Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
The Halflight Podcast

The Halflight Podcast

By Joe Day

The audio liner notes for Joe Day's 2021 album Halflight. In each episode, a guest joins Joe to have an in depth conversation about one song from the album. It’s a podcast about creativity, loneliness, hope, losing faith, relationships, writer’s block, finding faith, evangelicalism, Mars Hill Church, certainty, doubt, church trauma, healing, wonder, surprise, disappointment, prayer, longing; about making the album Halflight.
Available on
Amazon Music Logo
Apple Podcasts Logo
Castbox Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
iHeartRadio Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

10 - Benediction for the Broken with Alex Early

The Halflight PodcastFeb 28, 2023

00:00
51:17
10 - Benediction for the Broken with Alex Early

10 - Benediction for the Broken with Alex Early

Alex has been through the church-plant ringer a few times. These days when I hear him say something like "*My wealth is in my relationships*" it's always startling because I know a little bit about what he's been through and what it has cost him to uncover that idea. Yet today he keeps plugging away, quietly leading a small church in north Seattle in "*Faithful presence*" to God, self, and others, and doing so with his seeming relentless relational energy. His career arc as an author is following the unique path of Fr. Robert Capon: a couple books on Christian living followed by...a cook book (the book he's working on now). He is one of very few evangelical pastors I'm aware of who is willing to wade deep into the racial issues confronting North American evangelicalism without granting conservative political talking points as the default position. Alex believes God speaks to the particulars of life, and that's why he's as at home in a seminary as he is at a George Floyd protest or a kitchen. He doesn't believe sermons are enough to change the world. Not to sound too cheesy, but I wish there were more pastors like Alex.

Did I mention his wife Jana is an amazing photographer? She did all the photography for Halflight. Needless to say, The Early's have had a big impact on this project. 

So, when it came to the last song of the album and the final episode of the podcast, it was important to me to have someone who can speak with credibility on the topics of hope and healing. For those of us who have experienced spiritual trauma, where do we go from here? What does healing look like? How do we make sense of where we've been and where to go? 

If you're asking those questions, this conversation is for you.


Use the code PODCAST to Get 20% off Halflight vinyl on my bandcamp page.

To stay in the loop and be the first to know about shows, tours, new music, and everything else, join my mailing list.

Feb 28, 202351:17
09 - Return My Heart to my Chest with Mike Cosper

09 - Return My Heart to my Chest with Mike Cosper

When my faith began to unravel, Mike Cosper was one of the people I reached out to. We'd known each other from afar for long enough that I knew he'd have both context and perspective that few people would have. And he did. What I didn't know at the time was that as I shared my story with him, it was in that moment he begun to think "this story needs to be told" and started thinking about making a podcast about it. Specifically the human impacts and effects on the lives of the people who were there. Crazy! 

We chat about how I ditched church to write Return My Heart to my Chest, what he saw in the song that made him want to use it in the podcast, and Bruce Springsteen's writing process. 

You can listen to the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill anywhere you get your podcasts. 

Feb 21, 202351:22
08 - A Better Love with John Van Deusen

08 - A Better Love with John Van Deusen

John Van Deusen was a great songwriter before he could drive. One of the first time's I saw him play was to a packed Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA singing about God not being dead. He had been reading serious philosophy (Nietzsche?) and somehow was turning that into songs that not only kept people's attention, but made them want more. He was barely in high school. He then went on to form The Lonely Forest, followed by his prolific stack of solo work, and now has a new project called Telephone Friends. John's super power is singing honestly about life as a Christian. Most people who do this get sucked into the Christian Music world™ or just get plain ignored. Not John. His authenticity and sincerity are disarming. His curiosity is engaging. His empathy for others otherness is attractive. And on top of that he's just a damn fine songwriter.
We chat about the love of God and the existence (or not) of Hell, the need (or not) to have that figured out, and how to have these conversations with our kids.
Go pick up John's records on Bandcamp and follow him on Instagram.
Feb 14, 202351:12
07 - Don't Let The Fear Capture Your Heart with Sandra McCracken

07 - Don't Let The Fear Capture Your Heart with Sandra McCracken

I had always imagined the guest for Don't Let The Fear Capture Your Heart should be the songwriter Sandra McCracken because she strikes me as someone who lives in hope. Not the sanitized, rote cliché, influencer wearing a HOPE T-shirt on an Instagram reel hope. The kind of hope born in the trenches of real life where shit gets messy and hard. Failure. Unmet expectations. Cancer. Divorce. A hope that can find light in those places. 

Don't Let The Fear is a song about looking for hope when it can't easily be found. I wrote it with my kids in mind, hoping that maybe the words Hold onto the light, it ain't here yet, but the morning is nigh might find them in some future moment of need. But anytime you write a song for someone else, you also write it for yourself. Turns out, I needed this song as much as they did. I kinda thought Sandra would get that. I was so stoked when she agreed to have this conversation. 

The day came, the call started, the video turned on, and there was Sandra McCracken in a HOPE t-shirt. What followed was not influencer wearing a HOPE t-shirt on an Instagram reel conversation, but ended up being one of the most memorable conversations I had with anyone in 2022. I'll just say this: listen to the episode. Sandra's the real deal.  

Check out her podcast Steadfast, and her latest album Light in the Canyon.

Use the code PODCAST to Get 20% off Halflight vinyl on my bandcamp page.

To stay in the loop and be the first to know about shows, tours, new music, and everything else, join my mailing list.

Feb 07, 202351:05
06 - When Will My Day Come with Tim Wilson

06 - When Will My Day Come with Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson doesn't always quote Def Leopard songs spontaneously, but when he does, he does it with a seriousness and gravitas that transports statements like I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet. Yeah! into fodder for a serious discussion on the existential patience required while enduring the long everyday mundanities that occur between life's few mountain-top moments. It's true. He does it in this episode.

If you don't know Tim, he's the lead singer and songwriter in Seattle indie band Ivan & Alyosha. We chat about I&A's new record, the many months of waiting, waiting, waiting that happen between when an album is written/recorded, and when it is released; how When Will My Day Come might be the least rock & roll concept ever, and how living in the Halflight necessitates a sort of deeper waiting for all things to be made well.

Use the code PODCAST to Get 20% off Halflight vinyl on my bandcamp page.

To stay in the loop and be the first to know about shows, tours, new music, and everything else, join my mailing list.

Jan 31, 202339:30
05 - The Prayer of Saint Francis with Jeremiah Webster
Jan 24, 202352:34
04 - All I Want is Home with Sara Billups
Jan 17, 202351:05
03 - Fear and Love with Brent James Driscoll

03 - Fear and Love with Brent James Driscoll

Use the code PODCAST to Get 20% off Halflight vinyl on my bandcamp page.

To stay in the loop and be the first to know about shows, tours, new music, and everything else, join my mailing list.


Brent James Driscoll (no relation to that other Driscoll) drove into my life in a teal green Prius. It was a borrowed teal green Prius. John Van Deusen & I were on day 1 of our northwest tour and had ran out of gas on Dead Man's Pass on our way to Boise, ID. Brent stepped out of the Prius and instantly jumped into tour manager mode, asked everybody parked at the rest stop if they had gas to spare, and then hopped in the Prius to drive back to Pendleton to fill a gas can. He returned with fuel, offered me a Topo Chico, and we were on our way. He's that kind of person whose kindness has a certain intensity to it. Stripped of pretense, open to anyone, and ready to move. He made an instant impression. Mostly, I was just glad he was with us. We followed that teal green Prius back onto I-84 and made it to the show. 

We talk about how the lyric fear and love why can't I tell you apart? struck him, how we often get fear and love mixed up, how we long for more humility and less tribal posturing, and how he's managed to hold onto faith after his own church trauma.

Brent is one of the creators/producers of the Emmy-winning Sessions in Place

Jan 10, 202359:17
01 - Blue Skies with Joce Aucoin

01 - Blue Skies with Joce Aucoin

Use the code PODCAST to Get 20% off Halflight vinyl on my bandcamp page

To stay in the loop and be the first to know about shows, tours, new music, and everything else, join my mailing list


Joce Aucoin lives for creativity. Whether through her visual art, her writing (if you are interested in creativity at all, her newsletter jump + pray is essential), or her support of creative life of other artists. We met on Twitter over a shared love of Nada Surf's Blizzard of '77 (which is one of my all time favorite opening tracks) and soon found out that we have many mutual friends. Through that connection, Joce became a mentor to me as I was navigating how to release music after a decade-long hiatus. Yes, her expertise from her years of running Lujo records came into play, but it was more her deep interest in the health and vitality of my creativity that made her mentorship so meaningful to me. 

We talk about the creative process, overcoming creative block, the story behind the lyric The heart doesn't care if there's dust on the pen, and why Blue Skies is the first track of Halflight.

Jan 10, 202342:46
02 - Halflight with Levi the Poet

02 - Halflight with Levi the Poet

Use the code PODCAST to Get 20% off Halflight vinyl on my bandcamp page.

To stay in the loop and be the first to know about shows, tours, new music, and everything else, join my mailing list.


Levi MacAllister (AKA Levi the Poet) has one of the most distinct voices I can think of. A certain presence and force, like gravity turned up a notch, like a voice crying out in the desert to any ear it might reach. The world isn't what it should be, he knows you see it, and he's telling you he see's it too. He also wants you to look with him, through the wreckage, to squint through the dim light and see a God who truly is love. 

We talk about the moment the song Halflight left him in tears while he was weeding his zero-scaped desert yard, about the appeal of certainty and why it's important to not hold onto it too tightly, about the ways fear masquerades as love. We wonder who I am singing to when I sing let the light in, let me see who you really are.

Levi just launched The Fraction Club, which is a way to get exclusive access to his unreleased stuff, while supporting his important work. Join today! You can also find him on Instagram and Twitter.

Jan 10, 202345:10
Trailer

Trailer

The Halflight Podcast - out January 10th. Subscribe now everywhere you listen to podcasts. 


Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten, R.E.M’s Out of Time, Stone Temple Pilots Core, U2’s Achtung Baby, Alice in Chains Dirt, all came out my freshman year of high school. Me and my friends all belonged to Columbia House because we could get CDs for cheap. When they arrived, I’d peel the cellophane off, press play, and pull the little booklet out of the tray and start scanning through. Those booklets opened up another world; lyrics, photos, art, lists of people to thank... Seeing these things changed how I thought about music, it brought reality into the imaginary - these were real people, and these songs were coming from somewhere. Album liner notes made it possible to connect deeper.

Since then music has become a way for me to process my experience of the world around me. The six years leading up to 2020 were especially troubling for me; The political landscape of a changing America, and the way the evangelical church responded was disorienting and discouraging. All of this was of course driven home by the pandemic, the tragedy of George Floyd, and the political fallout of that years’ election. I once again turned to music to sort out my thoughts and feelings, and the result is my most recent album, Halflight.

My name is Joe Day, and these are the audio liner notes for that record, which came out in August of 2021. In each episode, I’ll zoom in on one song track with a guest - songwriters, authors, friends new and old, and who knows who else. We’ll explore the lyrics, see where they take us, and maybe find a few surprises along the way.

So, grab a copy of Halflight from my Bandcamp page (20% off if you use the code `podcast`), and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and join me on this journey through the album.

See you soon...


I'm @joeday on Twitter and Instagram.
The Halflight Podcast is produced, edited, and scored by Jason Waggoner.

Dec 26, 202201:49