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let's have a heart to heart

I used to become nervous when I heard my parents say “Hey Piper, let’s have a little heart to heart,” because generally it wasn’t for a positive cause. It was usually used as an opportunity to address something I had either done wrong or for them to give me some sort of important talk. I grew up being a bit on edge whenever we sat down for a heart to heart. 

Over time, as I got older, the heart to hearts became less scary and more like a good chance for me to express my feelings to my parents, or to reminisce with them about certain good times in our lives and how we could make those times happen again. I haven’t been very active online recently, and so I thought it might be a good time for me to sit you down and have a heart to heart. It’s an opportunity to explain to you the importance of the Bigger Than Texas album and why it has a special place in my heart.

When I was seven, my family began traveling to Australia every year for four to six months. We’d go there to escape the Winter in New Zealand, and we spent eight years going back and forth whilst my brother and I were homeschooled. During this time, we lived with my aunt, AJ, who at the time owned and operated horse facilitated learning programs on her ranch in Queensland. When I first traveled to Australia to meet her, in the Winter of 2014, she had just began to gentle one of her youngest stallions, Slash. She chucked me right into helping her with Slash. I adored him to bits.

I spent eight years growing up next to my aunt’s herd of horses and dogs, and over that timespan AJ became not only my mentor but also my second mother. Everything she did I wanted to imitate. Her lore expanded far and wide and I grew up as her prodigee desperately wanting to be another version of her. The last time I was in Australia on her ranch was in 2021, and since then I always felt there had to be some way that I could adequately honor AJ and her influence on my childhood. When I started writing the Bigger Than Texas album, there was a track that I wrote loosely based on what I knew about AJ’s youth, and as I sat in my family’s cabin in North Carolina one night last July I knew exactly how to honor her. 

I put Slash on the cover of my album.

After one of my beautiful friends painted the album cover last year, I felt satisfied knowing I had a piece of my childhood with me again through my music. After all, Australia is where my love for music first emerged and where it was first encouraged by people around me. That chapter of my life isn't over, and I know I'll go back one Summer and it'll feel like no time ever passed; but until then, I keep the memories close to me through the song I wrote about AJ and having Slash on the cover of my album.

The less I post online, the more I want to write. I spent the last couple months going back and forth in my head wondering what I should write about, and eventually I realised I should just write about something that means a lot to me. The Bigger Than Texas album is still one of the most complex stories I've created and I wanted to share a bit more context, as if we were sitting down for a heart to heart.

It's been over a year since I wrote the first track, austin, texas, and it still feels like yesterday I sat down and knew that it would be a good one. Thank you for listening.

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