Friday, 24 May 2013

Broken Bottle

Her relationship was a sham - she didn't get on with her boyfriend, they had very little in common and she put everything else in her life before him.  She didn't seem to be that bothered.  She was sitting talking to her friend.  Her friend was concerned that her relationship didn't have that 'spark' - that maybe they didn't get on, maybe they weren't suited, maybe they should call it a day - maybe being single is better than being with the wrong person?  She listened, gave advice and not once realised that she was in the exact same situation - unable to listen to herself, listen to what she should do to resolve her own situation.  The bottle wasn't half full - it wasn't half empty - it was broken.

Lyrics, intro, chords and tune for verse 1 and 2 and a tentative slightly catchy chorus written.  The album is taking shape, even if, as it looks at the minute, it is just going to be a solo project in the end - I'm pressing on.  When the inspiration and drive to write is there, you have to do it because when you step in the studio and there's nothing going on upstairs, that's an awful feeling.

It'll not be long before I've got about fifteen demos to choose the final tracks from.

All will be posted on soundcloud in due course (there's about 12 snips of music on there already!)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Hope (part 2)

It felt like September 1995 - when Douglas gave me a pile of lyrics he'd written whilst exiled in Ilkley.  'Strength to Strength', 'Demons and Angels', 'Minneapolis Blue', 'Dance on', 'Dream a little dream', 'Easy Money' - they all combined to make the album 'Intermezzo' which was finished by November that year.  Simple pop songs with heartfelt lyrics, telling stories which on the surface seemed quite simple but had a depth to them that made you think Douglas had actually lived through these himself.  Not that Ilkley was much like Minneapolis, he still managed to paint a picture of heartbreak with a snowy metropolis backdrop, leaving the huge cold city on Christmas day having planned to spend it with that one special person.  It's lyrics like that which make the music appear without much effort (Douglas actually wrote the chords and structure for that particular song but you get what I mean).

And so, this morning it felt like it did on that day in September 1995 when I was looking through that pile of lyrics.  I have a set of about twenty gems which I'm gathering ideas and sparks from but the one that screamed at me this morning was from a word processed and printed sheet, without a date and this time without the usual comment on the bottom of how Douglas sees the song being represented - it's called 'Hope'.  A couple of years ago I was comissioned to write a song for a local healthcare company's annual conference - something for them to walk in to that represented the company's vision.  'Hope - we're holding on to what we've got, can't make the dream something it's not' - not my best attempt at lyrics - but I'm assuming this Douglas lyric came from the conversation I had with him about writing said song - I remember they needed it quite urgently so I 'knocked it up' in about an hour and didn't have time to get Douglas' lyrics - I'm wondering now if this printed sheet that's been wedged among the other is that very lyric. 

However, it's a simple, short, punchy, to-the-point piece that fits a tune I've been working on extremely well.  It feels like September 1995 - it really does.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Love's last victim

Rather sharp but it's something we've all felt at some time - without meaning to make the lyric sound like the singer is wallowing in self-pity for too long, it's more about moving on and escaping that hollow feeling that exists after a break-up.  It's not love that's attacking, it's your failure to understand that where you were was not where you should have been.

Here's the instrumental demo and a vocal line will be added shortly...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Chapter 5

Well, it's a little bit Chapter 4 - a little bit 'Gone (to end with you)' and a tiny bit 'Poison Moon' but it's much more 'Storm' and new melancholy.

I've got a need to tell you what I don't feel
And if we don't talk
Well, I'll lose everything

I just turned up at your door
Try to hold on to what's gone
And the light fades as I take every word you say

There's no future and there's no past
If we don't talk, there's no reason to feel that
And I'm happy that you're happy with that

I brought you here and now you're looking at me
Wondering why the silence
Well it's the silence that made me bring you here
And now we're sitting in silence
I can't speak - can't bring myself to say
What I feel and what I need
Now I can't leave and I can't stay

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Storm before the calm

You start with an idea - either a tune or a rhythm.  This time, I started with a concept.  A collection of ideas forming in clouds ready to rain their inspiration down into the collecting rivers of creation.  If I was to be slightly less pretentious for a moment though, I'd say 'The Storm' was more about that electricity between two people firing off at the wrong times and both suffering that heavy claustrophobia you get before a lightning strike - a theme which will run through the final album.

And so, after writing about 12-15 bits and peices, recording 3 snips of demos - the first of this album with vocals (including a very boy-band sounding 'Whatever' and the one that really reflects where I'm trying to push (or pull) this album in 'Destiny of Truth' which has heavy Depeche Mode influences) - I'm back to the title track, 'The Storm'.  Guitar heavy with plenty of twinkling synth and not in a 'Europe' or 'Whitesnake' way neither. 

It all begins here - the snips will all be revisited, expanded, recorded with guide vocals, melodies tweaked, lyrics swapped and edited and eventually, twenty or so demos ready to be produced properly.   

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Spring Clean

Found a pile of lyrics after cleaning out an old cupboard and arranging my recording studio into a more organised arrangement.  Some stunning stuff and some memory churning stuff too.  Took me all of an hour and a half to get a drum track, bass line and melody together - the new song is called 'Love's last victim'.  Very electro pop.  Why fight what comes natural?