Finding “Get Lost”
The inspiration for “Get Lost” came from several sources. In my experience, music and melody usually appear first. One afternoon I picked up my Guild acoustic guitar, which I used to write and record many of the songs on Sayonara Sorrow, and both the chord change and verse melody sprung from the void.
It happened so effortlessly that I was uncertain whether the tune already existed; the melody was simple and emotionally direct, which is not a hallmark of much of my previous writing. I knew intuitively there was something “there,” but the directness of the tune's mysterious arrival and laid-plain-sound was perplexing.
The title came from a conversation with my father, Don Brown, who shared a related quote with me sometime in early 2020. While discussing our shared love of travel, my father referenced a quote from a colleague of his, who had a plaque in her office that read, “Travel often. Don’t be afraid of getting lost, it’s how you find yourself.”
I felt the phrase “Get Lost” was interpretive and slightly irreverent, and would make for a good refrain. From there, I had an idea to base the verses around the usage of different homophones, which are words that sound the same but are different in spelling and meaning (morning / mourning). From there, the song basically wrote itself.
While I can’t verify with 100% accuracy, it’s my belief that “Get Lost” was the song that sold Mick Flowers, producer of Sayonara Sorrow, on working with me on this album. Mick stated early in the proceedings that he wanted me to sing simply, directly, and without great affectation, which again is not my normal approach. Mick’s vocal direction is perhaps most clearly realized on “Get Lost,” which has no vibrato or vocal theatrics in its straightforward delivery.
Mick also suggested that we dress the song in production that could best be described as “Americana,” which was a suggestion I resisted at first, having wanted the album to have more of a dark, nighttime vibe. In the end, Mick was right on both choices, as the song called for directness in approach and instrumentation.
My brother, Jeff Brown, played a dreamy, open-A-tuned guitar in the left speaker, which adds to the song’s lulling, fanciful sound. Jeff also plays bass on the track, which along with drums by Mick Flowers has a propulsive, easy swing reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac.
I played the song’s guitar solo on my black Greco “Rickenbacker,” which is a Japanese knockoff guitar given to me by a friend on a trip to Japan in 2013. Mick and I first tried the solo on a Fender Jaguar and on a Fender Telecaster, but Mick suggested my Grecco and asked me to “play it lazier and more behind the beat,” which we got in the first try with the Grecco after running it through Mick’s Blackstar amp at concert volume.
My favorite part of the track is the final harmony section by Barbara Nesbitt. Barbara’s name came into the mix after she slayed a track on Jeff’s EP, The French King was Decapitated. I had a similar part on the demo I recorded for Get Lost, but Mick and I thought the song could use a woman’s touch, and Barbara was the natural choice. My instruction to Barbara was for her to make it sound like “angelic female doo-wop,” which she quite simply nailed.
For the single’s artwork, I chose a photo from a trip to Spain in 2017, which was taken by my friend, Maggie Civantos, on a street near Madrid’s Latin quarter called Calle del Espiritu Santo. This trip was special, as it was my first solo trip out of the country, giving me ample opportunity to get free, get gone, and get lost.