Ahh man where to begin, I’ll start positive and then roll this bad boy down hill… I think the song (lyrics/melody/etc) and arrangement (instrument melody/layers/etc) are pretty good BUT I have learnt a few key things the past fortnight. I have cemented the knowledge that I absolutely 100% positively cannot sing pop rock, it’s not my thing. While I love listening to that Fall Out Boy/5 Seconds of Summer/etc sound I definitely can’t pull off the vocals myself. This was my second, and last, attempt. I think the song itself is pretty decent though and would love to write with/for that style of band at some point in the future. Just because you can’t make it sound good doesn’t mean someone else can’t and with the right band/singer I think it would sound pretty good!
The biggest take away I had the past two weeks is really a production/instrumentation thing. I write all my songs the same way regardless of the style or eventual production, which is sitting down with: a guitar and my iPhone with the ‘Notes’ and ‘Voice Memos’ app open. I sit down, start playing/singing, I’ll write down some lyrics, record a melody, change lyrics, change chords, jumping between all three tools until I’ve finished a song or have a solid idea where I want it to go (orrrr exclaimed “F**k this I quit!” and watch bulk ‘How I Met Your Mother’ with my fiancé [happens more often than I’d care to admit]). From there I move into actually recording the song, which is where I learnt my biggest lesson this week. When I’m sitting at home playing a song on an acoustic and singing, they all kinda sound the same: like a dude playing an acoustic guitar and singing, it’s in the production and recording where my music changes from an open mic night to an “actual song”. It’s also where all the decisions are made: what instruments to use, how to layer things, am I using “actual drums”* or sample kicks and claps, it’s here that the song really starts to fall into a style or genre. For example, this week I decided to build the song I had as an acoustic (how all mine start) into a pop rock song. Drums, bass, two guitars and a vocal track later I had that feel. I’m still trying to find my style, what works for me and what doesn’t (vocally, lyrically, instrumentally), through this I’ll come across weeks like this where I finish it, look back and think “…lol nope”. What I learnt is that you can take that really basic song (acoustic/vocals) and build it into ANY style imaginable or one yet to be created. When I play and sing this weeks song acoustically it sounds completely different (and a lot nice to be honest) to what you’re listening to up there ^. I don’t really think there’s a way to combat that though, unless you find a style you’re good at and stick to it till you’re dead, which sounds really f**king boring. Yes it’ll be awesome when I eventually find a style I think works for me (Week 7&8 is the closest I’ve found so far) and can record a handful of songs in that genre, release an EP, and play a few shows, but I never want to just be boxed in and doing the same thing forever. You’re other option is just trying shit. Sometimes it’ll work, and you’ll think “holy shit, that’s awesome”, and sometimes it won’t. I’d rather look back and think “oh that sounds like shit” than be too scared to at least try other things. I love how you can really see the development of the band ‘My Chemical Romance’ across their albums. They found their style (emo/rock/punk) recorded and released Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, then moved to a big theatrical rock album The Black Parade, moving to a dancey party-rock album with Danger Days. All three albums sound like them (and are fantastic) but are completely different. I’d rather hear three completely different albums from the same band than the same album three different times. POINT OF THE LONG ASS STORY: I’m looking forward to finding my style and recording an EP, but I’m not going to let it dictate my entire musical future, end rant.
I also spent hardly any time on the vocals and extra “fancy” production things for this track. By the time I got to the vocals it wasn’t working, I was getting frustrated, and I just wanted it to be over (imagine when when you’re like halfway through ‘Lost’, it’s that feeling).
TLDR; Still finding my style. Still playing with stuff. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, this is in the “didn’t work” pile.
*I say “actual drums” because I program all my drums/percussion regardless. Sometimes I use clicks and claps and other times I’ll build an “actual drum kit” from samples and program them to sound like a real human person is playing.