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New country pop song
Old 1st September 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Pip's Avatar
New country pop song

I’m interested in your views on this song which I co-wrote, recorded and produced.



YouTube
Old 4th September 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
 
rezident's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
I’m interested in your views on this song which I co-wrote, recorded and produced.



YouTube
I like your song, it is great as is.

However if you want additional feedback, or maybe these observations could even be for a different song, here you go:

- the concept is great of ‘double lives’ and how two people who knew each other in the past can reconnect so closely like they were a couple of only for fleeting moments. Reminds me of ‘still crazy after all these years’ thematically. You also do a great job of communicating this.

- However, I feel as if the more superficial sense of wording and craft doesn’t accentuate this. For instance, up until the chorus the title of the song could be ‘the story that time wrote’ because you’ve personified time there and explained a certain viewpoint but it doesn’t contribute to the theme of ‘double lives’
- perhaps what you would want to do is open up that theme more and really workshop some ideas around how to connect the verse and other lyrics more to that double lives punchline. For instance you could go with like the deception aspect of leading a double life, the thrill of meeting and rush of adrenaline that comes from leading a double life, or even how maybe those two people are rediscovering and uncovering a past life when they spend time together.

- I also wouldn’t throw away the time lyrics. A great songwriter once told me that sometimes you have two or more songs in one and separating them into their own songs is beneficial

Anyways nice song
Old 5th September 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Pip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezident View Post
I like your song, it is great as is.

However if you want additional feedback, or maybe these observations could even be for a different song, here you go:

- the concept is great of ‘double lives’ and how two people who knew each other in the past can reconnect so closely like they were a couple of only for fleeting moments. Reminds me of ‘still crazy after all these years’ thematically. You also do a great job of communicating this.

- However, I feel as if the more superficial sense of wording and craft doesn’t accentuate this. For instance, up until the chorus the title of the song could be ‘the story that time wrote’ because you’ve personified time there and explained a certain viewpoint but it doesn’t contribute to the theme of ‘double lives’
- perhaps what you would want to do is open up that theme more and really workshop some ideas around how to connect the verse and other lyrics more to that double lives punchline. For instance you could go with like the deception aspect of leading a double life, the thrill of meeting and rush of adrenaline that comes from leading a double life, or even how maybe those two people are rediscovering and uncovering a past life when they spend time together.

- I also wouldn’t throw away the time lyrics. A great songwriter once told me that sometimes you have two or more songs in one and separating them into their own songs is beneficial

Anyways nice song
Thank you, something to get our teeth into from a learning perspective. The story telling in this type of song is everything. Thanks again and agreed, still learning, our lyrics are so much better, but we have some way to go. Any songs with great story telling you could recommend.
Old 6th September 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
 
rezident's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
Thank you, something to get our teeth into from a learning perspective. The story telling in this type of song is everything. Thanks again and agreed, still learning, our lyrics are so much better, but we have some way to go. Any songs with great story telling you could recommend.


This one's pretty cool, its about a murder. Uses the concept of rage/jealousy as the motive (eg. use of the term 'unfaithful')




This ones also about a murder, uses concept of destiny/fate, the 'snakebit' theme is a predisposition to violence or like a curse of violence.


Amazing storytelling in both though, like in both songs they use a lot of the actions that the people do and you infer the reason they do them. As opposed to directly saying like (he felt angry, etc.) . So they use show vs tell.

Cheers

Last edited by rezident; 6th September 2018 at 12:44 AM.. Reason: had infidelity, meant unfaithful
Old 7th September 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Pip's Avatar
Thanks great tunes.
Old 8th September 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
I’m interested in your views on this song which I co-wrote, recorded and produced.
[bluntness]

Apologies in advance, for what is going to be extremely blunt criticism of the lyrical content. This can be a sore point, but there's nothing to be gained from beating about the bush - and you're perfectly free to ignore everything I say anyway!

My understanding of what you're trying to do: This is a song about two people who were once in love, but are not together.

Presumably, the intention is that we - the listener - in some way identify with/engage with/care about the two people in the story?

Except, the difficultly is, by the end of the song we have literally nothing to go on; nothing two tell us who these two people are, who they were, why they were together, why they're not together, why the man with the family might want to hold hands with the woman who has "almost settled down", or anything about them at all!

"He's got a family now
She's almost settled down
Moved on to new forevers
Fate changed their plans somehow

Time rewrote their story
New actors in their scenes
Some chapters left untold and
Tale of what might have been

And although fate has spoken
Some day they'll meet again
Oh in another life just for a day
They'll play pretend."

As a listener, there is simply nothing in this story to engage me; it's just a string of generic "they're older but they used to be younger" lines, interspersed with fate/time doing/saying all sorts of things.

In this story, Fate:
(i) Changed their plans (somehow). (What plans - how? )
(ii) Has spoken. (Fate speaks now?!)
(iii) Leads back to other lives. (Except we don't know what any of these lives is.)

Fate, pops up all over the place, and does and says more than either of the two main characters!

So yeah, question to the songwriter: do YOU have, in your head, a picture of who these two people are? Do you KNOW them? Do you care about them? Do you know what they dreamed of when they were younger? What they did together? Why they're unhappy now - IF they're unhappy now, which isn't really clear either.

If the answer to the above is: "no, we just needed the song to scan", then ... fair enough!

Otherwise, write down some of the things that make these two people real; specific details about their lives, past, present, and ... what might be. Once you know who they are, and can describe them in a few paragraphs, only then go about trying to fit those details into seven and six syllable lines.

Right now, I'd consider those to be placeholder lyrics in an otherwise fairly polished production.

Getting geekily analytical for a second: in the twelve lines I quoted above (a verse and a pre-chorus) you give yourselves, as songwriters: 6 syllables to describe the man's live, 7 syllables to describe the woman's. (They may get a line in the second verse - I'm not sure.)

Everything else is fate and time and circumstance.

Structurally, that's nearly an impossible task; creating a love-story of what-might-have-been with only one line in the entire song devoted to each character. I couldn't do it.

So you'll probably need to free yourself of some of that structural straight-jacket - less time, less fate, fewer External Forces.

You've done the hard work - you've got your production, your melody, your title. Sit down with your co-writer, paper, pens and a clear dining table (or whatever your preferred surface of choice is) for half and hour and talk about these two people with each other; I guarantee you'll have a better song by then end of 30 minutes.

[/bluntness]
Old 8th September 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Pip's Avatar
Thank you and great feedback. Lots to think about. Some great examples of the type of lyric would be helpful. My other thought if the structure works, there are a limited amount of lines in a 3 minute song, how do you fit it all in and keep it commercial?
Old 9th September 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip View Post
Thank you and great feedback. Lots to think about. Some great examples of the type of lyric would be helpful. My other thought if the structure works, there are a limited amount of lines in a 3 minute song, how do you fit it all in and keep it commercial?
Yeah, I thought about attempting to provide examples - which is why, in the end, I had to admit that I'd struggle to provide a compelling portrait within just those two allocated lines - and, not knowing who the two people are, even with more than those two lines.

There are archetypes to this kind of third person song storytelling - think "Jack & Diane" with those era and place specific descriptions "suckin on chilli dogs, behind the Tastee Freeze", "dribble off those Bobby Brooks", or even Jackie doing his "best James Dean". In fact, it was John Mellencamp's evocative songwriting that made me sit up and notice James Dean going "well, now there then" in Rebel Without a Cause, next time I saw it.

Would that I could pluck condensed, meaningful lyrics about these two characters of yours out of thin air - but I can't.

I can only think of how I'd go about looking for those lyrics: write down ideas about their lives - both then, and now. Draw on your own school-day romances and crushes.

The trick, at this stage, is NOT to try and cut straight to "phrases that happen to fit the number of syllables I need" but rather, details from each character's life, as you imagine it. When you find a few mental images that really resonate, you can probably find a way to package those in a way that you need for them to scan.

Were they at school together? Did they go out? Was it serious? What did they do when they went out? Where did they go? Why/when did they break up? Was it a First Love, or was it later? At uni? Only you have the answer!

What does he do now? He has family. Okay. How many kids? How old are they?

Did he and the girl used to play in a band, but now he drives a Volvo estate car and trips over Lego on the way to the loo at night, and she's about to make partner and put down a deposit with her boyfriend on a loft conversion in Dalston?

This is crying out for you and your writing partner to grab a bottle of wine (or whatever your drink of choice) and a couple of notepads, and sit there talking about your old love-lives and those of your friends, and also the married lives of you/your friends. The more openly and freely you can throw ideas back and forth, the more likely you are to look at the stuff you've written down the next day and see that, yes, you actually do have a few things you could use - but don't rush the "idea gathering" phase, in your haste to find song lyrics. Try and spend enough time getting genuine, believable details about the people before you shoe-horn those ideas into song form.

Would be my suggestion.
Old 10th September 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Pip's Avatar
Again some good points made, I read a book recommended when I was in Nashville last time on the art of lyric writing, of course having read it it was lent out to a collaborator and never seen again, but similar points were raised. That said I was also advised to use the 3rd person and not over personalise as the artist (if publishing) needs to relate to the lyrics.
I agree we should have another go, but as is the modern world, you record, mix, master, shoot a video and then promote, in the vain effort to get some attention, so for the time being it will have to remain as is, god bless the modern record industry.
The song is written to try to get publishing, so there if picked up will be the inevitable re-write anyway, that’s how it appears to work, everyones got to get there fingers in the pie.
I would also (not defensively) state that the art of lyric writing on most modern songs has at best left the building. The bar is low, hooks please lyrics well hay. Anyway this week back to Instagram, and attempting to drum up interest, my least favourite part of the process, thanks for your comments and time.
Old 17th September 2018
  #10
Deleted User
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Please dont judge your stuff by the Nashville standard of cliche lyrics. You dont have to have resolve either contrary to what has been mentioned. It doesnt even have to make sense. This is not modern pros its a pop song. Thats my take on the song and not the production.
Old 17th September 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Pip's Avatar
Thank you - we tried to make a really commercial country song as there is so little like it in the UK. Always good to hear views on our efforts.
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