This Is Water: so, what’s up with the album name?

With the release of This Is Water around the corner, people have started asking about the meaning of the title. In my opinion, knowing the backstory will help create greater foundation and understanding when listening to or thinking about my album. So, here’s the backstory:

A few months ago, when the end of the recording process was in sight, I realized the album didn’t have a name. Soon after, I began to understand naming an album is far from an easy task. In short, it’s very difficult to find a few words that authentically emulate the storyline of 14 songs (both as a whole and individually).

My first response to the task was to be artistic about: sound sophisticated, not too intense, but meaningful. These were just a few of my self-assessed laundry-list guidelines to follow. The winner at the time was American Essays, which, truthfully, I’m pretty ashamed to admit it was even a standing option. Hard pressed determination to forcefully name something is usually not a ground for creative meaning. (Honestly, it’s a lot like picking a band name. Side story: I had a rock band from 5th grade till 12th grade. Over the years we switched from “The Phantoms” [which has a meaning I will discuss at a later date] and “50 Below” [which was the winner in our PowerPoint voting presentation]. Apparently, naming is not my forte).

I knew American Essays could not (and would not!) make the cut. So, finally, I put the search to rest and hoped something would hit, and stick.

A week later, a long-time friend came over to meet my roommate’s new dog. A quick visit turned into a lengthy discussion about David Foster Wallace. I hadn’t heard of him until late last year when an english professor assigned E. Unibus Pluram (an essay Wallace wrote about Television/Commercialism and it’s effect on creative thinking, specifically in fiction writing). This essay began our conversation and it continued through a discussion on Infinite Jest (his 1000+ page novel I have yet to read).

Near the end of her stay, she mentioned Wallace’s commencement speech, notably titled This Is Water. I had not heard of it, and was sternly instructed to watch it the minute she left. So, I did.

This is were I would urge you to listen to the above audio selection. Warning, it is just under 23 minutes and requires concentration and attentiveness. Watch it/listen to it and interpret it for yourself; you won’t be sorry.

After listening it myself — with no album naming on my mind — the “lightening bolt” hit, and I knew the title was right. The content of his speech, the way it was delivered as a college commencement speech, and it’s natural fluidity — both in meaning and content — within my collection of original songs.

The minute his speech ended marked the naming of my album. Natural. Honest. Raw. Ready.


Thanks to David Foster Wallace and a whole lot of other people, This Is Water is coming June 10th.

Interested in seeing me live? Check my event page on, or facebook page @kacieswierkcreative

Keep on keepin’ on.



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