some of the city themes that I’ve played with before. Most notably, I am engaging the notion that the city is constantly destroying itself. It is demolishing its past to build its future. It is paving itself over. It is rewriting its face in an ever forward facing gesture. Living here is to never look behind you. Sometimes it’s pretty frustrating. When the heat is up and you can barely move, you’re stuck standing in one place. When you can’t move forward, and you can’t look behind you, you might feel lost. The pressure can build inside you. I wrote this song to let off steam. I think I’m feeling much better now.

Thanks again for sticking with me through all this willful creation. I’ll keep on doing this if you keep on listening.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 299 // Hold Out

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

Early
I don’t know where I am
Hot light
The horizon at dawn
Hold out
For an hour or two
Hold out
‘Cause I’m dreaming of you

Notes
Sleep is a tricky thing for me. Staying asleep is often as hard as falling asleep, which is too bad because I really love a good snooze. Waking early in the morning can be stressful, because I have to race against the clock to get back to sleep before my alarm goes off. But if I’ve got nowhere to be and no reason to get up, I often enjoy a sudden waking moment at sunrise. The colors are a warm blanket, and the prospect of returning to my slumber is a long, satisfying exhale. This little tune is kind of a lullaby to myself on those rare, wonderful sunrise mornings when I have the time to drift away again.

Over the next few days, I will ponder the profundity of writing 300 songs in 300 weeks. If you return next Monday, I will sing you a song about it.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 298 // Anniversary

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

Way way back then
In a forest with the color of the summer
Around the corner heard the echo of a friend
In the music of the laughter of my lover

Oh, and moon rise up
A lucky coin I’ll snatch from heaven just to give you
And on the eve of ever, lifting up your cup
I saw you look my way
The moon was shining through you

Who sets the rain to fall?
Who starts the blowing of the wind?
Oh my love, the storm that’s spinning through you
Is blowing out to see and gone again

Way way up there
A road that winds along the bank above the river
And each of us had saved a flower in our hair
I’d give her more of me if I had more to give her

Who sets the night to fall?
Who starts the blowing of the wind?
Oh my love, the dark you’re staring into
Is breaking into dawn and gone again

Notes
Last summer, Rebecca and I celebrated our new marriage by recording a song together. I recommend listening to “Week 247 // On Account of I Love You” if you are a fan of unbridled sentiment, joy, and love. It remains my favorite musical collaboration of this project, and it is an invaluable souvenir of a precious moment in time. Today is our first wedding anniversary, and Rebecca suggested that we celebrate by recording a followup.

This song is not so much like Week 247. As married people everywhere will know, getting married and being married are two different experiences. Both are powerful and life affirming, but the contrast bears exploration. Getting married is a beautiful dream that you float through with your favorite person. It barely feels real. You don’t touch the ground for weeks, until the daily routine of life reasserts itself. That is when the wedding ends, and the marriage really begins.

We didn’t have an easy first year of marriage. Don’t misunderstand me: our challenges primarily came from the outside, and the marriage is the reason we’ve still got ground to stand on. Our first year of marriage was defined by the necessity of our mutual support, and the refuge that support provided us. This song recalls both the magic of our wedding, and the trials of the year that followed, as it charts a course to an optimistic future. Bright though tomorrow may be, the path that leads there can be dark and obscured by storms, so we hold ever tighter to one another.

I worked really hard to give this song a grounded, yet rambling instrumental, and to craft words that say what they mean. Nonetheless, the true star is my dear wife’s soaring vocal. I don’t intend to wait for our next anniversary to feature her again.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 297 // Real Like Everyone Else

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

Melting to the sidewalk
My imagination gets going
I’ll never be a radio star
But I guess there’s nothing wrong
With being just like everyone else

Everybody’s losing it
They’re barking like dogs in heat
They will never be president
Ease up, there’s something free
About being real like everyone else

The light shone down on you
The perfect hour’s holy light
My thoughts are crystal clear
My perfect shining crystal thoughts

Flying over rooftops
My imagination gets going
I ain’t never been a common man
I got fists that can punch through thick steel walls
I just wanna be seen for me

And with you on a summer evening
And we’re sweating through our shirts but it doesn’t matter
Who’d want to be Spider-Man?
I know there’s something free
About being real like everyone else

The light shone down on you
The perfect hour’s holy light
My thoughts are crystal clear
My perfect shining crystal thoughts

Notes
Today I wrote about reckoning with escapism. I feel like most people are trying to untether themselves from themselves. We do it through fiction, politics, daydreams, sports, the news, work, delusions of grandeur, film, TV, shopping and on and on and on and on. I do it all the time, because my job is mundane, and because it can be really fun. I’m not here to say that we should never seek solace from ourselves outside of ourselves. Maybe we shouldn’t do it quite so much. This song is about being ok with being ordinary, and loving the extraordinary things about an ordinary life.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 296 // Who’s to Tear them Down?

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook

download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

Oh what fires we burn
Oh what fires we burn
Who’s to put them out again?
Who’s to put them out again?
Oh what walls we build
Oh what walls we build
Who’s to tear them down again?
Who’s to tear them down again?
Who’s to tear them down?

Notes
It is hard to talk of walls in 2016 without gesturing toward a specific person, a specific movement, and a specific world view. I’m not trying to be coy, I just think enough people will already be writing his name this week. Nonetheless, he is on my mind. He is on my mind nearly all the time. The world is in great upheaval. This is a broad stroke that is easy enough to paint. I’m sure everyone who reads that statement will think of a different catastrophe, which demonstrates my point. It feels as if we are witnessing a great conflagration. Who could ever put out a fire by building a wall?

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 295 // Prospecting

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

The streets are paved with gold
In old New York
I fill my pockets
When I can
At five o’clock
I’m lighting out from here
The hour strikes
I’m my own man

And all the while
The sunlight stares me down
I will not hide behind
A sense of pride
If every whisper
Is a promise made
Then every shout
Must be a lie

The streets have been paved over
The seam is long since mined in this old town

And Christ was born
On Independence Day
He lay his head
In Central Park
And kings from all five boroughs
Bent their knees
And tipped their lovers
In the dark

The streets have been paved over
The seam is long since mined in this old town

Notes
There have been a lot of songs written about New York. I have certainly added to the pile since I moved here in 2013. It is a hard place not to reflect upon when you are a song writer. Sometimes I ponder the New York songbook, and I’m sorry to say that most of the big hit anthems about this city are awful, pandering propaganda. New York is a city of opportunity for many, but the high cost of living and competitive job market make it a pretty hard place to get by for a lot of folks. “I wanna wake up In a city that doesn’t sleep, and find I’m king of the hill, top of the heap…” That’s an aspirational sentiment for many, but not everyone can hit it big like Sinatra. Alicia Keys and Jay-Z really stir up the inspiration when they sing about the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” but then you realize that not everyone’s dreams come true. Also, that lyric doesn’t even make grammatical sense. I thought I’d try to take New York down a peg this week. New York needs an honest song, perhaps even a cynical song. I know that probably isn’t a recipe for a hit, but I never claimed to be Frank Sinatra.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 294 // Signs

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

Count the beats between the breaths you take
Count the moments it takes to change your mind
And on the wind we search for signs
And from every ray of light that breaks the clouds
We shield our eyes
And take as evidence that God is on our side

And everywhere in America
A different letter of the truth we’re sold
And on the wind we search for signs
And from every ray of light that breaks the clouds
We shield our eyes
And take as evidence that God is on our side

Notes
Today is America’s national holiday. I hope you’re having a fun and safe time commemorating our independence from the British, and celebrating in broad strokes the awesomeness of being American. I hope you’re also open to broadening the definition of who gets to hang out here, and be a part of this big American party. An election year is a tricky time to celebrate something as open to interpretation as Americanness. In a real sense, its definition is up for grabs this November. Independence Day is a good time to reflect on what we want to be. For me, this year the clearer choice is about what we must not be. Enjoy your fireworks and American Beer (the best in the world bar none), and mull it over while you eat something fried or grilled. Happy 4th!

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 293 // Second Hand

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

The neighbors are stirring up something at 4am
Fireworks and car alarms going off again

Fast asleep on a subway car
In the afternoon
Second hand slows down
The closer I get to you

Sweet summer evening breeze
Blowing o’er the rooftop
Towering over me
Over me

A highway
A failed escape in a driving storm
A heatwave one of these days
This you can be sure

A voice on an age old wave
On a crackling tape
Firsthand accounts
Of a history that had to wait

Sweet voices on the breeze
Fingers through the tree tops
Find their way to me
Find their way

A moment repeats and repeats and repeats again
Each return is a whispered word
From an absent friend

Fast asleep in a taxi cab
Leaning close to me
Second hand slows down
That’s the way it’s supposed to be

Sweet summer evening breeze
Reaching out the window
Soaring down the street
Soaring

Notes
This is a song about memory and time. Like memory, these lyrics aren’t precisely linear in their narrative. These are snippets of memories recalled by the sensation of summer breezes. They circle around each other in much the way that the hands circle around a watch face (if you are like me, and you wear an old fashioned kind of watch, rather than the kind that answers your phone or calculates your shoe-size via crowd-sourced algorithms).

This song alludes to artifacts blowing around on the breeze, manifesting as memory, and resurfacing as experiences. It has a steady handed guitar part that recalls the constants in our lives, and the ever-presence of repetition. If you can, please listen to it on a hilltop, or a rooftop, or dangling out a car window somewhere. Get someplace up high where the breeze is sure to catch you, and close your eyes. Don’t pay any attention to what I’m singing. Listen to some of your own recollections while you hear this song. Listen to quiet memories, and be glad you’ve got them.

~M.E.

Pin It

Week 292 // A Prayer

visit and “like” Mount Everest on facebook


download it on bandcamp

View Lyrics

Steady my love
Though I’m spinning like a top
You can hold me up
Slowing the world
You ease it to focus again

Grateful am I
In the moment of my crisis
You pin me down
Somehow you shatter
All the untruths I have spoke of myself

I will hold you and love you completely
It’s all I can do

Honest am I
Many burdens of my world
I will place on you
Know in return
I will take up my share of your own

I will hold you and love you completely
It’s all I can do

Notes
Of course this song isn’t really a prayer in the conventional sense. I don’t pray very often anymore, because I gradually found that I usually did so in moments when I sought personal gain. Out of respect for those who pray seriously, I realized I had been treating prayers like wishes, and that’s not really what they are for. These days, In moments of joy and of crisis I tend to turn to someone else instead of the almighty. This is a love song that felt like a prayer when I sang it. It is slow and plodding. It is careful and reverent. It is grateful and vulnerable. It is as true as I could make it.

~M.E.

Pin It