Better is an acoustic studio release from May 8, 2020. It was recorded in March just before the COVID-19 lockdown began, and mostly composed in February. They generally encompass the theme that we can always be better as people, as a society, and at whatever it is that we do (for me, that’s songwriting, performing, and following my dreams to the best of my abilities).

The best place to purchase (either on CD combined with tracks from Millennials Are Going Gray, or as a digital download) is my store — this will be cheapest for you while also netting me the most cash. You can also listen on Spotify, YouTube (both embedded below for your convenience), or purchase/stream from your favorite digital store or streaming site/app.


  1. Better
  2. Make It Right
  3. Boxed In (The Squirrel)
  4. Beyond
  5. Give You All My Love
  6. We Can’t Let Them Win
  7. The Difference Between

CREDITS: Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Chris Badami at Portrait Recording Studios. Cover designed by Matthew John Corrales, photo by Nicole Elizabeth.


You snapped at someone yesterday
When you were going through some shit
And though they were moving slow and you were hangry
Still they didn’t deserve it
You’re not a saint, you’re not perfect
But you and I are, we’re worth it

‘Cause you’ve been terrible, you’ve been horrible
And it’s got you feeling so bad
You got the point across but all is never lost
There’s always better days to be had
If you always look to make yourself better

You care so much about other people
And you feel so much empathy
That you beat yourself up every time you hurt them
Even when you didn’t mean it
It’s like you’re only, only as worthy
As your worst excuse for being hurtful

Every move you make is a chance to fuck up
But every day’s another chance to get better
You’re gonna be just fine

We’ve been down here so many times before
A roller coaster for so many years
And it’s not like I could ever think of asking you for anything

Oh lately, it’s been taking its toll
I’m finding gray hairs that I’ve been letting go
But it’s not like you would ever notice if you caught me worrying

‘Cause I’ve been waiting for a long time, waiting for a long time
You’ve been standing on the sidelines, standing on the sidelines
And tonight is your last chance to make it right

I woke up this morning, I straightened out my hair
I haven’t heard from you, unspoken words are clear
And it’s not like you could ever argue that I owed you anything
And it’s not like you have ever helped me with the weight I’m carrying

You can make this right, you can make it right
You don’t have to give up the fight, please don’t give up the fight

‘Cause I’ve been waiting for a lifetime, waiting for a lifetime
And tonight is your last chance to make it right

I used to live in a tree
And now I live in the siding of a condominium complex
As a squirrel my shelter protects my body from the elements
But these giant decorated wood compartments, they are something else
One for the baby in a crib, one for the cooking
And a little one for all the clothes they use to hide their skin beneath

Why do you want to box yourself in?
There’s a human on the other side of your wall
Their head is 7 inches away from your head, and you don’t know them
Why do you want to box yourself in?

They try to get me to leave
‘Cause I’m a wild animal and that makes me dirty
They like to separate from the outside, they like their privacy
And as I skitter to the other side the suburbs rise up around me
As I realize this building’s the rule, not the exception
This is how humans live, this is their first choice

They try to get me to leave
And this time, I sneak into a moving truck
We travel for so long I start to feel sick
But out in the open on the other side is the city
Buildings that reach up to the sky, every window compartmentalized
But I see another kind of place now
There’s strangers reading together and eating together and shyly approaching each other over beer
You know, you don’t have to be so shy
‘Cause she’s just as lonely as you are.

The first time I ever went to school on a Sunday
I had a fresh workbook and we baked bread, it was a fine day
But it didn’t take me long to tire of the white-washed walls
I still think about the scent of the overbleached rug
Like they could never wash away all the heretics’ blood
Positive beliefs they had started to fall away
I’d stare at those four white-washed walls closing in on me and say

I really hope there’s something else beyond this
Beyond, beyond, beyond, beyond

‘Cause I can still remember the day I stopped listening
The apocalypse and all the punishments didn’t sit well with me
So I made up my mind and I told them that I wouldn’t be back
I told them no one had the right to my secrets
And I was already on my way to mental freedom
But I was still thinking thoughts that now make me cringe
‘Cause the human mind’s always got room for wishful thinking

But I don’t need a god to figure out right from wrong
And I don’t need a second life when this one is already long enough
I don’t care if there’s anything else beyond this
Beyond, beyond, beyond, beyond

Falling in love is serious
It’s not like we’re just taking a walk
This isn’t gonna be like your hobby that you gave up
You’re gonna have to give it your all
You can’t just promise love
You’ve gotta be there when I need you most
We’re not just getting close
This is the real thing, this is the real thing

And when the final descent of the flight is complete
I’ll cross my fingers and pick up the armrest and reach for you
And give you all my love
I’ll give you all my love

My head’s full of worries every day
And I don’t need another one
So if a quick goodbye was something you were gonna say
You’re gonna have to hurry it up
I’m not afraid of death
I’m just afraid of pain and suffering
So don’t just make it quick
Make it an instant, make it an instant

There are people in this world who make every day a rainy day
They never smile at anyone, they only open their mouths to complain
They’ll take the joy that we allow them to take

We can’t let them win, we can’t let them win
Give a smile when you can, and reach out a helping hand
‘Cause we can’t let them win

There are people in this world
Who want to take away the rights we’ve achieved
And they can’t accept us having more
Because they’ve already got all they need
If they had their way we’d all be lonely

But to tell the truth
It’s not right versus wrong or weak versus strong
Or progressives against conservatives
It’s big corporations controlling our minds
Controlling our data and controlling our lives
Divide and conquer against everybody else
So I say
We can’t let them win

The difference between you and me
Is with me you get what you see
And I’m capable of love and it’s free

And you’re too focused on the fact that
The only way to get the gold is if it’s yours and yours alone
And everybody else goes home empty-handed
I would be surrounded by a few who
Encourage everything I do but always try to speak the truth
Before I’d have an army to be my yes men

And you’re not interesting, you’re interested
In looking cool and talking shit
Where everything’s about the drink
And I just want to leave ‘cause it’s not my style
And well, sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth
The struggle and the pain and hurt
To get my foot inside the door
When I’m out in the cold and you’re waving from the inside

The difference between you and me is in the dream
I want to scrounge together pennies from this work to pay my bills someday
And what I want I will achieve
You want to be the leader of the pecking order till you’re old and gray
And you will never be happy.