Before realizing we..I was pushing us beyond our desired limit, we released a short promo video on Facebook about our upcoming album set to be released next spring.  The inspiration for the song Permission, which we also planned to be the title of the album, drew its inspiration directly from my last post.  The idea of receiving ‘permission’ for something is rooted in our childhood and how we were raised.  Obviously in school going to the bathroom, sharpening your pencil, and being the paper collector all required permission from a teacher.  However, at home the concept of permission takes on a much more complex dynamic.  The word is thickened with a desperate yearning of approval and acceptance from the two most influential role models in your life, your parents.  Growing up, I learned that permission, very much like my religion, was as straight and solid as a metal arrow; wherever it pointed it pointed.  No discussion.  No questions asked.  Because I was not raised in a ‘talk about your feelings’ kind of house, I accepted this arrow as truth and never rebelled.

Fortunately, there was a glowing arrow of permission pointed in favor of my love of musical theater, as well as my brother’s; it was 100% endorsed by my parents.  My mom let us be a part of everything.  Every audition encouraged and every role was celebrated.  Because of my mom, I was able to take dance classes downtown and perform in several Pittsburgh productions exposing me to incredibly talented people who one day made it to Broadway.  Auditioning for these shows wasn’t even a question, it was just assumed that I would.  Every December, my brother and I performed in Pittsburgh CLO’s A Musical Christmas Carol.  We had at least 27 shows each year and I am not exaggerating when I say my mom watched every single show for the 4 years we were part of it.  I felt so lucky that at such a young age we had discovered our true passion in life which was not only permissible, but promoted and celebrated by our parents.

Fast forward to the my first year in college (also the first time I stepped into a classroom without a uniform on).  After shedding my uniform and former Catholic school girl appearance, I realized that I wasn’t really sure who I was yet.  I had no idea how to talk or act around other people that may not believe the same things I did, an inconceivable thought.  I also had no idea how I should dress.  Up until this point, the biggest fashion statement I could make in school was my choice of knee socks.  The safety blanket of my uniform did not prepare me for the free spirited, independent college life and this brought on a very unnerving realization.  I discovered with amazement that permission took on another layer of depth.  It enveloped inward.  With this new unbounded freedom far from the constant examining eye of teachers and parents, I began to recognize that it was time to start drawing permission from myself or, better yet, recognizing that I didn’t need to get permission from anyone else.  For the first time I was the one who got to call the shots.  I was liberated from the oppressive requirement to ‘check in’ with an adult before acting.  Now I was the adult of my own life.  And accompanying my new found source of independence was an abundance of questions flooding my mind.  Questions I was never able to ask before.  Questions that were unapproved by my two foundational pillars which led to an unfortunate separation.

I have been working to redefine the notion of permission for myself after understanding its powerful effects on my psyche.  Although I still tend to revert back to my childhood need to seek permission from others, I’m learning how to slowly chip away at this deeply imbedded stone in my brain hoping to release a balanced equilibrium.  Many inspirations for my songwriting have come from orbiting around the complexities of permission, helping to shape a new sound.  I anticipate this upcoming album to be our best work yet.  It is more focused and deals with a stronger, more relatable concept.  I am so excited to begin unraveling these songs and the stories behind them.

Here are the lyrics to the title song of the album, Permission:

You know it’s for certain

So I sat back, turned out the lights, drew the curtains

I know that somewhere inside you’re really hurting

If only in the superficial way


And I know it’s so hard to

Connect the dots to show what’s happening around you

Then maybe you’d see why I can’t be around you

And that’s still really hard for me to say


And living your reality’s a chore

And I’m just sick of playing anymore

So now I’m leaving you


And it’s always the same thing

So just stay safe wrapped in that box that you came in

I didn’t think by now I’d have to explain it

But I forget I’m talking to a wall


No I don’t need your permission

The two of us we’ll live out all you’ve been wishing

And you think by watching us you’d see what you’re missing

But you keep yourself chained to him


And that’s why living your reality’s a chore

And I’m just sick of playing anymore

So now I’m leaving you


No I don’t, no I don’t, no I don’t need your permission

(Repeat until I believe it)

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