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Always something there to remind me

February 19, 2009
I dragged myself back to the gym on Monday after work and managed to get back into it. I forgot how much energy I have after I work out and went into the studio on Monday night.
I wanted to do something but hadn’t really decided just what that something was.
So I decided to make a start on a properly recorded version of ‘Holding On’ (there’s a demo here on myspace and a link to a live video here). 

Originally I thought I’d do a small intimate version with just a guitar, cello or string section and maybe use the harmonica. What came out of the 3 hours was rewardingly creative.  The track is , I hope, close to a George Harrison ‘All Things Must Pass’ vibe. There are some real drums, bass, hammond, acoustic guitar and strings. I slept on the track and on Tuesday night I replaced most of the acoustic guitar with electric guitar and used a roto-vibe type sound (think the guitar sound Harrison used during the Get Back sessions in the ‘Let It Be’ movie). I layered a second guitar sound and was really pleased with the results. I also edited the drum track to map it closer to the track – making sure the rhythm complimented the track. I’m really happy with the dynamic in the song now and still get a little thrill when it hits the solo.

Right now there’s just a guide vocal which is pretty much as it is sung on the demo and how I’ve been singing it live. Listening to the track I know I’m going to have to rethink the vocal line.  I will need an evening for that and might end up revisiting it a couple of times. The lyric & vocal is so critical. I’m looking forward to doing the backing vocals. I really enjoy stacking up backing vocals because it can really lift a track.  The middle eight section needs some work. The middle8 is the bit in the middle of a song that sounds different to the verse or chorus. Example: Beatles ‘Girl’ : “she’s the kind of girl who puts you down when friends are there you feel a fool, when you say she’s looking good she acts as if it’s understood..”.

And that was it. Wednesday night I sat in the sunroom with my laptop, small keyboard and headphones. No matter how much I tried the middle8 didn’t progress. I think I need to sit with a guitar in the studio for a bit to develop it. It might need backing vocals too. So I’ll keep an open mind.
The truth of the matter though was that by Wednesday between the day job, 2 visits to the gym and 2 nights of creativity I was spent.

I’d probably have been more frustrated with this in the past but I accept that sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Like songwriting you can just hit a wall or a dry spell. I recently had a spell of not writing and over the course of the last 2 weeks I started to eek out some song ideas. It never disappears.

Like physical exercise I need to do it regularly to keep it ‘happening’.

The middle-age spread isn’t disappearing but my energy levels are better and I feel healthier.
More importantly I see an album on the horizon. A real album. I’m already dreaming about a launch gig.

That’s got to be good.

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