14! 14! 14!

14! 14! 14!

After 12 years of trying I have finally succeeded in writing 14 brand new songs for February Album Writing Month!

Here’s the makeshift cover I made yesterday for the album of FAWM demos. Just put it up for my bandcamp subscribers. Might share it with the rest of the world next week. It’s the audio from the videos I’ve shared recently, but in handy streamable/downloadable form.

I really enjoyed February Album Writing Month this year. I think what clicked was the combination of:

-A permanent recording space in the form of The Nightmare Shed so I could get in and start making music every weekend without having to set anything up.

-The songwriting practice I put in over the Christmas period (these 14 songs are only about half those I wrote over the whole winter).

-Making a video for every song. Because I was singing and playing one guitar part live for every video, I couldn’t go back and perfect every line. So each song had to be finished pretty quickly.

Will I do a finished recording for every single one of the 14 songs? No, probably not. But I think the vast majority will end up as the finished article over the next few months.

In you want, you can hear all the songs over on youtube. Here’s the playlist:

FAWM part 2

As mentioned recently, I’m taking part in February Album Writing Month for the twelfth year in a row.

Here are songs 4 to 7:

Rats

I’m a heavy metal fan and there’s a long tradition of writing songs that sympathise with soldiers but are sceptical of warfare. I think that’s where this comes from. First drafts pretty much of course, so everything could be better. However, I did punch in a second take of the guitar solo, hence the dodgy cut. Bits in 9, 4 and 3. Not quite metal, but a bit loud.

What’s Heaven Got

This is ‘What’s Heaven Got?’. Yeah, see I can write to a pop song structure. Verse, Chorus, key change at the end, all of that. *Stewart Lee mode* I can write pop songs, I just choose not to. It’s not of interest to me. */Stewart Lee mode*. 6/8 in the verse, 4/4 in the chorus. What I like about FAWM is that you turn out songs you’d never write otherwise.

Keep it close

No idea what the words are about, but I like the way they sound and that’s what matters I mispronounced the very first word and the intro is long so the video shows me just standing there listening. And I had to do a second take for the second half to turn out a half decent solo. But I am still pretty happy with this one.

You’re lying to yourself

I wanted to do another fast twisty one to go with ‘Rats’, so I made this. It’s got bits in 5 and 7 and 4. The middle section needs more work and I need to write a second verse rather than just repeating the first, but I really like the main riff and chorus.

 

February Album Writing Month 2020

It’s February, and that means I’m taking part in February Album Writing Month. The challenge is to write 14 songs in the month of Feb. Or, as it’s a leap year, 14 and a half.

I’m three songs in so far. Here they are. Just rough demos of course, but you get the idea:

Even Here

This is my first song for this year, written and recorded from scratch in about three hours. It’s a demo of course – everything’s one take. A main section in 10/4, with an interlude in 3, building up to a scrappy one take guitar solo at the end.


Red Moon

Red Moon was written in even less time than my first song, Even Here!

It’s about a red moon that is in some way evil. I dunno.
I recorded the guitar and vox in the video to a drum loop, then added the other layers. Then decided I needed to mute the guitar when the mellotron comes in, so there’s a bit where I’m playing guitar in the video but you can’t hear it.

I like the chords in this.

Mummy’s Gone Now

This is Mummy’s Gone Now, a song in two halves. Part one is 7/8 moodiness, part two is up tempo rock.

14 in a month. I think I have the sketches for the next 3 done, so getting to 6 is doable. After that? Who knows.