Clowns are definitely evil, and none more so than August and Whiteface. They are the anti-heroes of the third song from my EP Spirit Box. It’s a song I’ve had hanging around for ages, but only got round to recording last year. Its all pounding drums, twangy acoustic guitar and shouting crowds. ‘Let ’em swing!’, ‘Let ’em swing!’.
I’ve been stuck at home trying to shake off a cold. This is annoying and a waste of time.
Nevertheless, songwriting idea generation over the weekend was a success. I now have the following:
A rubbish, lazy attempt at something slow and psychedelic.
A manic riff in A minor and C minor that might kind of work.
A 12/8 melody that might make a good chorus.
An odd riff/verse/chorus song that’s somewhere between the middle of my song Three Rows of Teeth and Disco 2000 by Pulp. Sort of. But not.
So that’s not a bad start. Some, all, or none of these ideas may become finished songs at some point. Maybe.
Today I hid myself away in the nightmare shed with a guitar and microphone and a notebook.
I set myself the task of coming up with some brand new song ideas from scratch. I wrote down a list of possible song ideas – a manic riff in Aminor and Cminor, a psychedelic soundscape etc – and just started playing.
I think it was a fruitful few hours. I’ve got some musical raw material that might make it all the way into a finished song.
Inspiration? There’s no such thing, there’s just hard work.
(Well, not that hard. But work. Well not work. Activity. Doing stuff. I did stuff.)
It’s a year since I released Spirit Box. Here’s the first of a series of 4 little vlogs I did for it:
Here’s the full lyric video for Butcher Boy, the first track from my murder ballads EP ‘Spirit Box’. November is the first anniversary month of this EP, and I happen to think it’s one of my best releases.
How many songs about murder is too many? This time last year I released Spirit Box, an EP of songs about murder, ghosts, evil clowns, evil butchers and murder. So much murder. For the rest of the month I shall be banging on about this EP, which I think is one of the best things I’ve done.
With the release of my last album I’ve arrived at an unusual place in my songwriting. I’ve recorded all my songs.
All right, not all of them, there are plenty of demos hanging around.
I’ve recorded all the songs I’ve written that I think are good enough to record, and I have no idea what I’m doing next. It’s an interesting place to be. Its also a bit scary.
Jan 2020 will be ten years since my first solo album. At pretty much every point since my #songwriting has outpaced my ability to get things recorded.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t written new songs as part of each album or EP production ‘cycle’ (can I call it a production cycle when it’s just me cobbling things together in my bedroom studio?). Plenty of songs were brand new at the point they were released.
Others were fully formed songs that had been sitting around for years before they finally a home in a larger project.
Others made use of ideas that were older. There are riffs and melodies I’ve put into releases that had been floating around, half-formed for decades.
But with Demon, my last CD, I’ve got to the end. There are no more obviously usable ideas in my notebooks or audio files. After every release for the last decade I’ve known exactly what comes next. Now, I don’t.
This is a little scary.
It is also exciting. Time for something new, I suppose.
Here’s a little video from a recent live stream. It’s my first go at an acoustic version of Weather Balloons and Falling Stars from my new album Demon.
There are over a hundred tracks in the subscribers only ‘Immoral Supporters’ section of my bandcamp profile, so I thought I’d share one or two with the world on a temporary basis so you can get a taste.
This is Angel, the first track from the subscribers only companion EP to my album Demon.
It is literally about cutting wings off Angels and using them to fly. There is no subtext.
This track will be public for only ten days. It will self destruct on the 15th of October. Get it while you can!