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Together, Apart / Climax, Michigan

by Jason Anderson

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We are in this world together, always have been always will Blue and green, a daydream beaten, brutal, beautiful And ravages of capital cloaked in decency Our capacity for love and for belief Taking one step forward and right back to the start Scared to be together, afraid to be apart There are no perfect people, only messy ones in store Those it’s worth believing in and still worth fighting for I am flawed and I am foundering but smiling in the sun Come check out my glass house my glass door I can show you around my troubled mind and my tired hopeful heart Scared to be together, afraid to be apart A cardinal, a sentinel, a memory of you This red bird on a hydro line, this evening walking through If I could have an hour just to talk to you again To say the things I never did, you’re gone Oh I missed my cues, my monologue, could never nail this part Scared to be together, afraid to be apart Well I don’t pray, but every day remember What a fragile thing this living, oh, it is See me swimming with my best friend in the Nova Scotia surf Holding on my newborn nephew’s tiny perfect hand Laughing with my dad until the tears run down our shirts Sitting with my grandma at the end Sometimes it comes easy, other days it’s hard Scared to be together, afraid to be apart Afraid to be apart
Climax, Michigan, no coat at the gas station The world is so much hotter than when we were kids But it was always end times, it was always going to end And from the start there was absolutely nothing we could do I’m driving through, listening to music and thinking about you It comes and goes and no one knows, just how long Onto Indiana, into Illinois I came here to Chicago as a boy My grampa was alive then, so was Walter Payton Now Walter’s gone, and grampa he died, too, hey what can you do I’m driving through, listening to music and thinking about you It comes and goes and no one knows, just how long Yeah just how long, we’ll go on And it goes so fast So one more mile to Climax, Climax, Michigan Folks live here, I guess folks live most anywhere In our biggest cities, in the smallest towns So many ways to be alone together, hey what can you do I’m driving through, listening to music and thinking about you It comes and goes and no one knows just how long It comes and goes and no one knows And I know the hardest part is saying goodbye Yeah I know the hardest part is saying goodbye Goodbye


"Together Apart" was written the day I canceled March tour. On the cusp of social distancing, I started thinking about my own search for purpose and connection, making a list of some treasured unscripted moments, memories joyful and bittersweet, and those I spent them with.

Brilliant friends in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin lent their talents through homebound sessions and emailed files, a beautiful sense of collectivity in the face of isolation. A heartfelt thanks to Chris Bloniarz, Evan Kaspar, Holly McGarry, and Max Somerville for instrumentation, Thomas Wincek for mixing, and Justin Perkins at Mystery Room for making it sound so sweet.

In this uncertain time, I have never been more grateful for—or in awe of—community. Large-scale crises can cast into starker relief the ways in which we are interconnected and how easy it is to forget that. When we make it through this, let’s continue to show up for each other. For now, I’m sending love and light. Hope this brings a little bit of both.

So there I was, February of this year, driving through the Midwest, making tracks for Wisconsin. I couldn’t have known, but this would be my last tour before everything, well, changed. It was about halfway through Michigan that signs for Climax started popping up. Got me thinking about endings big and small but also beginnings, too, and the beautiful carrying on of the human spirit amidst daily macro and micro reminders of our fleeting, ephemeral, ultimately finite experience on this planet.

Back on the road, Climax came and went. I’m not entirely sure how my creative process works, but by the time I pulled off at Kenosha for gas, I was singing this song, word for word as you’ll hear it today, into my phone. Needless to say, inspiration hit. I’ll let the music speak for itself and just add that I’m grateful to the same team who made "Together, Apart" sound so sweet for adding their talents here. These songs were recorded at the same time, a beautiful sense of collectivity emerging amidst our collectively isolated days.

Thanks to you, all of you, for not only listening, but just for, well, being there. “It comes and goes,” for sure, but today, right now, I’m so happy to be here, to be alive.


released May 1, 2020

Written & Performed by Jason Anderson


Chris Bloniarz - Vocals, Synth Pad
Evan Kaspar - Pedal Steel
Holly McGarry - Vocals
Max Somerville - Piano and Keyboards

Mixed by Thomas Wincek
Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering


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