Be Here Instead [Exclusive Purple]
Be Here Instead emerged from a wild alchemy of instinct, ingenuity, and joyfully determined rule-breaking.
In a stark contrast to Millsap's typical writing style, Be Here Instead was created by experimenting with everything from piano to effects pedals to old-school drum machines. He soon arrived at a body of work touched with both unbridled imagination and lucid insight into the search for presence in a chaotic world.
“They feel like words I needed to hear from myself, and not just things I wanted to say to someone else,” Millsap asserts.
Although Be Here Instead often finds him wandering into new terrain, the album remains firmly grounded in the sophisticated musicianship he began honing as a kid growing up in the small town of Purcell.
In looking back on the making of Be Here Instead, Millsap points out that his recently discovered love of painting also informed the free-flowing creativity he brought to the album. “My wife’s grandfather was an artist who did watercolor paintings, and a few years ago I decided I wanted to try it,” he says. “I very quickly found out that watercolors are really hard to work with: you have to embrace your mistakes, and then let them guide you along. It’s made me think about how when you mess up, you’re basically revealing your humanity, which is what music’s all about. When I listen to records, I love when Ray Charles’s voice cracks, or when you hear the squeaking of the kick-drum pedal on a Led Zeppelin song. Anything that shows the living, breathing quality of the whole thing—that’s always wonderful. That’s what we’re here for. So don’t be afraid to let it happen.”