This is the Summer

July 19, 2010 2:37 PM

The first of two songs for this month's Summersong challenge -- a singalong powerpop anthem about incest, sunburn, and lost love on an English council estate.

This was originally written a few years ago for my band Earcandy, and the audiences always used to sing along with the chorus with glee.

I finally figured out my intonation problems were to do monitoring too loud thru closed headphones and fixed it by turning down the volume, mixing out the bass and anything with pitch effects, turning my vocals WAY low, and keeping the cans half on, half off one ear. I still don't have great pitch but it's a lot closer than it was!

I went a bit overboard with the guitars -- there are seven electrics and three acoustics, including a Telecaster in Nashville tuning. I wrote a little cello trio for the Middle 8, which was fun.

I think the drums might be a bit low in this mix but I'm gonna live with it for a while I think.

posted by unSane (5 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

words/music © J Brownlow

This is the summer
Turning you inside out
The sun makes you wonder
Just what your life is about
Stuck in a small town
Forgetting the things that you dreamed
This was your playground
But now it’s your coffin it seems

This is the summer
This is the summer

And it’s easy to see when the sun keeps on shining
But it’s hard to believe when the kids keep on whining
And your mother loves your father
But your father loves your sister
And it’s hard
It’s so hard

This is the summer
Burning you out of your skin
You’re here in the garden
Waiting for life to begin
And when you were sixteen
You wanted him hanging around
But now he’s a millstone
And now you’re a crack in the ground

This is the summer
This is the summer


And ten years on
Will you be here or gone?
Will you be asking everyone
Why the sun never shines any more?

This is the summer
This is the summer

CHORUS to end
posted by unSane at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2010

Yeah, man, that's a lot of chimey guitars... I really dig the sound. The BG vox give me an REM vibe here and there. This is nice.

(And my ice cream man plays Turkey in the Straw. Well, and the Mr. Softee song, if you're lucky enough to get a real Mr. Softee. I can still pick that tune out of any kind of noise from half a mile.)
posted by uncleozzy at 5:30 AM on July 20, 2010

You have no idea how hard it is to find a nice clean ice cream chime sample.

I really wanted it to play over the middle 8 but it sounded terrible when I pitch shifted it because of all the ambience. I was almost reduced to writing my own version but again I couldn't find the right sample. What is it, a celeste or something?
posted by unSane at 7:23 AM on July 20, 2010

Yea! So this was way after your question about sims vs. real amps. I can definitely hear that. That Tele really rings true, and I can hear that your vocals are nailed down. I usually record with one can on an one off too.

Power pop for sure. The build ups, punches and harmony kinda remind me of Husker Du.

Great song man.
posted by snsranch at 7:00 PM on July 21, 2010

Just saw (heard) this -- wow! great to hear what someone who knows what he's actually doing can do. Chorus is as singalong as they get and is in my head for the day.

I dig the cello breakdown.

(Also to your pitch point -- half on/half off is the way to go! Though I have an a cappella song from years ago where the MIDI click track we sang along to is plainly audible thanks to bleed from those half-off cans. Not as much a problem with this track!)
posted by johndavi at 9:28 AM on July 23, 2010

« Older Vulgate   |   Bearded Dragon Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments