While cleaning out his closet, my cousin Zane found an old CD I had given him in 2005. The disc has five demo tracks I had recorded. One of those tracks (The Expectations) made it on to my debut album. The studio version is a little more fleshed out, but the demo has a lot of unadulterated passion that I think I prefer. You can compare the difference in the two versions below.
It's been nearly 13 years since I've heard this recording of the song. While the audio quality isn't that great (heavy noise gating, something weird going on with the EQ, plosives, etc), the idea and performance is there. This song is about my brother, Jeron, who was still alive when I recorded this version of the song. We were roommates at the time and being his younger brother I always felt the need to outdo him. This led to me judging him and looking down on the way he chose to live his life, spend his money, etc. The lyrics of this song are a reflection of those feelings.
It wasn't long after this demo was recorded that my brother took his life. While his suicide wasn't directly because of me, I've always carried a lot of guilt. I wish I could take back all the times I made him feel shitty. I wish I could have given him more reasons to want to stay around. If you can learn anything from my mistakes, please just make an effort to be the brightness in the lives of the people you interact with. You never know when they'll need it.
Love yourselves and one another.