‘St. Helens’ by Joel P. West has been running through me like a freight train tonight as I’ve sat in my parents home reflecting on a very long day that has turned out about as well as any of us could hope. There’s something about the longing for where you’re from (and the struggle to admit that you love it) that West writes of which is resonating deeply today and has served as a good reminder that he’s written some of my favorite lyrics of 2011 (both on his EP, Shoulder Seasons, and his band The Tree Ring’s wonderful release Generous Shadows). Joel P. West is a wordsmith and songwriter more people need to know about and listen to. Enjoy.