In Pieces: A New Musical reflects on the romantic journeys of eight people who share, meditate and remember the paths and partners chosen along the way. Set in New York City and featuring songs written over the last twelve years of my life, this show naturally tells a lot of my personal love stories. However, recontextualizing them and fitting them into this larger narrative between several characters, I have found that, even outside of me, these songs examine how we receive and react and grow in a universal sense. It’s often bittersweet, but that’s okay.
Around the middle of 2020, the show started to get a new boost and while most of his music was spread across my previous albums, there were a handful of songs – many that were written or rearranged specifically for this show – that hadn’t been released. We decided to create a Strong points album not only to present the rest of In pieces, but also to give people an idea of ââits cohesion and energy.
Crazy, this is the biggest album I have recorded to date and it has been almost all worked on remotely during this pandemic. Each singer recorded separately – some in my home studio, some in their closets in Los Angeles or Atlanta, or in studios in Nashville. The band consisted of me and my husband Brian Russell Carey, posing piano, strings, bass and lineup at home, drummer Josh Roberts and guitarist Justin Goldner each sending their tracks from their respective studios. Some of the mixing engineers we worked with lived in Chicago, one in Scotland, all of us using the technology to really build this album. It really was a huge company, but I’m so proud of what we’ve done. Everyone gave an incredible performance.
In Pieces: A New Musical (Highlights) is available on all streaming platforms through Broadway Records. A digital presentation of the show by Future Spotlight Production (with a different cast) is receiving a booster presentation May 14-28. To learn more, Click here.
1. âFork in the Road (Intro)â – Performed by In pieces Ensemble: Sean Doherty, Ashley De La Rosa, Mia Gerachis, Brad Greer, Tommy Kaiser, Emily Kristen Morris, Stevi Incremona and Nygel D. Robinson
The show opens in this space of reflection where each of our characters look back and wonder if they made the right choices along the way. It’s pure, contemplative and introduces a musical and lyrical motif that comes back later.
2. “You Never Know” – Performed by Brad Greer, Mia Gerachis and In pieces Together
We immediately move on to that next song which is buzzing with hope and excitement. I wanted to show our characters in a place of chosen optimism that is neither forced nor naive, but consciously open to the next adventure. In pieces normally has eight main actors, and although this Strong points The album conceptually features a few more guest artists, I wanted us to always hear a core of eight actors throughout. Here we get to establish that cast and I love how the whole song has come together. None of my music is easy to sing. That’s a lot of pocket-sized, multi-octave rhythm vocals with crisp harmonies and pop styles, so when you pair that with massive production – those drums! the emotional slide guitar! – I think we have all really accomplished something quite magical.
3. “Me and Mr. Popularity” – Performed by Andrew Barth Feldman
This song is about an unexpected friendship between two seemingly different guys. It’s full of innocence and curiosity and such a sweet start to this character’s journey. I had wanted to work with Andrew Barth Feldman for a while. He’s such a talented and likeable storyteller, but then he has the vocals to match, so it couldn’t have been a more perfect project for us. âMe and Mr. Popularityâ was actually one of the first songs I recorded for the album. In fact, I don’t think I was even planning to do a full album when I initially presented this to Andrew. He was one of the artists who recorded remotely from home, so I think the success and enjoyment of this recording process gave me the confidence to make a great sound recording under different circumstances.
4. âThis Is Not Meâ – Performed by George Salazar
It’s probably the darkest song in the series, if not, in my entire music catalog. As an LGBTQIA + writer, all of my songs have a queer tone, and I’ve always celebrated and shared my authentic love stories with boys. However, I don’t tend to tackle some of the more intense issues we face in the community. This song was really out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to delve into the struggle against identity and sexuality and how that can manifest itself in sometimes scary, addicting and confusing behavior, while keeping it hidden from the public.
5. “Like You Don’t Miss Me” – Performed by Stevi Incremona, Natalie Weiss and Ashley De La Rosa
I originally released this song as a solo pop single in 2016. I wrote it after hearing an ex go on a little breakup press tour, spreading his new life and alliances, and so I felt a little fiery. For In pieces, it’s been revamped as a sort of trio similar to Destiny’s Child, where three of our characters are in town, feeling a little sassy and sassy. I love what we did with the production of this one. The opening has that alluring guitar hook with pizzicato strings which then builds up with bass, taps and piano until the chorus first drops. Super satisfying.
6. “Another New York Love Story” – Performed by Leslie Hiatt
Moving away from the ‘party thru the thrill’ vibe of the previous song, we turn to some of the more vulnerable stories on this album, sharing a very relatable situation in New York City: bumping into your ex on a crowded train in downtown 1 to 2 in the morning. Leslie Hiatt gives a masterclass performance and Justin Goldner’s magnificent acoustic guitar work compliments the sensitivity and emotion that prevails throughout. âAnother New York Love Storyâ is definitely my love letter to New York, where everything seems so big but so small, exhausting but still alluring and filled with millions of love stories.
7. “Love Me, Love Me Not” – Performed by David Archuleta
My career really started with this song. It was the name of my first album and it continues to be one of the songs people know me about the most. âLove Me, Love Me Notâ is all about trying to help someone break down their walls and open up to the love in front of them. It has been redesigned in different ways over the years, including Natalie Weiss and Ben Fankhauser acoustic duo version which was released in 2019 – but the song was actually first written as a male solo and in In pieces, it’s making a comeback as such. It was so much fun having David Archuleta on this recording. He truly is one of the best singers with such an iconic tone and phrasing. And I’m pretty good at developing riffs and I really thought I heard it all in that song, but he came up with some really unique and tasteful choices that were such a great balance to keep the classic, but also make it. refreshing.
8. “Singin ‘the Same Line” – Performed by Solea Pfeiffer and In pieces Together
This is the most recent song I wrote for In pieces. I was inspired by watching the experiences others were having. How there are these very charismatic people who are a little more complicated and don’t quite want to be locked up, but everyone continues to do well knowing the red flags and can’t help themselves. How do you get your fix from someone who isn’t fixed themselves? So I envisioned all of these people coming together as a support group where they could empathize, laugh, and connect with that one person they just couldn’t leave. It’s actually a little lighter than how some people have interpreted it, but overall this song has helped me reconnect with a joy of writing songs that I haven’t felt since. one moment.
9. “In Pieces” – Performed by Ben Fankhauser and In pieces Together
At the end of the show, some of the last questions asked are bundled into this song. I was afraid that I could only be wanted or loved temporarily. It’s a vulnerable conversation to have with yourself and with the person you’re seeing at the time. There is a delicate dance of trying to protect your heart, but also letting go and diving past the pieces with people. At the end of the song, the characters find their worth, their worth and see how this can be applied to the next stage. The âYou Never Knowâ motif returns at the end like a sunrise on a new day.
10. “Fork in the Road” – Performed by Joey Contreras, Tommy Kaiser and In pieces Together
Almost like an epilogue, this song completes the picture of how we started. The characters distance themselves from the tales with a little more clarity and acceptance of the choices that have been made over the years. I think of this song as a super cut from life, bringing back familiar melodies, but in new ways, and the last breath at the end is like a little emotional weight lifted. Ahhhâ¦ love!