Monday, October 29, 2012

Song #38: The Optimist

This one is inspired by the beatlesque rootsy-guitar sound of Elliott Smith's album, Figure 8, and in particular the songs "Stupidity Tries" and "Pretty Mary K."

The arrangement is fairly straight forward: one vocal, one acoustic guitar, two electric guitar, bass and drums. I don't usually have very many guitar solos in my songs but this one seemed appropriate.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Song #37: Hanging By A Thread

This is a oldie that sat half written for a several years. All I had were the first two lines. I finally got around to finishing it by adding a few more lines, a bridge and an ending. The arrangement is a cross between something Coldplay would do and Death Cab For Cutie's "Transatlanticism." 

This arrangement includes acoustic guitar, several electric tracks done direct with no amp (including 2 tracks where I did "volume swells"), drums, bass, and several vocal tracks sung at different octaves and occasionally staggered. It gets pretty epic at the end. What do you think?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Song #36: Lounging Around

This week's tune is in the style of bossa nova! It's inspired from probably one of the most famous bossa nova tunes, as well as a jazz band standard (and elevator music), "The Girl From Ipanema" by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz. 

I used the my small keyboard to get a bossa nova drum machine beat and added maracas, a jembe, and a guiro to round out the percussion. I found a cheezy organ sound on the keyboard, which helps with the elevator music atmosphere. Towards the end of the song, I layered on harmonies (at one point, there are 10 vocal tracks). I'm happy with the result. It's the first song I've done like this.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Song #35: Red Dress

This week's tune is inspired by the Black Heart Procession's "It's A Crime I Never Told You About The Diamonds In Your Eyes."

I attempted the same waltzy piano feel and swing. The drums were recorded in my basement with two mics. It's not the greatest tone but I think it works for the song. There are actually two piano parts: one that's a little lower playing mostly the chords and another playing more a lead part and little higher. I think it helps fill it out. Lyrically, the song is about getting tied up with deceptive women. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Song #34: Reminders

I wrote this song very late at night several years back. In order to keep from waking my roommates, I had to play and sing very softly, which dictated the direction of the song. The inspiration was Nirvana's "Something In The Way."

The instruments are an acoustic guitar, voice, and one electric guitar with an ebow. It felt like it dragged a little so I programmed a kick drum into the song, which totally changes the feel of it. It think it makes the song come across a little more like TaughtMe (acoustic guitar with a driving kick drum).