It's That Riff Again

March 18, 2011 10:17 AM

It's been weeks since I posted anything. This damn song is mostly why, with a side of overwork and a helping of broken leg.

You might remember back in December I posted this riff trying to figure out how to get it to loop back on itself. Well, partly with the help of those suggestions I got the whole think worked out musically, but my God I've found it impossible to write the lyrics for it. I still don't have them, but I'm posting this la-di-da version just so you know I haven't actually died or anything.

I like the tune so much I've been unable to write anything else until I got the words done -- but I CAN'T FIND THE DAMN WORDS!

I have a few lines and a bit of the chorus but just cannot link it all together in a satisfying way.

Anyone got any tips for finishing a lyric?

This was supposed to be my Jan collab track but my collaborators never got back to me... oh well.

Add to that the fact that I smashed my leg to pieces snowboarding a few weeks ago and today is the first day I've been able to make it up the stairs to my studio...

Anyway, this is mostly to say I EXIST! I'M ALIVE! HELLO!!

I have a rockin' horn part for this too once I get the lyric fixed...

posted by unSane (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I'm a sucker for jangle-pop, but the tone of that riff is freaking sweet. I love it; it's got all the harshness and brass of sunlight. Horns would be great to add to this track. I just listened to this twice in a row, and my mouse pointer's inching over to start it all over again because I like it so much.

Sadly I know nothing about writing lyrics. I guess it sounds like a story song to me; a sort of melancholy lost-love kind of thing. Or maybe you could subvert that and write something completely different, like a spy thriller or something. Ha – like I said, lyrics aren't really my strong suit.

Anyway, I think this is fab. Can't wait to hear the finished product.
posted by koeselitz at 12:05 PM on March 18, 2011

Yeah I love that sound. it's a Mellotron piano sample with loads of warble and noise, and it's been pitched up an octave as well I think, so it sounds almost like a cross between a Rhodes and a Vibraphone or something. I can't remember where I got it from.

I tried using a cleaner sample but there's definitely some secret sauce in there that makes the whole thing work. Thanks, K, means a lot.
posted by unSane at 12:36 PM on March 18, 2011

Hooray, you're still alive! I love this too. It's very celerbratory and anthemic. Feels like a "rite of spring" or post victory song. While totally different kinds of songs, this reminds me of how Queen Bitch was used at the end of A Life Aquatic.

Good luck with this, man. I'm looking forward to the final version too!
posted by snsranch at 2:59 PM on March 18, 2011

Heh, you know between you, sns, and Koeselitz, you might actually have cracked it for me.

I suddenly realized the ching-a-ching piano sounds a bit like rain... then there's the idea of spring... and sunlight... sun coming out from behind clouds. I think I can see a way forward. Sunshine after rain. I think that's it. Awesome.
posted by unSane at 3:43 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

(One of the problems was that I'd been hung up on how similar it feels in some ways to On Broadway and I'd been having a hell of a time getting that out of my head -- this really helps).
posted by unSane at 3:47 PM on March 18, 2011

I actually think there is something really great/crazy about the relentless 'la da da's, so I'd actually support just keeping them as is. Something unusual about hearing them go on for this long that I think would be sad to get rid of. You could try adding TONS of la da da's, or adding the horn part over them, and see if you like it.
posted by Corduroy at 5:31 PM on March 20, 2011

I am most the way through finishing this... have the lyric and the horn part done. Plus a harp part, and I don't mean harmonica! There's a rough mix here and if you've got any suggestions you can discuss in the Music Incubator where some of us hang out on Facebook. I'll obviously post the final version here but it may still be a little while so if you want a sneaky preview...
posted by unSane at 11:34 AM on June 23, 2011

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