On May 1, 2009, six people clad in flowers played a show at the Q Cafe. I was lucky enough to be one of those people, but I definitely did not anticipate all that was to come after that point. I did not expect this group of people and the music we created together to entirely change my life.
Through three years of college and the two years that followed, Friends & Family was my constant. Practice once a week, shows smattered throughout, and bandmates slowly becoming some of the people I was closest to. We were the first to be told about big changes in our lives. Engagements and break-ups, leaving jobs and finding to new ones, weddings marking the beginning of new seasons, and the deaths of those we held dear. We have stood next to each other through huge life changes, embracing some with joy and others with sorrow, all the while laughing at stupid jokes and trying to peel bananas with our toes.
It is with a very heavy heart that I am sharing the news with you that we will play our final show in September. I am so proud of us, I truly am. At the risk of sounding egotistical, we have accomplished much. After our Q Cafe and SPU picnic days were over, we played at venues all over Seattle, from the Tractor to the Triple Door. We had the honor of opening for The Polyphonic Spree five times, feeling like friends by the end. Our Album, Happy, Good Looking and In Love, is a work of art we are all immensely proud of. This past spring we got to tour the country with our music – Seattle to Chicago to Texas to Cali, with a whole lot in between. When time and energy and money started to run thin, it became painfully evident that what we have is not matching with what many of us desire: to be full time musicians.
I even shocked myself when I realized that that is what I desire right now. Somehow what was once something I did on the side, just for fun, became exactly what I want to be doing with my life. I want to be a musician. It was somewhere in between our album release show in May of 2013 and playing live on KEXP last August that I realized how important playing music is in my life. Beyond that, I came to realize how important playing music is in the lives of others. There have been enough people over the years who have said this to me after a show: I finally felt like I could be myself for the first time in a long time. It is these people who helped me find my goal and purpose as an artist: to allow people to be honest with themselves and feel how they truly want and need to feel.
Whether it means someone feels immense joy or found heartache that has been buried for a long time, I feel it is my own purpose to give people a space where they feel close and comfortable enough to be themselves. It seems, though it took five years, that’s what Friends & Family did for me. It allowed me to be creative while navigating the choppy waters of major changes, questions of faith, confusion in relationships and all of the large shifts that come in this strange and ever-changing season of life. There will most certainly be a void in my life without this beautiful band, but I look forward to seeing what happens as I pray and discern what is next for me as an artist, as a musician and as a person. I also count myself lucky to be facing this change with several others who know exactly how I feel. So please, enjoy our last show on September 21st and keep your ears peeled for what’s next for me and the other members of Friends & Family. I know I’ll be doing the same.
I think it only necessary to thank you for your support throughout the years. We could not have done any of this without your attending our shows, buying our music, taking photos, dancing, writing, and spreading the word. Beyond all of those things, I know I could not have done any of this without you believing in me. Without you looking at me and thinking I was crazy, but paying the $10 cover to watch me play anyways. Without you reminding me that if I thought it mattered, then it was important to keep going. And, thanks to you, that’s exactly what I am going to do.