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Every little bit helps!
Every little bit helps!
It's rare that I write a song around a title, but "Imaginary Friends" is one of those cases. I was scrolling TikTok one day and a video from a creator (who I lost and cannot find again, no matter how hard I try) who had posted about songwriting prompts came up. She drew a card from a deck and all it said on it was "imaginary friends" and the first verse of thos song popped almost immediately into my mind. I write it down and it only took a couple of hours to have a completed song. I've loved this song from the very first moment I wrote it, and I hope you do, too! I produced it with an old school Western rockabilly style in mind, but it's still new and modern with (I think) just a hint of early '90s Concrete Blonde circa the Bloodletting album polished on top.
"Breathless," is a sexy blues-rock ditty I wrote Tom for Christmas last year. As with all my music this year, I performed all the parts on it, and I am particularly proud of the six-part harmonies that are in here! I have been told for a long time that one of the things that I am no good at it is doing harmonies, so being able to do this is something I'm actually, honestly surprised that I pulled off. Other production aspects that I like are the two-part guitar harmonies (guitarmonies?) in the solo, the growling guitar slides throughout, and the punchy bass line. (That bass line was SO HARD, y'all, even though it doesn't sound like it.)
The cover has a photo of my 1971 Ford LTD Brougham 429SCJ that I took in 2014 before we painted it (a Ford on the cover for a song about a Chevy? Ha!), and it is completely different from what I had planned before my hard drive crashed and burned. Check the song out at the links below and let me know what you think!
A bit of serendipity happened while producing "Rumors": I realized that I wrote this song exactly 15 years to the day of when I finished producing it & uploaded it to my Patreon page. I wrote the song on October 1, 2007 and uploaded it to Patreon on October 1, 2022. I remember the night I wrote it very vividly. I was coming home from my parents' place, and was about halfway home on an 8-mile trip when the lyrics for the first verse came to me. The words to the chorus quickly followed, and I found myself speeding at 70-80 MPH on a back road that went past the graveyard near where I lived to try to get home to write it down before I forgot any of it. (I was glad I didn't see any ghosts that night; I did sometimes.)
This was among the five songs that a Spokane recording studio & producer were supposed to produce for me; I ended up having to sue them over it (I won). The song eventually got recorded by the band when we were still Make Me Shiver, and while that recording is good, because it came out the day my ex asked me for a divorce, I have never really promoted the album in any significant way; it's too painful. So, I re-did it now that I am producing, engineering, mixing, and mastering my own music. I performed all the music and vocals on this one, including arranging some cello and strings. It's a tango, and I was a little intimidated by the structure of the piece, but I think it really turned out and I can't wait to hear what you all think of it!
I wrote "Fever" in February as a Valentine's gift for my Tommy Lee. I write him a song for just about every gift-giving holiday that comes around... Christmas, Valentine's Day, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. He's getting quite the collection... I think we're up to 40 or so, at this point. The lyrics came pretty easy, but it took me a while to get other projects off my plate before I was able to get to the production.
I based the sound off of Belinda Carlisle's "Fool For Love" from her album Heaven On Earth, trying to produce a pop rock track with a real 1980s feel. I think I did manage to capture that. I used a 1998 Jackson DSP Dinky guitar (in iridescent swirl finish) with a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge on it to pull sharps and get that screaming guitar sound that was so prevalent in the '80s, and ran that through my duoVerb tube amp on the AC15 setting to get the guitar sounds.
I really love how it turned out, and I hope that you do, too!| | | |
I had the word "smokeshow" written in a note on my phone for almost a year before I started writing it. I had this idea of a song about everything that makes someone attractive to someone else, but of course, that's too broad of a topic. It took me a while to even get to start writing it. Usually, when I have an idea like this, if I think about it long enough, something will come to me... a turn of phrase, some kind of hook... but months later, nothing had come to me about it.
Then, I took the class where I had to produce songs and I thought, this is the perfect opportunity to force myself to be creative, since I was already having to do that just to produce something. It would have been a lot simpler to just re-do something I had already recorded, but I really wanted to do it from scratch.
I spent almost two weeks trying to write lyrics for "Smokeshow," I had literally had a nearly-completed version that I turned in to the class, but I wasn't really happy with it. I had been experimenting with relative keys, where part of the song is in either the major or minor key and another part of it is in the relative opposite. ("Temptation Eyes" by The Grassroots is an example of this in popular music.) Ultimately, I threw the whole thing out and started over.
Again, I spent another two to three weeks writing and refining the lyrics and adjusting the tune, keeping it in the minor key all the way through this time. The lyrics became this list of attractive things that someone who might not be looking for a relationship would find attractive enough to risk getting burned again. I scavenged some lyrics from a song that I had written in 2003 for the chorus and the whole thing came together after that.
All in all, "Smokeshow" has turned into one of my favorite songs I've produced so far, and maybe that's because it did take so much to write and produce it?| | | |