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"These are the conversations that push me to keep creating even when it's hard"

Daniel Lyon / Spirit Award

Spirit Award
Seattle, WA 

Seattle based three-piece Spirit Award are known for their unique mix of sprawling stereo guitars, stunningly moody soundscapes and a driving drum and bass foundation. While Spirit Award are aptly capable of generating catchy psych moments, there seems to be no calculable formula to their writing style. 

There are many times I’ve face roadblocks in writing/making music or financial strain and wonder, “Does making music really matter?” “Should I give up and find a normal job?”. I had some conversations over the weekend that answered my questions.

A few moths ago, my girlfriend’s godmother suffered a bad heart attack. She has had lot of anger over the years (#45 doesn’t help that anger…), and rightfully so. She grew up a lesbian in a religious household (trying to pray the gay away etc.), and has faced all sorts of sexism, misogyny, and homophobia. On top of that she was a Lieutenant for the Seattle Fire Dept. for 17 years. She has seen and dealt with many things none of us could ever think about dealing or coping with. And because of this she gets adrenaline rushes that cause her heart to go crazy when she gets angry or worked up about something.

After having the heart attack she was seeking therapy to rid herself of a lot of anger and find a calm place. She started doing a type of Neurotherapy or Biofeedback for PTSD. She goes in and listens to the same music/sounds every time and they monitor the brain for certain reactions. Basically a therapy that slowly changes the bad patterns that our brains create that we want to change. She has heard the same long song dozens of times, and says she still finds something new in them each time. This therapy has brought up some painful things from the past, and things that have been suppressed, but she is feeling more peaceful and calm in situations where she may not have been.

I think it’s in important realization that while we love listening to music for fun, you can actually be improving your health, brain functionality, or healing something from your past. These are the conversations that push me to keep creating even when it’s hard, taking any negativity and channel and dispose of it in a song.


I have to say this is a tie between Shake It Records in Cincinnati, where I always found some gems at reasonable prices, and Sonic Boom in Seattle. Sonic Boom has some of the nicest people, and the majority of them work at labels or for KEXP and they are always so kind and pushing our record on customers. Love that!


There are so many venues/cities that I love playing, but one I also love revisiting is Schuba’s in Chicago. I just love the sound and energy of the room/city, and they also have the best mac n’ cheese.








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