Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Myles Travitz’s song “Mockingbird” from his forthcoming album Mother Moon. The song will be available this Friday, and the album is due to be released on July 30. Mother Moon was recorded and mixed by Myles Travitz; and produced by Myles Travitz and Dylan Turner with executive producers Christopher Snyder and Filip Kolev. “Mockingbird” is Rob J. DiMauro on drums, and Myles Travitz on vocals and other instruments.
We had a chance to ask Myles Travitz a couple of questions. You’ll find the song premiere just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: This song is lovely, and it taps into the healing/re-energizing power of nature and wildlife. What inspired you to write this song? What is the story behind it? What is it about?
Myles Travitz: Originally what inspired the song was I had a crappy day at work where I messed up something for a client. When I got home, all I wanted to do was forget the day even happened. I sat down at my piano and was playing chords that made me happy when I heard birds chirping outside my window, and it got me thinking about my day. I think everybody has days similar to this where all you want to do is find something to help you be swept away from your troubles for a bit.
AH: Do you consider this song — and your music in general — a place for you to work through your issues/concerns/anxieties? Do you find songwriting therapeutic? Did writing this song bring you solace or peace in any way?
MT: I absolutely consider my music in general as a therapeutic way of processing life experiences and finding peace, as well as understanding. To this day, “Mockingbird” brings me peace, because while I’ve written songs about experiences, moments in time, and about others, this is the first song I wrote just for me. A song to pick myself up and tell me things are going to be okay.
AH: Can you tell us about the recording sessions and working on this song?
MT: Absolutely! I have a home studio that I write and record all of my music in, but, ironically, I actively avoid recording for as long as possible. Back when I produced electronic music, it was so easy to get stuck in an eight-bar loop and not make any progress, so I write ideas entirely separate from the computer at first, because getting from zero to one (a blank canvas to a fully formed idea) is the hardest part for me. “Mockingbird” started out as piano and the lyrics quickly followed. After that, coming up with the organ, guitar, and other instruments came pretty quickly. One thing I had never done was get a drummer for my songs, and I’m so glad I booked some recording studio dates because the world of difference it made is insane!
AH: Your vocal cadences and longer lyrical lines seem to call to mind some folk artists, specifically Simon & Garfunkel with this particular song. Who are your biggest influences?
MT: Thank you, that’s a very big compliment! My parents had a big part to play on my love of Billy Joel, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, and Glen Hansard. So those go without saying, but I would also add The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, John Mayer, and Coldplay. I recently came across Lawrence, and they’re so good!
AH: Time to tell us a secret — what is something about this song that you haven’t mentioned anywhere else?
MT: “Mockingbird” is my take on the idea from Billy Joel’s song, “Piano Man,” where the lens is from the pianist’s point of view. My song shifts the perspective to the troubled people’s point of view looking at the performer for a place of respite, and hopefully to face the next day with a smile and some joy.
Myles Travitz writes fluid, thoughtful and expansive folksongs that take no time at all to grow on you. Listen and see for yourself.