Bryan Lankford | Crooked Tree Productions, LLC | 816.808.6408     



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Even Want  to...

Hey, Joyfriend! Thank you so much for your interest in my songwriting process! Buckle up. This one is long. But I figure since you're already here, I might as well tell you it all. 


I wrote "Even Want to" when I was honestly having some pretty bad writer's block. I was feeling pressure to write a song, because I had been locking myself in my studio recording my Christmas album non stop. I felt like I was losing my creative writing side while recording so much, so I decided to lock myself in my studio for a different reason; to write. I didn't really have anything to write about. I wasn't feeling any crazy emotions (except stress from holiday deadlines I put on myself), and I didn't have any crazy drama going on in my life. Since my wedding, I was kind of going through a writers' identity crisis. How was I supposed to write about my feelings if I never really had anything exciting going on except for happiness and newlywed bliss? That's never been something to compel me to write. If I'm feeling happy, I'm out frolicking in all the glitter that is life. BUT. If I'm sad, I create. 

I wanted to capture something real. Something honest. Something that I could never forget. But what....... I sat at my notebook for hours.......

So I hacked into my old (and I mean like 13 years old) Xanga account. I'm talking before MySpace was even a thing. Xanga was an online journal site we all created in middle and high school where we passive aggressively dished out all our problems, drama, and dreams in hopes that the person we were "secretly" writing it for... was reading it. My username was eyes_of_atragedy. Yeah, I was that dramatic. Man, scrolling through all those posts... I was such a sad girl with a fake smile on my face back then. Just trying to fit in, to mold myself into any group... even if it was with the wrong crowd. Then I found the story for "Even Want to." The bad boy, upperclassman with the long hair. Walking through clubs, sometimes a scent comes over me that takes me straight back to that time. The smell of rich cologne and cigarettes. He'd make me mixtapes of songs and bands I'd never heard of before, and we'd listen to them in his room while he dissected them down to every last lyric. The way he spoke to me was like poetry. I'd lie to my friends about where I was... We'd go on these secret dates late at night because we weren't the type of people to be hanging around together. I was on the dance team and played sports. He was in a rock band and almost never showed up to class. I remember scanning the halls for him every morning, hoping he'd come to school that day. He usually didn't. It was this dark, but almost tranquil time.

When I think back to those days, it was like a movie. A dark romance where you just want to tell the girl she deserves better. That she is wasting her life away with this boy. That everyone will start talking about her if they find out. That he's a bad influence. Maybe he was. But I look at who I am today, and all the life lessons I learned from that time, and I can't ask for a second back. I can't ask to take away the heartbreak, the tears, the sneaking around. Because I wouldn't have the heart I pieced back together that now beats so in time with my Bry. Maybe it all happened for a reason. Maybe I'm not supposed to forget. And maybe... 

I don't even want to. 

How I Wrote it

So, the way I came up with this song, was with the chord progression first. I loved this little finger picking thing I came up with, and there was a pretty new chord (F# over D) that I had stumbled upon. So I was playing around with that for a bit, as I got into the zone of this song. Then, I hit record on my phone's Voice Memo. The melody just started to pour out of me while I finger picked my new progression. I mean, out of nowhere. Four minutes went by as I sang in my scratchy morning voice whatever wanted to come out of me. Yes, the vocals are pretty terrible, but I was more focused on the writing than the performing. And hey, it was the morning. Some words stuck out... most of it was just "da-da-da," and other gibberish (that's how I write a lot), but the skeleton of the song was there. It was like there was a melody, a story, a memory stuck inside of me that was just waiting to get out. Words would pop out every once in a while when I sang, and I let them guide me to my next line. There were things in my past that I had to acknowledge if I was going to move on with my life. This melody sounded exactly like that time to me. It gives me goosebumps thinking back to that feeling of when I wrote that melody. To me, it sounded just like the smoke filled air and the late nights cruising to Death Cab. It sounded just like the lost little girl that I was years ago. I could feel it all again. I played it over and over and over again as I felt my heart heal a little bit each time. 

When I put out "The Bright Side" with this song on it, I searched all over for what I thought was a video of me writing this song. I KNEW that I had captured it somehow when I wrote it, forgetting it was actually in a voice memo. The other day, I was cleaning out my iTunes, and saw a voice memo called "Don't Really Want to." I didn't remember ever writing a song or idea titled that, so I pressed play. And there it was... A lot stayed the same, but wow, a lot changed. The speed, the words, and even some of the idea. Listening back, I love the line about "losing you" and "I don't really want to." Just the change of two lines could have turned the entire meaning of the song upside-down. It's magical to me to see the transformation of this song once I could make sense of my story and the words that popped out. What was I trying to say? What was I trying to heal? My heart? My mind? My memories? And how could I make it to where it wasn't JUST for me? I wanted to make it for you too. We all have memories that we can't forget.

And maybe we don't have to.



Recorded Version

Even Want To.mp3Casi Joy
00:00 / 03:50

Voice Memo

"Don't Really Want to" Voice Memo.mp3Casi Joy
00:00 / 04:05

Video of my Writing Process

Watch some of the writing in action...