• Keith Settles

Four Years

Nine weeks on the road and nothing to come home to but a few cats and TV dinners. 2016 was more than halfway over, and all I had to show for the year were nine weeks driving around the country in a Penske box, which to most would be a summer worth living. It was one of the best summers ever, but I left home to start a new life. To get away from what I considered a job I hated at the time and living in the middle of nowhere without cellphone reception and wifi. A low key life that forces the brain to overthink about what can go wrong in life.

The second week home and I had a bottle of Jim Beam and my guitar. I sat there thinking where I had been all summer in comparison to the beginning of that year before moving to Colorado. 2016 began rough. I was just out of a relationship I thought would go the distance and spent the first of those months in depression. I wrote a few songs before moving, but there was no change in my mood or perception of life. I felt God had forsaken me, the ideas I grew up with had failed me, and I faced my mortality and place in this world.

That September evening, I drank 750ml's of Jim Beam, put on a movie, and by midnight fell asleep. Two hours go by, and I woke up taking deep breaths and laying on my side. The pit in my stomach was tied in knots. I sang old hymnal's under my breath and prayed that God would let me wake up in the morning. I took the next day off of work, hungover and alone. I might sound a little overdramatic, but its how I felt at the time.

That day I slept off my drunken stooper and pulled out my guitar. I fingered a three-chord progression. The capo was on the sixth fret, and I was moving my hand positions from Am, G/B, C. The first words I sang to myself were, "Here I am, alone again..." and from there, I wrote what would be the first chorus.

Four Years is a 3 act story that focuses on the ideas I grew up within the Church. I am still a believer, but at the time, I entered a questioning phase. I grew up with the ideas that I could hear God's voice when I am quiet, and when I prayed. I also believed the one woman I would ever be with would be the one woman I would marry. I didn't take into consideration that life would throw curveballs my way. Life threw them, and I swung and missed.

All in all, it took me about 45 minutes to put Four Years together. At the time, I had four songs written but did not know what to do with them. I had no incentive to play shows and was too insecure even to believe I could get on a stage again. Four Years was the first song I wrote on my own that gave me the confidence to get back to the stage. The urge to get back on the stage was growing.

I thank Chris Kemple, Bill Gonzalez, Shaun Hale, Brian Raczon, and Nate Vizcarra for lending me their ears when I was sending Four Years for critiques. It was a song I forgot about for a while until Chris and I decided it was time to record it. Chris killed it with the synths and organ tracks and pushed my vocals to sound their best at that time.

You can stream Four Years on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and wherever you can stream music. Feel free to follow my artist pages so you can be updated to new music I will be releasing through the year.





©2018 by Keith Settles.