Monday, August 27, 2012

Song #29: You Only Live A Day

This one is another oldie written when I was around 15 years old. The feel I was going for was R.E.M. and I think I achieved that with the guitar part, which mimics Peter Buck's picking style. I used the keyboard for the drum sounds, which aren't great but I think they work. What do you think of the song?

Song #28: Friday Night

This is one of my first songs written back when I was about 14. It's about a time when I went to a school dance and the girl I went with ignored me the whole time (write what you know, right?). The chords kind of rip off the Alanis Morissette song "Head Over Feet." Honestly, I'm a little embarrassed by it cause it's kind of corny song but I felt like it should still be documented to capture some of early songwriting.

I decided to just keep the production sparse and just do an acoustic guitar and a single vocal.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Song #27: Descent Into Madness

Another old tune written back in high school. At the time, I was heavily into the band Sunny Day Real Estate. This song in particular is influenced by the sound and atmosphere of "Grendel." It's probably one of my darkest and heaviest tunes.

Without having at drum set handy, I used drum machines so it would put the genre at "Industrial Emo" (maybe?). I did all the guitars direct (no amplifier) then doctored them up after the fact. There are 4 tracks of Ebow guitar drones, which altogether make up the chords I am playing and sound something like an organ combined with feedback and strings. It's becoming a trick I've used in several recordings lately. I put distortion on the vocals and put the threshold on the compressors so low that they make a "static" sound during the parts where I am not singing. I played with these static moments by looping them in reverse and adding strange sounding effects to them. I think it gives a real sinister and creepy feel fitting for the song.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Song #26: What Can I Say

This is an oldie written around 1999. It was influenced by the Sixpence None The Richer song "Kiss Me." I probably would have been made fun of by my friends back then if I ever admitted that so it was kind of a guilty pleasure at the time.

I added the piano part on a whim and I think it kind of makes the song. Instead of using a bass guitar, I played bass notes on the piano. For the solo, I used an ebow (which seems to be getting a lot of use these days). I also decided to add the jembe track last minute. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Song #25: Patience

With Song #25 posted, I am officially half way done with this project! Today's tune sat half finished for several years. All I had was the chorus. Today I wrote some versus and finished it. As evident with the words, it's about couple dealing getting through hard times. Some of the inspiration came from my personal frustrations with finding a job. The sound is inspired by the band, Black Heart Procession. Check them out. I think I might try to find a saw later on and add it to the song.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Song #24: Underwater

This week's influence is Sigur Ros. I saw this Icelandic band play a few years ago and it was one of the most incredible shows I've ever seem. Such power and emotion with such a unique sound. Here is one of my favorite tracks of theirs.

My song borrows some elements from Sigur Ros' sound: a repetitive piano line, harmonic chimes, the ebow (Sigur Ros uses a violin bow but the sound is pretty close), a thudy bass and kick drum, and soft quarter note electric guitar strums on two strings. Since I can't sing like Jonsi, I went a different direction with the vocals and layered them. What do you think?