"I set out to make an album that I would like," says quirky pop-rocker, Rod Kim, "without thinking about if anyone else would." Like many great works of art, it all began with a girl. "I woke up one day and realized I was madly in love with her...this wonderful girl, this childhood friend," Rod continues, "So I began writing songs that would chronicle our beautiful journey in fully realizing this love. That's where 'Give Me A Fairytale' and 'By Now' came from. Then I wrote 'Jersey' at a diner in southern Jersey the moment I decided to fly out to see her." And as in many stories, unlikely circumstance turns the path. "I took the next flight out halfway across the country to have coffee with her and finally tell her how I felt, the beginnings of 'Coming Home To You' were pieced together. My best friend was getting married soon, and I was imagining my life in his shoes. It was everything I admired about my friend's happiness and everything I wanted to tell the girl I had come 600 miles to have coffee with. However, it was there at that little coffee joint I was quietly let down. Weeks later, I found out that days before I had showed up she met someone. Suddenly, the hopeful writing ended as regret and heartache set in and 'I Had You' was born. As the months passed by, she got engaged and soon married. That was probably the darkest day for me in a long while. I just laid in bed all day counting the hours until she walked the aisle and whimpering into a handheld tape recorder, feeling both guilty that I wasn't there to see one of my best friends on her happiest day and heartbreak that it wasn't me. That tape would become 'She Will Never Love Me'. " With half an album's worth of demo recordings, Rod decided to fully realize these songs in the studio. "I had never felt this range of emotions so strongly, and made the decision the only way I would be able to work through them would be to finish the art that I had started. 'She' was worth it, I spent too many years not saying what I meant to say and this was my chance to at least make something beautiful of my hurt." As with many stories, the hero needs a hand. "That's when I called Ian (Baird). I had worked with him in several bands I produced and manage in college," Rod reminisces, "And he came in at the last minute to play drums for me at the concert that became 'Live From LaDue Auditorium'. He speaks the language of music so well, I knew he would 'get' where I was going and where I was coming from. When I brought in a quirky demo or threw in random claps, bangs or feedback, he would know exactly what I was getting at. Ian primarily played drums for me at the beginning, but as time moved on he helped me realize my songs more and more. Musically, he was the guy tapping me on the shoulder whispering, 'Did you tell them about this part?'" Though this project featured new music from Rod, he would dust off one tune from nearly a decade ago. "I had this song called 'Lead Me To Believe' I had written when I was barely 16-years-old. I felt like I wasn't good enough for this same girl back then and this was about that." At this point, more than a year had gone by and Rod had spent most of this time by the piano crafting these songs. A new voice would soon come to him. "Guitar is probably one of my weaker instruments," confesses Rod, "but as in my life circumstances, I wanted to strengthen that which was weak. I went out and bought an electric guitar and small amp. Around the same time, I was at a wedding and, at the reception, was watching all the couples dance while I sat alone at the bar. I don't normally drink, but this night I had a little gin. I started humming a song to a love song that I had always wanted to write but never had anyone to write it about. When I got home, that was the first song I wrote on the guitar I just bought. The guitar playing was far from skilled, but that's what I liked about it, it's charm was it's obvious inexperience." This was a solo project, but a duet of a different kind would complete it. "When I finished 'Love Song' I wanted a responsive voice in it. That is, in emotion and not necessarily words. A friend from my college days, Polly Waddell, and I had always wanted to work together and this was the perfect time. Polly is simply a brilliant violinist. I had played some string parts on previous songs and Ian had done strings and horns for me for some of those songs as well, but Polly was the virtuosic hand that completed the picture. She came in and added first violin parts to most of the existing string parts, but the shining moment was during 'Love Song' where the violin part responded to every word I hummed out. It was hopeful, it was heartbreaking...it was perfect." Every valley has it's peak and it was time to get back up again. "Nearly two years from when the first song was scratched on the back of a napkin, I had hit a low moment. I don't know why, probably because I was thinking too much. I did have a lot of great people around me and they helped me realize how much I was loved and how much I loved all of them. I realized my love was much greater than this romance I had hoped so much for. That's when 'Held Together' happened." With the album nearly completed, Rod had one last thing to take care of. "I had to write one more song to the girl who had turned me down nearly 3 years ago. I wanted to let her know I was grateful I was of her in my life no matter how she was in my life and the profound realization I had come to find. I finished 'Know You Are Loved' as my moment of closure and finally exhaled." Album Credits: Rod Kim - Lead Vocals, Piano, Guitar, Strings, Programming, Toys, Feedback Ian Baird - Drums, Programming, Strings, Horns, Woodwinds, Toys, Feedback Polly Waddell - Violin.