This is the first song I've written in years! I decided to quickly record of a take of it and share. Hopefully the quality of it isn't too bad or distracting. I don't want to say too much about the meaning behind the song, but it has a lot to do with breaking cycles of pain that are passed down to us, and keeping an open mind and heart in the face of it. [more inside]
Folk rock ode to Nature. [more inside]
The themes of timelessness vs. something purely of the moment and also of mobility vs. immobility are somehow factored into the folds of this dreamy folkrock-inspired track by Ummagma. Whispy and somewhat ethereal. [more inside]
Tides and lilts, ebbs and flows. Something romantic, yet superfluous permeates 'River Town', with a spacious element opening up for sweepingly dreamy female vocals. At least that's how we see this Ummagma track. [more inside]
Instrumental demo from a little while ago.
going for a deep lo-fi groove
Sometimes various musical genres blend together to create something fresh and brilliant - the old with the new, analogue with digital, with styles and sounds intermeshing to create a new fabric. That is what we were after with this song, which has got to be the Ummagma song that leans most towards folk-rock. A little hiatus from dreampop. [more inside]
The rustling of leaves, the sweetness of birdsong and the movement of blood within your body… all of these have conspired to influence the creation of this song. Hope you gather something natural from this.
Reminiscent of the Peter Gabriel and Deep Forest contribution to the film "Strange Days", this Ummagma track offers an eclectic earful of modernity meets tradition, complete with Carpathian whistle and balanced out with successive male and female vocals. [more inside]
Indietronic ethno-ethereal fusion is how I would describe this Ummagma track, which is the first Ummagma song you've heard here with male vocals. I feel like this tune has a strong gypsy fusion lifeline running to it from some mysteriously brilliant source, call it what you will. :) Once again, any feedback is appreciated. We've also ventured into indietronic a little here.
I have been looking for songs about Omaha lately and have found there aren't many. So I wrote one. [more inside]
Dedicated to anyone who has ever been to a music festival in the UK and ended up feeling utterly miserable. [more inside]
The is the second song from a series of Neruda lyrics-related songs. The words were taken from Nathaniel Tarn's translation of Pablo Neruda's "Canto VI" from The Heights of Macchu Picchu. The music is original and was recorded with my band World's Greatest Dad. [more inside]
A filk dedicated to Andy Coulson and all at the News of The World, may it rot in peace. [more inside]
A song about culture shock and the alienation of the immigrant experience. [more inside]
Some kind of folk-ish song with a dash of electric thrown in. It's the beginning of a narrative – not sure what exactly. Includes a way too ambitious lyrical reference to Amazing Grace. [more inside]
I'm taking this night class in 'Audio Recording' at NYU, and we assembled a small group of people to practice making field recordings in Washington Square Park. 'Hot Potato' was sung and played by a duo in town from Tennessee who played accordion and ukulele. [more inside]
This is a weird mix of a drum machine, a ukelele, and me singing with some other effects thrown in. I record stuff like this at home and never let anyone hear it, so I thought I might give it a whirl. Enjoy!
Long time listener, first time caller...err...poster. It's a bluesy sort of number in the religious tradition. The recording was done at home with GarageBand. Comments or suggestions on arrangement, recording technique, instrumentation, whatever, appreciated.
a quick-strummer. some warbly stanzas.
I am re-posting this at the suggestion of another user, this time with lyrics included. This and others are available here. Looking at Wiches Some say they're having a pretty good time And they're working on quitting this town. Everything's working out fine for me. You should see the way I get around. Like a dry drunk Down at the mall. Looking at watches, He feels something crawl Out of a memory He has of a girl. Looking at witches, Down at the mall. And ain't we got friends that are long ago gone and that's all that we want them to be? Nothing but nothing And nothing alone Could make them mean nothing to me. Sometimes in winter you get to go home. You get to dress darkly. You hang up the phone. You walk home from Pittsburgh With one thing in mind. Sometimes in winter, you leave things behind. And we miss when you sing Those old country songs. We get them for free around here, but we don't keep them long. Because we can't keep them long.
I posted a live version of this before, but this is a new and very rough mix of a studio version. [more inside]
Like a dry drunk Down at the mall
An older recording that I just dug up. One of my friend Hawk Coleman's best vocal performances. A bit of a folky melodramatic march that builds pretty big towards the end. [more inside]
Believe it or not, this song was not written about the Iraq war. In fact, it was a reaction to something I was sensing in the air back before the first Gulf War, circa 1990. I changed the wording slightly to reflect the times, but the song still works beautifully. The recording is from my new collection 2 O's, 2 E's (a reference to how I spell my last name). You can download the entire album and lots more stuff at johnvoorhees.com.
Ooo! Spooky! Well, it should be pretty obvious that this song has almost nothing to do with literal werewolves, and everything to do with a predatory mindset, but that doesn’t keep it from weirding my mother out every time I play it!
A song about a Devil's X-Ray.
This is my great, sweeping ballad … my Piano Man, if you will. Tinged with chili powder. [more inside]
A simple cautionary tale of how celebrity, glamour, ambition and just-plain inauthenticity can twist a human soul. Also, you can dance to it. [more inside]
Another of the tunes from my band's live recording session this past July. [more inside]
This is the first song off my album I just finished recording. I guess it's very folk-like.
An original song by my old band, Selected Letters. Alto Sax, Oboe, Violin, Guitar, Bass, Drums, and a good mix of tight arrangement and improvisation. I miss this band a lot, but it was great while it lasted.
A demo recorded in a hurry. [more inside]
I wrote this song last week and started playing with it this weekend. I'm excited about its potential, but I would looove love love some feedback. [more inside]
This is the first song I've recorded on my laptop for my band, Low-Tech Riff Raff. Suggestions on the mix are eagerly accepted. [more inside]
Acoustic version of a previous entry. [more inside]
Wherein I discover you can lyrically abstract and obscurely rearrange an interpersonal situation, but you can't make it blink. [more inside]
Simple 3 chord song...with drums etc [more inside]
A mellow song by my band, Low-Tech Riff Raff. The lead singer had a cold, but I kind of like the mood anyway.
I am not sure how this happened. [more inside]
This is a demo (sans vocals) I'd like everyone's honest opinion on before I go an upload the finished thing. Guitars/piano/bass/drums. [more inside]
Wherein I discover writing a song about kissing off an ex is easier and more satisfying than kissing off an ex.
This is a slightly older song, released in '06, but I thought it fit the challenge. I wrote it shortly after moving to L.A. when I was awakened by a thunderstorm, and fell back asleep to some strange dreams... -Leland
Another track by Selected Letters (my sadly defunct band). Music by J. Sher and I. Ochs, lyrics by R. Witte. Enjoy!
A cover of one of my favorite songs about tornadoes, originally by Butterglory.
We'll Drive This Car ('Til Hell Is Shooting Out the Stars) - Selected Letters We just played our last show ever this Friday night (a house party at Kenyon College in Ohio - we're all former or current students there) and I wanted to post one of our best songs to commemorate a great year. I miss them already. Selected Letters is: Ira Ochs on the bass guitar Joe Donohue on the guitar Alex Murphy on the drums Evan Axelbaum on the saxophone Riley Witte on the oboe Jeremy Sher (that's me!) on the violin
Dan and Leland are an acoustic duo blending great guitar playing and vocals with melodic songwriting and thoughtful lyrics.
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