Trace Meek—Along the Way

My new record: Along the Way

I’ve made a record! It’s available in Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp, and many of the other major streaming platforms.

Some of the songs in Along the Way have been percolating inside of me for decades; others have emerged more recently. It’s a mixture of a few fully-fledged songs, plus a couple of sonic experiments or “palate cleansers.” I recorded this entirely at my home studio, from March through August of 2023.

The overarching theme I’ve been trying to articulate is acceptance of—and love for—the beautiful, bittersweet human condition, especially as it is experienced later in one’s life. Namely that, as Steve Jobs put it, “You appear, have a chance to blaze in the sky, then you disappear.” Mostly I view this work as a simple love letter to nature. But there’s also a “dirge” aspect that acknowledges—in a hopefully non-judgmental way—that civilization is sort of suffocating itself.

Treating these subjects with the artistic gravitas they deserve has been a wonderful and formidable task. But I have poured my heart into the process, and I feel like the Universe has responded with beneficence. I hope that this work moves you in some way.

Along the way I’ve been teaching myself the craft of audio engineering (specifically, using Apple’s Logic Pro software). Any sane musician would have sought the services of a professional mixing and mastering engineer. But the do-it-yourself instinct always runs strong in me, and these are skills I’ve been wanting to learn. Education-by-fire has been part of the whole experience of making this record.

I’ve also been forced to learn how to write songs differently, to accommodate the reality of my older-and-grittier singing voice. I’ve enjoyed exploring some new-to-me instruments and alternate tunings, which have enabled me to write and play in lower registers, while still reaping the benefits of the particular chord voicings that alternate tunings afford. It has all been great fun, and it has been agonizing at the same time. (Further underscoring the record’s thesis, in a microcosm.)

Many thanks to Rebecca Meek for taking the back cover photo (right side) that makes me look like a rock star. The goofy pic on the front cover (left side) I took myself, while ice skating on a pond (one of my happy places). The typeface I’ve chosen for the cover art is the excellent Parkly, made by Dan Cederholm, of SimpleBits.

Give it a listen, if you like, and let me know what you think.