The Stranger

June 24, 2008 6:09 PM

Demo of a song that my band is in the process of recording for our album.

The final version has a different arrangement, is possible more epic, and is slightly shorter. Looking forward to your collective indifference!
posted by dobie (4 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's request -- restless_nomad

I think the beginning is really great, with the drums and the guitar coming in. I don't think it really kept up that energy, though. Maybe the final demo does, I don't know. I felt like it was a little bit too long, which probably accentuates the dropping energy, so it's good to hear the final is a bit shorter. How do you plan on making it shorter? It definitely begins to pick up again at the end with the 'you start to feel like a stranger' and the solo. The piano at the end is a nice touch, might consider putting it in a tiny bit somewhere else as well?

Have you heard The Beta Band's Dry the Rain? It does a really good job of continually building, and I think the secret is the drums that get added in at key points. It seems to me the same thing could be done with this song, perhaps. This definitely could be a terrific (and epic) song.
posted by Corduroy at 10:20 PM on June 25, 2008

Hi Corduroy, thanks for your feedback! I agree with your observations on the energy dropping off. I have indeed heard Dry the Rain. As I recall, the Beta Band achieved this by getting "busier" with their playing, and by adding more instruments and voices as the song progressed culminating in the band singing "I Need Love!" in unison, which was always a big "YES" moment for me. :)

The stranger will come as a midpoint in the album. We are going to be using a different dynamic structure than a straight forward build. It is definitely the longest track on the album; the majority being around three or four minutes. Without exposing myself too much as a songwriting pedant:

The idea for this song is that it is both a monologue and a narrative; We will have two different singers singing the different parts to make this more clear. We will actually place the piano part that you spoke of in the middle and extend that part with a waltzing 3/4 time at a very low intensity which builds and builds until it erupts with the end solo which will be about three quarters as long as it is now. Within the confines of the album it serves as a bit of a palate cleanser between thematic elements. And as a standalone, it is a lot more listen-able in that arrangement.
posted by dobie at 8:44 AM on June 26, 2008

I agree on the probable length issue, but I would add that it holds its own, it's not hard to listen to and if it came up, say, in the iPod while in shuffle, it's not the kinda song that one would skip. And as a demo, it's a great demo.

And I really like the acoustic guitar break that comes in at 3:55.
posted by micayetoca at 12:34 PM on June 26, 2008

Thanks micayetoca. I originally wanted to make the vocals sound more like someone in the next room was singing that part to play up the acoustic instruments' natural reverb. Still need to make a production decision there!
posted by dobie at 7:08 AM on June 27, 2008

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