Sorry You Died

March 28, 2010 5:07 AM

A song begun a few years ago and just recently finished. I recorded the initial acoustic guitar track last summer in the boathouse, using a condenser and also the stero mic on my video camera. While fighting off mosquitos.

Kimothy recorded some horns for me but had some mic issues at the time. I mixed her live trumpet with the fake trumpet I'd sent her as a guide, so they're semi-real.

posted by chococat (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Yowza. That is a super-awesome piece of creepy pop. The chunka-chunk-chunk when the guitars come in is a really great setup for the chorus. Nice use of the stereo field and macrodynamics here. I dig.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:19 PM on March 28, 2010

Uy, that is way beyond cool. I really like this setup in your songs (piano + horns + electric and acoustic guitars, sort of like the one you used in Toronto). And that fuzz in the bass gives it a great touch.

That video is destroying my theory that you are actually a bunch of people, not just one guy recording by himself. And, boathouse? geez. You and David Gilmour really know where it's at.
posted by micayetoca at 5:50 AM on March 29, 2010

Yeah, your stuff is always solid, but this goes beyond. Such a great song, and the piano, uncanny horns and the mix complement it perfectly. This song should be heard far and wide.
posted by umbĂș at 9:41 AM on March 29, 2010

Glorious. Your low, gravelly, barely-there vocal style fits this song extra well. The horn sounds great too, you did a great job rescuing it from the mic issues.

What's that guitar you're playing? Fun to see the video.
posted by ORthey at 10:17 AM on March 29, 2010

I forgot to ask. After you recorded the track with the videocamera, how did you extract the audio from the video?
posted by micayetoca at 6:23 PM on March 29, 2010

Really good, as always. The piano almost sounds like some sort of deluxe toy piano, with a honky tonk setting on it. It's amazing how smooth the song gets when it goes into the chorus. I've said it before, but you're an absolute master with the background vocals. It comes out very lush.

The mosquito death slap at the end is some kind of genius.
posted by edlundart at 8:41 PM on March 29, 2010

Please take this as a compliment... I couldn't listen all the way through the first couple of times because it was a little bit TOO moving for me. The vocals, man, are just incredibly effective. Really hit me.
posted by snsranch at 4:32 PM on March 30, 2010

This is great. Kind of reminds me of Sloan.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:29 AM on March 31, 2010

You make me jealous, you know.

Lovely vocals, beautifully lush instrumentation. I'm really in love with this.
posted by Pecinpah at 5:41 PM on March 31, 2010

Next to my husband, you're my favourite singer/songwriter.
posted by czechmate at 10:49 AM on April 1, 2010

God, that horn sounds so cool. What a neat idea to mix the live and fake. I think my favorite part is the piano line. Everything falls into place. That video is really cool, too, although I was looking forward to an unplugged chococat with lapping water in the background. Next time?
posted by Corduroy at 5:42 PM on April 1, 2010

This is wonderful. The almost ridiculously sprightly piano contrasts so nicely with the dark vocal. That chorus kicks in and it gets a little Beatle-y. In a good way. Love the "try to tell yourself" shift, what the drums do there. Then those horns are just great: brought a smile. they struck me as a little Beatle-y, too.

mica writes: how did you extract the audio from the video?

Don't know how chococat did it, but I can recommend some great freeware for that (and lots of other cool video stuff) called MPEG STREAMCLIP. I use it all the time.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:40 PM on April 1, 2010

Thanks! Really, thanks a lot.
I wish I was rich enough to afford a boat, let alone a shelter in which to house them. It's my parents' place in Muskoka, a few hours north of Toronto. Our old family upright piano is up there and so on our week of vacation last summer I brought a mic up to record it as I'd already tried to flesh this song out a few times already, unsuccessfully, and thought I'd try a different approach. So after that, I thought I might as well go down to the boathouse for some guitar as I'd done that before with my brother on one of his songs that turned out pretty nice. I had my C1 condenser and thought I'd use the camera's mic also, since it's a half-decent stereo condenser; just for some variety. So that's how I have the video. I don't look quite as fat-faced as that anymore and there's no more graying beard; that's probably the only visuals of me you'll see as I'm either shy or vain (same thing, basically.)

I edit video in Final Cut Pro so I just exported an aiff of the audio of the best take and imported that into the Cubase project. The video is one mis-take and then the take I used for the song; I think there were maybe 10 takes total, 2 or 3 complete ones which I was going to double but as I say, the waves were a bit too much that day and that lapping water was too loud, so I favoured the C1 track a bit more and then re-did some guitar at home.

The guitar is my old Yamaha 000 size that I got for Christmas when I was 10 and was my main acoustic until I just got the HD-28 in August. I loved it for years and it's on most of my songs but it feels like a big, wide, pretend-guitar when I play it now.
posted by chococat at 4:01 PM on April 5, 2010

Oh, cool. I wasn't sure this would ever see the light of...the internet? Sorry my audio quality wasn't great, but that's actually a pretty cool effect you got from mixing the two. Glad it got posted.
posted by Kimothy at 3:51 PM on April 19, 2010

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