London UK Dec 2019
Influences: Broad: Ades to ABBA..... Zubeldia to Zappa
Technical by trade, musical by training in 2019 I took on a project to write a song a week for a year (see link) I didn’t write as much in 2020 but completed Fawm with 15 songs including one very fun collaboration - that was before COVID! In 2021 I’ll be making the most of the lockdown to push myself during FAWM and see what I can produce.
I’ve Decided 2021 is going to be a concept album! Arghhhh.
Through the eyes of our protagonist Wendell it will look at the journey of a marriage. Through the highs and lows and the changing patterns of life in time. Starting with his first encounters with Allison the album will consist of three broad sections with 4,6 and 4 songs respectively:
Part 1 - Starting Out
1. The First Love Is The Deepest
2. I’m 28 I’m Getting Old
3. Those Vows
4. Chasing A Dream I Never Had
Part 2 - Playing The Game
5. Two Kids And A Mortgage
6. Shouting Our Way Through
7. Mid Life Crisis
8. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
9. Trying Again
10. The Blue Cliff Of Realisation
Part 3 - What’s Left
11. It’s Not You, It’s Not Me, It’s Us
12. Waiting For My Parents To Die
13. We Only Wanted To Be Wanted
14. There’s Light At The End Of This Tunnel
Hopefully this self prescribed structure will mean that the song ideas take care of themselves and I can focus on doing interesting things with the music!
All the lyric sheets with TABs and Acoustic and voice demos are available here:
UPDATE: On the 21st I finished the 14 songs of my album - it turned out to be a largely painless process and the structure I had laid out in advance served me well. I found there were several story issues I had to navigate along the way that took some thinking - the music however took care of itself. I had great fun doing this and thank everyone here that was generous with their time feeding back and encouraging me along the way.
|#1||The First Love Is The Deepest||
|#2||I'm 28 I'm Getting Old||
|#4||Chasing A Dream I Never Had||
|#5||2 Kids And A Mortgage||
|#6||Shouting Our Way Through||
|#7||Mid Life Crisis||
|#8||Wrong Place, Wrong Time||
|#10||The Blue Cliff Of Realisation||
|#11||It's Not You, It's Not Me, It's Us||
|#12||Waiting For My Parents To Die||
|#13||We Only Wanted To Be Wanted||
|#14||There's Light At The End Of This Tunnel||
|#15||Front Porch @akagitsune89||
|#16||The Spirit Of The Library @stephenwordsmith||
|#17||February's Awful Without Me!||
|#18||You Just Might be an Introvert @janeg||
|#19||You Just Might Be An Introvert @janeg||
Really good job of coming up with a storyline and working through it. My hat is off to you. It reminded me thematically (but not storyline wise) of an album called "Songs of the Heart" by an obscure group called Daniel Amos.
Will definitely continue the listen-through; busy day at work and I am about to do a video conference so I can't listen to music while that's on, sadly! 😀
Cheers for the listen!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment on "Treat the Symptoms", we had so much fun making it! Congratulations on a spectacular above and beyond win, great FAWMing!
Ok spoiler alert, this will be gushing!
Firstly, hat's off to you, you are an incredible storyteller, the words paint a beautiful picture and are very evocative. The emotional connect of your theme was amazing, though they are made up characters I still wanted to know what will happen next.
Loved how you started with the the origin of their love story, the nervy jitters of Allison before the wedding, the haunting feel of 'The Vows' and then Wendell & Alli growing, then growing apart. The cracks finally showing up, the odd human nature of covering up one's deceit whilst holding the other one to it. Every bit was fantastic!
Though you've marked 'Blue Cliff of Realisation' your favourite, I felt least connected to it partly because in my perception their love died a long time ago, also I felt the guitar could be a bit gentle on it... 'Waiting for Parent's To Die' is a beautiful piece, the light you throw on how often though unaware we model our behaviour on our parents, and how the children too will carry that cycle... that was very profound.
'We Only Wanted To Be Wanted' was the track with epiphany for me not just in this story, but also in life in general I feel. 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' was a wonderful twist, as the story progressed I really felt strongly about them not really being right for each other, so I whilst I wasn't looking forward to a, tied up with a pretty bow happily ever after, but you pulled the rug [or plug 😁 ] with a tragedy! Outstanding!! 🙇🏻♀️
I do not have much knowledge of music, so maybe what I say could be a bit off-kilter, apologies if any of it felt hurtful. I know I loved your work, I will be downloading your tracks. Kudos to you on this incredible body of work. It's an intelligently crafted and beautifully executed piece of work. You truly are a wonderful storyteller. It's really an incredible piece of work. Congratulations!! 👏🏻💜
Of course your tune is different than I had imagined - slower and much more percussive. But that's the point of collaboration, right? Get something you would never create alone. Yes, please post and I will add the url to mine too. Thank you so much! I'd appreciate liner notes to identify the instruments you've used.
Thanks for your comments on Cantor for Pearls! It’s fun to think of maybe being able to do it as a big production someday 😀
Please do take a stab at music for the Introvert song! Feel free to vary the lyrics. In absence of a tune, I am truly lousy at line length.
Great that you listened. It was what I put together today and I was happy with the upbeat music and message too. Thanks
Yeah, I'd be totally up for a Strange and Norell song or two - will give me a good excuse to read it for a fourth time. Will check out the show you mentioned too
Thanks for your comments on the last couple!
This song is in trusty ol' DADGAD 😀
Thanks for listening - maybe it's that we've all gone mad? 😀
Thanks for your comment on my song Good Day. I got the progression when I was noodling around and went C, C+, Am (but then it was too low for me to sing so I had to capo!!).
Thanks for your comment on my kid’s vocoder song! He’s so funny, I laughed so hard especially when he sang “chiwienie” (inspired by my mom’s chihuahua/wiener dog puppy)
Hey thanks for listening to my newbie improvisation attempts and for your supportive comments.
Alan Price... do you know I’m a massive Randy Newman fan but I hadn’t really heard any Alan Price. Thank you for putting me on to that, I do love the song, and will make sure I check out his other work. Cheers!
thanks for listening to my latest song - I think I've officially given up on getting 14 songs done, was a very busy month in the end. Will have a listen to the latter tracks of yours tomorrow (to see how it ends ; ) ) bed is calling now. Well done on hitting the challenge!
Ah, thanks muchly for the enthusiasm re: Matild. Much fun to do and I'm happy with it.
Hi. I enjoyed the track very much - how great to wake up on a Saturday morning and find it ready and waiting. Please go ahead and post the track. I can add my bit to the liner notes when you're done.
Thank you for thinking of me, and bringing my words to life.
Thanks for the comment on Just The Same. 😀
Thanks for your comment on Little Monkey. That brought me here. Interesting bio you’ve got and I like your idea of a concept album. Congrats on crank’n through that so quickly. I sampled a number of your tunes to see how you pulled the story along. Major effort to pull that off...
I got that he died... but he thought he saw something beyond. Seems like a high note to me, but ok!
Cheers for the comment mate! You finished 14 a week ago - that’s mad! You just chilling now? Also, can I take this opportunity to compliment you on your profile photo - that is a quite magnificent collection of gear 😍
Yeah, I read about the Cornish tin mines and the theory that Rome conquered the British Isles primarily to secure a steady source of tin but it didn't find its way into my song.
Wow, thank you so much for your comments!
The Paul Simon comparison had me blushing, I feel really honored to hear that, he's definitely a huge idol of mine. Coming back later tonight to listen to more of your concept album, congrats on finishing!
Glad you liked me and Sheila's "The Faerie Ring"
You summed up perfectly what I was after with the melody and performance.
Thanks so much for your detailed feedback on Dream may come true. Always nice to get an expert opinion on these things.
Thanks for your kind words!
Thanks ever so much for listening to my song #14 uploaded not long ago ! I appreciate you listening , breaking the zong and the positive words . Thanks mate !Cheers 😀
Thank you ver much for your kind comment <3
Thanks for the comment on the bee song. I’ve ordered the bee book - looks a good one! Thanks for the recommendation, I’d not heard of it before.
Thank you for the lovely reviews... and congratulations on getting to 14 with flying colours 👍
RE: FAWMBLUES & 12:34 -thx so much for taking the time to listen and leave comments on my tracks -and the Kodály: Háry-János nod made me smile. Thank you for that! I appreciate you! 😀
Thanks for the comments. I'm liking the concept album with a complete storyline you have going there. It's a massive undertaking but even more satisfying if you carry it off. And congrats on hitting the 14 tracks!
After reading your bio I’m a little less confused. Love the sound you have going here. Congrats on finishing Fawm!
Yeah, go for it!
Thanks a lot for your comment on "Never"! It wasn't actually part of a one chord challenge - it was just what I felt like this evening.
Have a good FAWM!
Crack away, with my thanks!
Thank you for your message.
2 of my 14 lyrics have not yet been claimed, and you are welcome to take a look and see if anything inspires you.
There's 'Living Room', which is a sardonic protest against an ongoing housing crisis: https://fawm.org/songs/115786/
And 'The Spirit of the Library' which is a whimsical love song to a bookish ghost who reads over my shoulder: https://fawm.org/songs/115888/
Thanks for skillfully anatomizing my Dead hen! I've learned a lot from ABBA.
OH YEAH! that's what it is, it's Let's Stay Together! the entire time I was working on the song I had that familiar feeling like I was stealing from somewhere, but I couldn't place it haha. Thanks for commenting 😀
Thanks for your comments on the straw! That was the scariest thing I’ve ever decided to show yet. I’m glad you liked it.
Thank you for the comment on The Credit Goes to You!
Thanks for your kind comments on my song "I Don't Get Mad". My husband has some anxiety because I go between love songs and songs like "Mad" and "Baby's Got a Secret" which is a woman having an affair and planning to leave.
Thanks! My use of words is getting frugal because I've written so many new tunes this month, I'm running out of things to say...
I would love to work with you again but I’m afraid I’ve run out of time this year. I am out of town and heading home tomorrow but have lyrics I’ve already committed to. So unfortunately my FAWM is over with. Thanks for thinking of me!
Thanks for your comment on "Going my way". I'm in touch with a singer to finish this track. Let's see how it works out.
Wow! Honored to collab with you..
Gheesh! Hardly in your league but heck yeAh!!
thanks I've saved it on Spotify - be helpful for production ideas for my own stuff...not 'stuck' with that but working on an album and it's overwhelming trying to figure out what other instrumentation to add to the songs...
PS thanks for the Trials of Van Occupanther heads up - never heard of them, but have on in the background while I type this and I really like!
Hey thanks for your thoughts on my Wilderness song - it is ambitious. Upon reflection I should've played it on uke (easier to strum that fast and sounds better than guitar), also too high a key for my vocals...but a first draft. I've been away from FAWM for a few days so will have a listen to how your ill-fated couple are faring now!
Both bass and drums sound great.
Thanks so much for your kind words on "I'm Gonna Love You Enough" I really appreciate your feedback. Yeah, I definitely couldn't leave my protagonist in that situation!😂
Many thanks for your comment on Partner in Crime 😀
Thanks for your kind words on 163 Queen Street! I cracked up when I read it. On my previous song I was told I didn't quite manage "angry", and now I haven't managed "happy" 😂.
I guess this one ended up being nostalgic, which is always bittersweet.
Thank you so much for your feedback!
Good pull on the Coffee tune, that vocoder/dance sound was inspired by a combination of Man Its So Loud in Here and the kid's version of Robot Parade. (Plus some Bon Iver.)
I love stealing TMBG sounds wherever I can, and Mink Car is (I think) one of their most overlooked albums. Thanks for stopping by! 😁
I'm confused. In what context, and where, did I say I don't like jazz? I mean, I would not listen to jazz usually because it is just not my thing. BUt I can't remember where I said anything about jazz on FAWM.
What's fun about FAWM is discovering music I wasn't even aware of. Like Death in Vegas. Thanks for stopping by and letting me in on that.
Ah - I missed Wendell’s empathy. I have him pigeon-holed as the bad guy in the story, and perhaps it less clear-cut than that...
Thanks you so much for the detailed insight 😀 It will help my work a lot.
Thank you for your kind comment on 'Trust' I don't understand melodies much, but your perspective helps.
Wonderful album project! I've been enjoying the music, the stories, and the progression! Don't know if I could ever think this far in advance, but you've given me plenty of things to consider. Thanks!
Thanks so much for letting me know about the link not working... fixed it.
Do I understand it right, that you created the outline of song titles first and then are writing them in sequence? I love the concept. It makes song writing more like a novel. It seems to add lots of stuff like character, scenes, story arc, and new ways to create tension and release. Brilliant!
This is great album project. I am always amazed when people actually do write songs this way, with such a clear plan or concept in mind. And on top of writing you are finding the time to engage with other fawmers music and leave comments and so on. Hat off! And thank you so much for your comments.
Love your analogy and all i'll say is too bloody right
Hi there - I know what you mean about the limitations of telling a story in this way, but I’m really enjoying the way you zoom in on a snippet of life and tell that story and then we zoom out again. It’s a really clever and engaging way of telling the story. By not trying to describe big sweeping decades of change, you tell a much more interesting and relatable story. And I’m really enjoying its serialised nature - it definitely adds a layer of suspense. I know there are titles and a projected timeline/arc up top here, but I’m deliberately not reading them to keep it surprising!
Thank you for your comment on "First." The song is about the birth of my daughter and it makes me happy that you enjoyed it!
thank you so much!! yes you are right that it is rather fast and hard to sing.. I wasn't sure whether to slow it down but think I like it like that! thanks again.
I’d like to think we live in a world where it could. I’ll research.
I appreciate the nice comment on “Wolf Song”! And good luck with your concept album. It’s a very cool idea. Over the next couple I’ll try to listen to all the tracks.
Thanks for commenting on the track "Stuck Inside". And so quick.. I only found the track sitting here ( on a different laptop) just now... and tried to get it posted. I'm a huge fan of spoken word/stream of consciousness .. both to listen to and as a process - cause you never know what's going to come out. Sometimes it's a bit random I used to write in that kind of mindset, but now, occasionally I've taken to just speaking to see what comes out, and to get slicker I suppose. It would be amazing to be able to be so centred to be able to bring poetry out on request.. i.e not written. I believe there are traditions that do this - that poets were people who could be called upon to speak a suitable poetic offering. I'm not saying that's what this is! I'm just interested.
Hey, thank you for commenting on "Second Thoughts" and "The Hessians"! I love Elliott Smith so that's a huge compliment. I was thinking about adding a B section to "the Hessians" to break up the repetitiveness of the music, the single section is just the way it shook out in the moment. I hope I didn't misrepresent slowcore, there's actually a lot of harmonic variety and the genre is known for its really effective use dynamics. I would check out the records "Whatfunlifewas" or "Transaction De Nuevo" by Bedhead, if you are unfamiliar! Thanks again for visiting my page!
Thanks so much for your comments on "A Moment." It was very thoughtful and, yes, it was pretty cathartic to write it.
hey, thanks so much for your comment on "i dont care" - really appreciate it x
thanks re: drum advice! I've a banjolele to get first among other things, but may save up for that. I was looking at a pedal where you strum and it creates a beat based on your muted strums, but the reviews are mixed. meanwhile will stick with my bodhran and tambourine!
I thought your drums sounded nice and real and played by a human! I must look into that myself as it's a real stumbling block.
Thanks a lot for your kind and insightful feedback on my tune!
Thanks for your kind comments about the percussion. I’ll have a listen to your extensive catalogue 😊
Awww. Thank you for your comment. For now I've writing and recording ideas on my phone. I don't want to post things and update them later, because I know that I'll not have the pressure to update them later. I'll be back home next monday.
Thank you for the heads up, Everything On It was awesome and insane. 😁
Thank you so much for the comment on Voices. I try to subscribe to the Brian Eno school of thought when it comes to loops: i.e. if you're going to repeat something, try to find some way to introduce variation. I'm glad to hear it worked in this case.
See You In The Shadows…
Thanks for your feedback on Me, myself and I.. It was such fun (and I know its rough and ready). but messing with using the lowest of fi's was hilarious...
Thanks for the feedback on Pieces! Trying to solidify a work flow and just get to work so trying out some things. Can’t remember if I used a steel drum or not 😏
thank you for your wonderful feedback on my FAWM #1 name song. Glad you liked the scanning you probably sensed I had a bit of trouble deciding how to line up the verses. Appreciate you're taking the time to tune in.
Hey, I had a chance to listen to The First Love..., Your voice and playing reminds me of a good friend of mine. It was certainly a feel good tune with great use of imagery.
Hey, I had a chance to listen to The First Love..., Your voice and playing reminds me of a good friend of mine. It was certainly a feel good tune with great use of imagery.
Thank you for your feedback.
So happy you like our song. Lots more harmonies to come!
That's a great idea actually - having your concept worked out before you begin. Normally I'm fine writing songs, but I'm finding i'm a bit rabbity in the headlights with this. Going to listen to your 1st song now
have a fantastic FAWM yourself <3
Kicking myself for missing Dinner Bell in the food thread! It's got one of my favorite of their sorta-polyrhythmic vocal duo sections. Such a great song/album/band. 😁
Looking forward to hearing your songs 🙂
yessss I am excited too Thank you!!
Thanks, Gonna do my best. Good luck to you as well.