This moving song by Mary Gauthier is one of my favorites. Everyone needs mercy. Video.
pop song with a train beat feel [more inside]
I've been listening to this song a lot recently, and admire Russell's sort of ambiguity. Featuring authentic San Francisco rain and street noise.
It's about as much fun as you'd imagine it would be. March 2020. [more inside]
Just wrote this today, very much informed by our current situation. Lyrics in the bridge borrowed/stolen wholesale from Joy Division's "Transmission." Recorded on my bathroom floor into my Tascam DR100's built-in mics. Who will he answer to?
A brand new song from our forthcoming album "Riches to Rags", which we're released today as part of our special Social Distance release on Bandcamp. [more inside]
Restless and pissed off over the covid-19 situation, and powerless to do much about it, I set up a mic (and a camera) on my porch after I put my kid to bed and recorded this song I wrote about civil disobedience. You got the stones for crime. It's about time.
I wrote a little tune about that darn microscopic critter the whole world is talking about. I made a little video for it, too. If you wanna see it, it's here. Put it on Bandcamp as well, just for good measure, as an AIF file, which of course I'd be delighted if you bought for a buck. Or more. Cause all my damn gigs are cancelled lately. [more inside]
You know how you were thinking the other day "I really love Nine Inch Nails, but I'd really love Nine Inch Nails if they were Sufjan Stevens" Yeah, me too. Also for the first time shot video as I was recording.
In honor of Clyde Davenport, who passed away this week at the age of 98, one of the fiddle tunes he played, although not particularly in his style. [more inside]
A hushed but nonetheless exuberant take on a very good song from They Might Be Giants' album "Flood," recorded at my kitchen table [more inside]
Recently met a dog with a mighty fine behind. [more inside]
Short, sweet, sappy love song. [more inside]
This year I wrote a Christmas song that I'm rather fond of for my wife, who I'm also rather fond of. [more inside]
An autumnal fingerpickin' instrumental.
Some recent discussion on MeFi about the band a-ha reminded me that I'd recorded this acoustic cover of one of their songs a long time ago. This is actually based on an arrangement by Kings of Convenience, who made some interesting changes to the original song structure. Me on vocals and guitars (nylon-string and steel-string). [more inside]
Acoustic guitar and voice. Pretty straight as far as my memory of the proper song goes. [more inside]
A multi-tracked violin sketch/tiny cover of an excellent song by Lil Nas X that I can't get out of my head.
Havin' a play with the gang! [more inside]
Just a little song from my weird little indie folk heart. Actually reworking something old and the first thing I've recorded in a while, since I was pretty tired from the whole process of putting out my first EP in January. Also...stuff?...has been happening to my voice because I am trans and recently started testosterone therapy, I really notice the change in how my voice feels and I certainly hope others can hear it too!
Another weird, haunting indie folk song from yours truly! There is also a weird, haunting music video located here. This is all part of my first official release, which I am super excited about, under my stage name MK Ellison.
Walking with pushchairs to make the little one sleep forces you outside. [more inside]
"'I will work for honey!' This girl looks at me and goes, 'what?' I go 'yeah, it goes like this.'" [more inside]
Pretty proud of the vocals. This is a weird one, but my most haunting song yet. I had an image of a supernatural, quiet kind of nightmare where the narrator has a horrible premonition that something is coming for her, tries to run away, but cannot get far enough.
It's been a while since I posted any of my new songs here. What do you think of my kind of new direction (and quality of the recording)? Alternative folk-ish, acoustic song with clean vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonies. Sounds happy but the lyrics are not. [more inside]
This song started as a joke and turned into something quite different. My friend and her husband have a lovely cat with an inspiring life story. During a recent visit, she said I should write a song about Magali, and after laughing about possible lyrics, it turned into a heartfelt song about the sweet, loving bond between a man and his cat. [more inside]
Not sure if I can do it justice, but I have loved this song every since I first heard Seven Swans in my college days. Light, soulful cover of a modern classic. I've messed with the harmonies a little, so some of the chords are more dissonant (but in a watery, calm way, not a harsh way, if that makes any sense).
I love this song. Cover with guitar, piano. From her 1995 album Wrecking Ball, which Wikipedia calls "career redefining."
Wrote a new song that I still like, unlike the last one I posted! Textured, mellow, summery indie/country with guitar, percussion, strings, vocals.
My wife had a pessimistic guitar instructor when she was younger, one of those "there's nothing new in music, there's only 12 notes" kind of musicians. So, as a rebuttal to that mindset, here's an in-progress 50+ chord progression that I think is turning out swimmingly so far.
This is a complete reworking of a song I posted before (17) which is now...prettier? Mellower? Flows more? What do you think of my new direction? [more inside]
An original arrangement of an old cowboy song, from the new album High on the Hog by Corwin Bolt & the Wingnuts. [more inside]
Wish I didn't have to keep writing songs like this. [more inside]
I've always known "Black and White" as a fiddle rag, but it turns out it was composed for piano in 1908. When I was a kid, it was one of about a dozen tunes my dad and I played together (over, and over, and over) with him on guitar and me on fiddle. In a total coincidence (no, really) my band decided to record it for our upcoming album “High on the Hog”. I never played it quite like that with my dad, but looking back it's fun to imagine I was practicing for this. [more inside]
Another set from some recent recording - two Irish hornpipes on guitar and octave mandolin. [more inside]
A quick, old tune
Another rough mix from a recent bout of recording. These are two tunes I played during the summertime wedding of two good friends. [more inside]
A classic Louis Jordan song all about chickens, interpolated with a fiddle reel that's all about chickens. Recorded and broadcast live 11/4/2017 for "The Back Porch" on KLCC 89.7 Eugene, OR. [more inside]
Topical song. Recorded live in one take, fast and dirty, at home. Vocal, three-string guitar and stompbox, all coming out of a 15 watt VOX guitar amp. I videoed the performance too, which you can see at Facebook or YouTube. If you'd like to download an AIFF audiofile, you can do so at SoundCloud. [more inside]
Henry King's Reel, a fiddle tune written by Trevor Stuart of Haywood County, North Carolina. [more inside]
As long as I am posting moody, folksy songs with voice and guitar...here's another one!
(That's the title, I have not in fact been drinking all day...) Country-ish, imagine you and your man are on the outs and you're feeling a little bitter about it.
This piano part and vocal melody have been rattling around in my brain for a while--finally wrote some lyrics and fleshed it out a bit.
A seasonally-appropriate fiddle tune, with solo fiddle triple-tracked but otherwise unprocessed. The fiddle is in DDAD tuning, which I like a lot. [more inside]
A song written for my 4 month old daughter. [more inside]
If you know of him, you may have an opinion that Daniel Johnston is a outsider genius, a troubled victim of hipster exploitation, or simply a not-so-typical independent musician who found his audience. If nothing else, his work is irrefutably full of sincerity and emotion. This little piece of his is one of the great American songs. [more inside]
Long time no tunes! A simple tune on the classical guitar, sketched out after my daily struggle to learn Chopin & Satie songs. Birds, for interest.
"Something inside me's changed—I was so much younger yesterday." I learned and recorded this cover of Hailee Steinfeld's "Starving" in a half hour one afternoon last month. [more inside]
Instrumental country death song
The old-time tune "Spotted Pony", played at a jam session at the 2016 Portland Old-Time Music Gathering. [more inside]