christmas trees

April 4, 2014 7:17 AM

This is an experiment. I'm not a vocalist. Yet, I had a melody in my head for this song I wrote and I can't find anyone else willing to sing so...this.

posted by cicadaverse (4 comments total)

I'd say this is a very successful experiment. You've created an interesting sound here. There are a few things going on which remind me, perhaps weirdly, of Metallica circa "Nothing Else Matters."

For the three first notes, I thought "hey, it's the intro from 'Still Loving You' by Scorpions." I feel like you're not trying to make music with those influences (I could be wrong, of course), but that's making this pretty interesting to my ears. Because those aren't influences I was expecting or ones I often think about.

So, there is a soundscape that brings to my mind that sort of heavy/metal ballad type sound. The vocal production and/or performance style for the verses contributes to it. It feels almost kind of muddy, like there are too many bass frequencies in it, but on purpose. I also think it's how you're not projecting confidently as a singer.

The chorus, if you will -- the part where you sing higher -- has a nice hypnotic feel. Sounds like there are some reversed parts to it?

I feel like you could totally be a vocalist. You ARE a vocalist. You sound good, you just need a little bit more belief in that fact. A bit more conviction/projection and you have a distinctive style all there. The instrumental track and overall melody has a certain allure to it, and a definite point of view. Nice job!
posted by edlundart at 10:04 PM on April 5, 2014

Thanks so much man for the interesting Feedback. I'm feeling a little more confident now and I might even try to record some more vocals in the future.

Recording vocals for me is a very exhausting experience because I have to do so so many takes and the end just feel like I'm still not getting it right. You are right about needing more belief I think. I've actually tried more than once to find other people to sing to my songs but in the end it never really happens.

I think a lot of people like the idea of being a singer but when it comes to writing vocals and taking the time and putting in the work to make a song work, well, it turns out I've never been able to get somebody to even come in for a recording, let alone go that full distance. And I'd like for some of my songs to have a voice, so I guess I need to get that belief in myself and just try to do it alone. I know I can do it. I just need to take the time to get it right and go for it.

I had to check Youtube for 'Still Loving You'. I'm not sure I've ever heard it though it sounds a lot like the kind of music the old pool hall in my hometown played a lot when I was a teenager. I never really got into the hard rock scene, I kind of came into music just after that when it was all more like on the Grunge/Punk rock trend and this kind of song is a little hard for me to get into for some reason.

The Metallica ballad I haven't since like the early 90's when it was all over MTV and the radio. I never bought any of their albums but I always respected them. They kind of had a clean, pure sound that I would say I'd prefer over most metal bands. I just went and checked it out on youtube as well. It's a great song and I love how heavy the drums are on this ballad. It adds a bit of interesting contrast.

Anyway, I can hear the resemblance in both of these songs. They are traditional minor chords with a kind clean or chorused sound. The Metallica one especially has a nice layering of guitars at the start. My song is basically a A minor to D minor progression with lots of layering for variation.

It's funny, I didn't think of this one as a rock ballad but it does fit. I'll have to mull that over a while and I might actually take another stab at it with that in mind. And maybe, with regards to sounding like a heavy metal ballad, it's a symptom that I'm kind of holding back too much. Trying to play it too nice while it could easily get a bit more heavy in parts.

It's very much a work in progress and it's very messy. The layers are very muddy and blend together probably because I just got carried away and didn't really think it out. I threw in some weird keyboards as well at the last to try to make more interesting to my ears.

Oh and you are right about the chorus, I reversed it, added a lot of reverb, then reversed it back to normal. It gives a nice reverse reverb effect.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I feel like I will probably have a stab at re-recording the vocals and cleaning up some parts of the music. I might also play around with dropping in some distortion and/or heavier drums for the chorus.

And sorry for rambling (I usually do).

By the way,
I checked out some of yours. I really liked Womankind and Two Lovers. Nice honest, bare kind of styles.... I'll have to take time to listen to more now!
posted by cicadaverse at 5:57 AM on April 7, 2014

Hey, thanks! Yeah, I think what I was struggling to articulate about this is that it felt to me like your song is not really like those 80's/90's heavy metal tunes, but it somehow carries some of those production themes, whether consciously or not -- and that's actually really interesting. Like, it's not a mashup but almost more like one style executed with some knowledge or tricks that generally come from another genre. I like that notion. Creative things can come from that -- like inventing a sport where you start out with soccer, but you're not allowed to use your feet. Or painting oceanscapes with shades of red only. Or making a jazz tune but with a death metal distortion pedal on everything. Or...
posted by edlundart at 1:03 PM on April 8, 2014

Yeah, I hear what you're saying for sure. I can't for sure say if that is the case or here or at least I can't say it is intentional. I don't really know how to write for a genre so I am kind of probably using all kinds of influences, including popular metallica songs in the 90's perhaps!?

I never really got into metal but had a lot of friends that were into it. I was more into Punk rock and a bit of hardcore from the D.C. scene (a lot of dischord bands).

What you're talking about reminds me a bit of Helmet. I believe Page Hamilton was a Jazz guitarist who started experimenting with metal/hardcore. They made some interesting tunes.
posted by cicadaverse at 10:25 PM on April 12, 2014

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