I started writing “Music Box” in the Spring of 2014, shortly after getting fired from a job I’d had for almost 7 years. Most of my songs are not autobiographical, each one is more like a story told by a different character. So with “Music Box,” being freshly unemployed, it was pretty easy for me to get into the headspace of a musician who was going through hard times and asking his/her significant other how much longer they could bear to be with him.
I had maybe half of the song fleshed out when I reached out to Josh Lava – an amazing Chicago songwriter and musician – and asked if he’d be interested in doing some songwriting together. We got together and started messing around with the song. I told Josh it would be fun to try a drum groove like Steve Gadd on “50 Ways to Leave your Lover” but in the style of the Postal Service. That took the song in an entirely new direction. Josh put down a slick bass line over it and we threw together a chorus progression that frankly didn’t work very well.
Molehill recorded the Tin God EP while “Music Box” floated in the ether for another year, and then in mid 2015 I met up with Trevor and we wrote the music for the chorus and outro. All that was left was me writing the chorus vocals and the song was finally finished! Only thing was – it sounded so different from everything else we were doing. We kept writing and writing, we recorded the Hearts on Fire EP. We considered putting “Music Box” on it, but it just didn’t seem to fit. We kept going. Recorded the Hostage EP. Still, not a good fit. This whole time, every time I play a solo acoustic show, I’m playing “Music Box”. I had a strong attachment to the song but it just never seemed like the right time to release it with the band.
And now here we are in 2019. We decided – you know what, maybe we should just release this song by itself! We got our friend Yoo Soo Kim – another amazing Chicago musician and songwriter – to produce and record it, and we had it mixed by Justin Gerrish in Brooklyn. It’s been a 5 year process, multiple collaborative songwriting sessions, multiple times “not getting picked”, and I’m so excited to be finally releasing this song. I’m very proud of it and hope you enjoy!