Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New Song! "Incomplete"

Happy 2015!  I can't believe 2014 whizzed by and we're already here.  This past year has been a big learning experience for me.  Amongst many lessons, I learned just how important it is to stay true to oneself, despite any external pressures.  What I mean is - I learned about the ugly side of being a singer/songwriter - that part of this industry that makes one feel insecure, finding oneself comparing constantly against others, getting pulled down by insecurities despite all that had been accomplished.  I realized at the end of 2014 that I had never really given myself a chance to creatively breathe in almost 4 years (wow!), and that this probably accounted for my emotionally deteriorated condition.  I decided to give myself at least 2 weeks off social media and away from music. No Facebook, no guitar practice, no songwriting, no Instagram.  I thought it would be hard...but once I decided to let go, the relief was almost instant.  I'm not saying social media is a total evil - I love the benefits of this new technological age, especially as an indie musician.  But getting wrapped in it can really warp you, especially when trying to stay connected to some innate sense of creativity...that intangible muse that needs simultaneous freedom and isolation to stay well-oiled.  Anyway, you may think that once I decided on this new self-help step that everything got exponentially awesome.  Not exactly.  I came down with a bad flu that peaked with a 102 fever on Christmas Day.  I think my body had wanted to fall apart for a while and since my brain had kept it going and going for many months, it never had a chance to just let loose.  It definitely was no fun staying in bed during one of my favorite holidays (right up there with Thanksgiving), but it further helped me slow down a bit.  Breathe.  Embrace the simplicity of the world around.  Family, and all that jazz.  It also helped me appreciate all that came to pass in 2014.  I can't wait to see what's in store next!

In the meantime, I've got a brand new song that I debuted at Hotel Cafe this past December 8th.  I also performed it on Halo Halo with Kat Iniba, and the video is below. It's a song I co-wrote with my friend Matt Koelsch, with whom I'd done a Lumineers cover back in 2013.  Enjoy!

"Incomplete"  (by Matt Koelsch/Alfa Garcia)

Baby, I know this sounds crazy
when you come around I don't know what it is
Maybe, it's cause you're something different
from what I am used to
but you're out of reach.

It's nothing but a passing thing
boy, you got me wondering
what everything would be like if you were mine, mine, mine
Everytime I see you leave
wishing you were next to me
I don't wanna sleep
I feel like I'm incomplete.

You're tired, ran circles through my mind
You're just the kind of distraction I wanted all this time.
It's useless, I try to be productive
your smile is so seductive
You don't even try.


You fly so high, but don't come down for me
On restless nights I see you in my dreams
I'll let it pass, but until then
I'll just pretend that you are mine, mine, mine.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Song: "God Writes Happy Endings"

New video out today!   And you can download the song on my Bandcamp too. :)

God writes happy endings.

woke up today in the darkness
a ghost sat in my room
told it all of my secrets
how bad I've been missing you

but when I'm awake, I just want to sleep
to fill an empty space
where do I go now? I wonder
fixed to the anchors of fate.

but God writes happy endings
...and me and you will have our happy ending too.

when I'm asleep you're a traveler
you're packed and ready to go
fading away in the distance
to places I'll never know

weary, the world spins on and on
I don't know how it ends
do you come back?  did you love me at all?
did half your heart pretend?

God writes happy endings
...and me and you will have our happy ending

somewhere, in a future somewhere
that I'm not supposed to know... 

God writes happy endings
God writes happy endings
God writes happy endings
and me and you will have our happy ending
me and you will have some happy end
me and you will have our happy ending too.

This song is near and dear to me because I started writing it 8 years ago, during my last painful breakup.  Writing about a breakup is daunting sometimes, mostly because it's a realm that has been explored time and time again.  The challenge becomes the search for different lenses and angles through which to view the situation.  Now, my first attempt at writing this song wasn't entirely a failure -  I did "finish" it, in the sense that I'd played it at a gig once - but deep inside I knew it wasn't there yet.  In hindsight, I realize it was because I had written it too soon after the pain.  Some topics are just plain hard to navigate in their fresh state.  What I did get out of that first attempt, though, was a chorus that stuck with me through several years, until earlier this summer when I sat in my backyard hammock and leafed through an old journal to dig up old songs.  The melody was old-school; kind of lullaby-ish, a tinge jazz standard-y.  I loved the repetition of the phrase; it was so much like a mantra.

This song also stood out because all I could remember was the chorus, and I couldn't for the life of me recall any verse.  I took that as a challenge, and re-built the song around this bare skeleton.  The hardest part to this process was trying to get myself back in that post-breakup mental state.  One thing stuck with me from that time, and it was the ripping realization that someone whose life had been intertwined deeply with my own was most certainly going to go onward through life's experiences without me there to be part of it.  I wouldn't know their life's journey, and my own future would not include them either.  For someone like me who (full disclaimer) has dealt with some abandonment issues, this was a very real, very bewildering revelation.  It stunned me at the time, and I can still remember how painfully empty I felt; how hard it was to feel self-sufficient and normal again.

One thing kept me somewhat optimistic, and it was the knowledge that everything wasn't in my hands.  That mantra, "God writes happy endings," is written like the self-assuring words we tell ourselves in hard times to help keep our heads up.  It's also about getting the courage to surrender to the wills of fate - looking forward to a "happy ending," whether it means you'll end up back together or not at all.  It's about accepting a happy ending in whatever form it may come in; knowing there's someone out there that knows our fate better than us, and being OK with that.