For the thirteenth time I’ve finished February Album Writing Month.
Did I win? Yes! and no.
The challenge is to write 14 songs in the month of February and I got to 11. So in a way I didn’t complete the challenge. However, I now have 11 new songs all of which I think are pretty good, so that’s definitely a win. Lots of them will end up on ‘proper’ releases in the near future.
Several of these songs were inspired by people who shared pictures, so thanks to those of you who did.
Here’s a little rundown of each.
- I Have A Mask.
This one’s inspired by a picture of a weird cat face menu. It wasn’t a mask, but it made me think of masks. Probably the most complete lyric of the month, it’s about hiding behind masks and living a lie.
2. Bilge Rats
Inspired by a picture of a sea monster underneath a ship, this one’s an upbeat almost heavy metal song about rats leaving a sinking ship, and the idiot humans who don’t realise the danger they are in.
3. Dance on a tree
This one’s from the point of view of a child who doesn’t understand why their mother has decided to run away with them rather than have them sacrificed. Look it’s not my fault the subject matter is so dark, that’s the sort of picture people were sharing.
4. High Wire Act
Easily my favourite song of the month Twisty riff, singalong chorus, what’s not to like. Lyrically it’s about mental ill-health, a theme across a few of the songs. It’s about maintaining a calm exterior while on the inside you feel anything but.
5. 50 Million
Every year FAWM throws up surprises. The lyrics hear were inspired by a news story about the royals. I am deeply and unapologetically republican (in the literal sense, not the American party political sense) but it often seems like very few other Brits are. This is an upbeat song about that.
6. Where are we now?
Semi-improvised and with lyrics created by various random means. This one is just voice and guitar and to be honest, I’m not sure what it’s about. Not bad though.
7. Traitor Thoughts
I said High Wire Act was my favourite. I’m not sure that’s right. This one is great too. It’s got all the time signatures and sounds a bit like Radiohead (like 50% of my songs do). It’s another one about mental ill-health too, as it’s all about imposter syndrome. It does that Paranoid Android/Bohemian Rhapsody thing of cramming lots of different sections into a short run time.
Big Riff! This one has the big riff! I actually wrote a big heavy metal riff with down-tuned guitars and everything. This one’s about asking for help. It currently has a scrappy out of tune guitar solo that I actually kind.
9. Ghost Stories
The last song inspired by a fan picture. The words came to life after imagining the story behind a hole in a wall, behind which some very old newspaper was found.
This is one of the songs from the month that maybe doesn’t work so well. I think it’s interesting and has some good moments in it though. It’s a study in moving between triplet and straight feel.
10. So Lucky
Every February Album Writing Month, I end up turning out at least one song that’s good but not very me. This one reminds me vaguely of various 90s indie rock songs I would have half heard when I was mostly being a teenage metal head. It’s a bit straight, a bit 4/4 and a bit breezy to sit alongside my other songs, but it works pretty well on its own.
The last song! Inspiration for this? I was listening to a BBC political programme and a government minister mispronounced the word ‘hyperbole’ to rhyme with ‘hyper bowl’. Twice. And I found myself thinking, beyond the ideological madness of the class of people who have been in power in the UK since 1979, the current lot are just so unacceptably stupid. Not my usually subject, but there you go. I was also listening to Therapy?. Remember them? I think I ripped them off a bit for this too.
So there you go. 11 songs that wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t done February Album Writing Month.
Next steps? Erm…. I’ll record some of them properly for a future release at some point I guess. Probably.