“This is great. A big dollop of proper pop. A slice of singalong hooks, followed by the rest of the cake. The earworms you didn’t know you needed until they wiggled down your eustachian tube and wrapped their little bodies round your cochlea….”
Recently I was at Jordan’s, recording his bass parts to an ep of Murder Ballads.
It was lots of fun, and very productive. We got bass parts down to three songs that will definitely be on the record. The whole point of the project is that it’s supposed to be a bit rough and ready, a bit weird. Jordan was really up for that and played some creative, odd stuff.
But one of the songs didn’t work.
‘A bloody way to find yourself some peace’ it’s called and lyrically it does fit with the other songs for the EP. It’s all about killing someone as an act of revenge, and how that actually feels quite warm and right (according to the character in the song. I wouldn’t know. Honest.).
But musically, it didn’t quite. The chords are a bit too 80’s ballad, the melody a bit too straightforward, the structure a bit too simple.
It was written several years before the others and I wasn’t entirely confident with the whole thing going in, but thematically it seemed to fit, so I through it into the mix. It was only as Jordan gave it a go that we realised that the double bass didn’t really work – and the reason it didn’t work was that the song doesn’t belong on this EP.
Is the song really dead forever? Maybe, I’m not sure. but for now, this isn’t a song I’m going ahead with.
Is there nothing salvageable from it? Yes. I really like the opening section with the arpeggios and pedal E note, so maybe that section survives in another piece further down the line.
Here’s an MP3 of the guide vocal and guitar lines, plus Jordan’s double bass. Rough and ready, but you get the idea.
I think it’s a perfectly competent song, but not one of my best and not for this murder ballads project. What do you reckon? Did I make the right call?
As you know (unless you don’t. You probably do. I assume it’s only people who like my music who read this. One or two of you. Hi! It’s probably Andy. Hi Andy. Thanks for reading) I’ve been working on an EP of murder ballads. Here is video proof.
This video is the first run-through. It’s a nice cheery tale about a bloke who murdered his wife, regrets doing so and now is trying to contact her using a spirit box.
Another first run through.’Butcher Boy’ is about a butcher who turns his talents with a knife on some of his customers.
I headed over to Jordan’s to record his double bass. This proved a little more difficult than I was expecting…
Here’s a thing to listen to. Alun and I recorded a little chat about the Murder and Parliament album. So if you like hearing musicians whitter on about music they made, you might want to click on this. Also includes a ‘bonus’ track in the form of an song from Alun‘s latest album Humankind (or just kind of Human).