Bleed in Color is out tomorrow! I wanted this song to be a specific nod to Pride for this record, but since I’m not LGBTQ+ myself, I wrote from the personal experiences I have with my own colors being muted.
When I wrote this song in May of 2020, I had been “no contact” with my dad for about a month, and was really grieving that relationship (I still am). I had spent a lot of time thinking over my childhood and young adulthood with specific focus on my dad.
I thought about the ways that my non-pragmatic creativity and my propensity for bleeding-heartedness were shamed and ridiculed by my dad throughout my life. He taught me to feel stupid and lesser for being introverted, dreamy, idealistic, and empathic.
He used to proofread my English papers and other creative writing and tell me with heaping disdain that I was “too flowery” (my English teachers would disagree every time). When I was on the policy debate team in high school (studying Ocean policy, 2003), he made fun of me for my growing concern about climate change and pollution (“you can’t believe everything you read” – never mind that I was reading peer-reviewed studies, exclusively). He teased and shamed me incessantly for choosing to major in music, telling me “when you realize this is a bad decision, don’t come running to me.” He used to say things like “everyone’s a liberal until they have their own money,” implying that I was naïve to care about social issues. But…here I am, having had “my own money” for well over a decade, and I’m more of a convicted bleeding heart than ever. And, I was taught to view art and creativity as a capitalist commodity and NEVER anything more, NEVER anything deeper, NEVER anything sacred.
Bleed in Color is about so many things. It’s a grappling with one’s own moral compass—nurturing that little flicker of light after society/religion have done their best to snuff it out. It’s a grief for the time and energy we waste begging loved ones + the world to SEE ourselves with the love and acceptance we deserve (and for all of the beauty permanently lost in these battles). It’s an outpouring of joy at the beauty and wonder of our colorful human family. It’s a hope that someday we won’t have to bleed in order to be seen and valued. And, it’s a tribute to the creativity society’s “others” employ to teach the world how to see us, and to project our full vibrancy within world that works so hard to bury it.