This month came together quickly. In fact, this month’s song last got meaningful changes on May 5th. Almost three weeks ago. Part of the reason it came together so quickly was because I had clear intentions for this month’s track. I had two primary goals, first, write something melancholy sounding. And second, make greater impact with fewer instrument groups.
The song is about wasting time. So I started with a simple guitar plucking noise and put it to a jeopardy-countdown rhythm. This melody was taken directly from some off the cuff vocals I recorded while writing the first lyrics. I copied the melody exactly and gave it to a simple set of upright bass sounds. With the two instruments and some draft vocals, I was ready to take it with me on the road and let it develop.
At this point, I could hear that it had potential, and I sense what style I wanted to write the rest of the lyrics in, but it was repetitive and I couldn’t sense if what I was hearing was a chorus or a verse—When you hear something repeated enough, it always starts to sound like a chorus.
It took a while before I could sit down with it again. I felt I’d need more lyrics. I wrote them in bed, but none of them stood out as pillars worthy enough to be considered a chorus. Plus, lyrically, there was a progression I liked and each attempt to divert the flow seemed to weaken that progression.
So, I learned that when songs need a chorus, they will ask for them.
When I finally got a chance to sit down with the track again, the first thing I wanted to do was discover if what I’d written really fit along with the existing melodies. I recorded a full set of vocals which I was satisfied enough with to begin really adjusting my sounds.
I added a simple place-holder drum track to help me keep time, but ultimately kept it after applying an automated grain delay that I liked. The plucked guitar took on a slightly more random sound when placed under flanger and corpus affects, which also produced an interesting pots-and-pans kind of percussion. The bass noises proved challenging because they were too clean and rigid. EQ’s, arpeggiators, and cabinet effects gave the bass a more scratchy sound, which I also brought slightly into the vocals.
Finally, the backup vocals are exact copies of the lead vocals, under heavy reverb and pitch shifted up, first to a 5th and then to a 7th.
Just to be clear—for the purpose of this song, Paul is the name I have given to an array of responses that I have to people in real life. He’s not the people, he’s the response. If you’re name is Paul, this song isn’t about you. Sorry man.