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New EP/Writing as a band in pop music
Old 11th March 2014
  #1
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New EP/Writing as a band in pop music

Hi, We are Escape the Audience.

Although this is our first post as a band, we have been learning how to make music from this community for some time. After building our home studio at the age of 16 countless hours have been spent learning from this forum. As a way of saying thanks, we would like to offer our songs for free download via our website. If you like what you hear, all we ask is that you continue to share and post our EP wherever you can. Of course, we would be happy to chat more about the process of making music within our band and hope we can share some insight along the way.

Thanks and hope you enjoy the music!




Jordan and Chris
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/to...ep/id844450047
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@esctheaudience
Old 12th March 2014
  #2
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Finally! Someone doing something other than talent-dead EDM or look-at-how-many-hackneyed-samples-I-found hip hop.
Old 12th March 2014
  #3
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The intro of free fall is really quite fantastic (i haven't got further yet)

It hooks you to keep listening.
Old 12th March 2014
  #4
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I like your stuff in general. Not sure if you are a band or just two guys producing their music in a studio. It's good catchy pop though. I think My Broken Heart sounds the best. But... I think the production has been mastered too loud, in general. You got a like from me for My Broken Heart and I'm following you. I think this has quite a large appeal. It would go down quite well in the UK and Europe. Reminds me of you has a nice chorus. The guitars are good, very U2. I think you should push the production a bit more though and aim for a more defined sound rather than max out the loudness. Fair?

Are you a band or a two man production team? Just seen your web site. Yeah I think you should put My Broken Heart as your first song, it sounds the best... Wadda you think? Just checked out your facebook page, liked it...

I've listened to your stuff quite a lot this morning. I think your songs are very very good, is this all your own material? Which one of you is the singer and which is the guitar player?

On sound cloud the photo isn't the best one of you, you have much much better ones on your facebook page which show off your style, which is cool...
Old 12th March 2014
  #5
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Goddamnit, you guys are A-Mazing. This is so my style.

What annoys me most of all is that none of those songs are fillers. I was listening then waiting for the moment to pull the plug, and it never bloody happened! >:(

My biggest criticism is that it sounds super crushed. Otherwise super jelly.

Man if you guys aren't going places, there's definitely no hope for me.
Old 12th March 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavieB View Post
I like your stuff in general. Not sure if you are a band or just two guys producing their music in a studio. It's good catchy pop though. I think My Broken Heart sounds the best. But... I think the production has been mastered too loud, in general. You got a like from me for My Broken Heart and I'm following you. I think this has quite a large appeal. It would go down quite well in the UK and Europe. Reminds me of you has a nice chorus. The guitars are good, very U2. I think you should push the production a bit more though and aim for a more defined sound rather than max out the loudness. Fair?

Are you a band or a two man production team? Just seen your web site. Yeah I think you should put My Broken Heart as your first song, it sounds the best... Wadda you think? Just checked out your facebook page, liked it...

I've listened to your stuff quite a lot this morning. I think your songs are very very good, is this all your own material? Which one of you is the singer and which is the guitar player?

On sound cloud the photo isn't the best one of you, you have much much better ones on your facebook page which show off your style, which is cool...
Hi DavieB,

We are two guys producing our music in the studio, we write our own material, and we are a band at the same time. I guess the Black Keys would be a similar concept. With 2 guys in a band you have to play to tracks live, I imagine these days most Pop bands are playing to tracks even if there are 4 of them in the band. We are playing all the instruments in the recordings, and grew up playing music the old fashioned way. Live.... 4 dudes, no click tracks, and lots of guitar solos. We love bands from the UK and are happy to hear the music might go over well there. Keane's probably one of our favourite bands, brilliant writers!

We took a risk with the direction of "My Broken Heart", its nice to hear it resonates well with you. We were influenced by so many different bands while recording the track; Robyn was a big influence, Keane, Talking Heads...and BERLIN!!...MBH definitely ended up being the black sheep of the EP as a result. We would love to find a DJ to remix this song....

Thanks for checking it out, we really appreciate the comments!!

Chris

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Old 12th March 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stclair View Post
Goddamnit, you guys are A-Mazing. This is so my style.

What annoys me most of all is that none of those songs are fillers. I was listening then waiting for the moment to pull the plug, and it never bloody happened! >:(

My biggest criticism is that it sounds super crushed. Otherwise super jelly.

Man if you guys aren't going places, there's definitely no hope for me.
COOL MAN!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!

"Crushed Jelly"..LIKE IT! sounds like a plugin we would spend way to much money on back in the day

Someone should really get on this plugin name...seriously.
Old 12th March 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETA View Post
COOL MAN!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!

"Crushed Jelly"..LIKE IT! sounds like a plugin we would spend way to much money on back in the day

Someone should really get on this plugin name...seriously.
Actually what all that jargon meant was that I thought it was limited TOO hard. i.e. Dynamics were crushed. Sorry, I agree with DavieB's assessement above

But overall I was still jealous (jelly) of the production and songwriting.



[edit] You guys also produced it I assume????
Old 13th March 2014
  #9
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Which one of you is Chris? Who's the singer? Both of you? Are you brothers? On Soundcloud it says you are based in Calgary / LA - where you guys from?
Old 13th March 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavieB View Post
Which one of you is Chris? Who's the singer? Both of you? Are you brothers? On Soundcloud it says you are based in Calgary / LA - where you guys from?
Hi DavidB,

We are from Calgary, Alberta Canada but have been writing and producing in L.A. Jordan is the one on the left of the photo, he sings and plays piano, i play guitar and sing when i can. We can play drums, keys, guitars, bass, between us so it depends on the night...
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Old 14th March 2014
  #11
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Hey Chris, Why the move? Heat?---haha So what inspires you to write songs and record them? I woke up with one of your tunes in my head this morning, no idea which one it was, not the euro pop one though... Keane makes sense if you play piano, I wasn't hearing much piano in the mixes, am I mistaken? I had a look at your twitter feed and I liked some of those photos a lot more, they seemed to be a lot less publicity shotty and more about showing off your personalities... So what you guys about? Dave
Old 14th March 2014
  #12
Hey, I was listening to the EP, sounds decent production wise, don't like the sound of the vocalist, so that's it for me, wouldn't listen again. Too auto-tuned too.
Old 14th March 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Hey, I was listening to the EP, sounds decent production wise, don't like the sound of the vocalist, so that's it for me, wouldn't listen again. Too auto-tuned too.
Thought it was very tuned as well.
Old 14th March 2014
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavieB View Post
Hey Chris, Why the move? Heat?---haha So what inspires you to write songs and record them? I woke up with one of your tunes in my head this morning, no idea which one it was, not the euro pop one though... Keane makes sense if you play piano, I wasn't hearing much piano in the mixes, am I mistaken? I had a look at your twitter feed and I liked some of those photos a lot more, they seemed to be a lot less publicity shotty and more about showing off your personalities... So what you guys about? Dave
The weather is definitely a nice change from what we are use to (-45C in Calgary last month haha!)... I'd say there's just so much music happening here in LA, the energy is really great for making records. Its nice to be in a city with so many artists in one place...something just gets in the food, the water, the air....its powerful.

I went to a show last month at the Echo (kind of a famous music spot), and wanted to run home and write. J and I have this problem where we love going to shows, but cant stand the torture of not playing in them. Im sure its like that for everyone....but for us its a bit of a problem.

We actually own a Yamaha cp70 and would take it to the shops and out for a nice dinner if it wasnt so heavy, LOVE that piano for writing on. Its like a magical song machine, where you put a few notes in and get out out this anthemic sounding melody...songs just fall out of the thing. So. much. vibe. Its never an exact science with us, we experiment a lot with different melodies and chords but most of the time its songwriting by accident. Most of the time its the Royal CP doing its thing...

Johnny Depp reading Keith Richards biography....(YES YES YES).so good. I could listen to that for hours, and have.

MORE pedals....i have a serious pedal addiction. Some times all it takes is 9 DL4's, every Strymon pedal ever made, 4 Klon's and a looper to be inspired


What track got stuck????????????


Chris

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Old 14th March 2014
  #15
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Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
Thought it was very tuned as well.
Ya, I mean, it sounds like he can't actually sing in person. People are too quick to like something as soon as a few element sound coherent, but for me, I like it when everything works, including the most important part, the vocals! I don't like the tone of the voice, nor the massive auto-tuning. The songs are great, maybe they'd sound better with a female vocalist. I'm realizing as a vocalist that I gotta sound real; tuning kills the feeling behind the performance.

Another thing I learned, building a studio doesn't change how someone sounds haha. It's gotta work at the source.
Old 14th March 2014
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Ya, I mean, it sounds like he can't actually sing in person. People are too quick to like something as soon as a few element sound coherent, but for me, I like it when everything works, including the most important part, the vocals! I don't like the tone of the voice, nor the massive auto-tuning. The songs are great, maybe they'd sound better with a female vocalist. I'm realizing as a vocalist that I gotta sound real; tuning kills the feeling behind the performance.

Another thing I learned, building a studio doesn't change how someone sounds haha. It's gotta work at the source.
That's my biggest criticism with The Weeknd. I know Abel can sing but the high notes are so tuned it throws me off. Vocals are a natural organic instrument, like an acoustic guitar. Not really a fan when they turn into synthesizers. It's cool for an effect but not for the whole song IMO. And I mean, it's hard to find a GREAT singer, so if someone has the chops no reason to hide!
Old 14th March 2014
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
Thought it was very tuned as well.
Ya, I mean, it sounds like he can't actually sing in person. People are too quick to like something as soon as a few element sound coherent, but for me, I like it when everything works, including the most important part, the vocals! I don't like the tone of the voice, nor the massive auto-tuning. The songs are great, maybe they'd sound better with a female vocalist. I'm realizing as a vocalist that I gotta sound real; tuning kills the feeling behind the performance.
Old 14th March 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
I gotta sound real.
COOL!

And thanks for your feedback Chris. If they start giving awards for not using auto- tune, we probably wont get one. Actually, we kind of went for the processed vocal sound deliberately on some of the songs. Especially at the beginning of "Free Fall".




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Old 15th March 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETA View Post
The weather is definitely a nice change from what we are use to (-45C in Calgary last month haha!)... I'd say there's just so much music happening here in LA, the energy is really great for making records. Its nice to be in a city with so many artists in one place...something just gets in the food, the water, the air....its powerful.

I went to a show last month at the Echo (kind of a famous music spot), and wanted to run home and write. J and I have this problem where we love going to shows, but cant stand the torture of not playing in them. Im sure its like that for everyone....but for us its a bit of a problem.

We actually own a Yamaha cp70 and would take it to the shops and out for a nice dinner if it wasnt so heavy, LOVE that piano for writing on. Its like a magical song machine, where you put a few notes in and get out out this anthemic sounding melody...songs just fall out of the thing. So. much. vibe. Its never an exact science with us, we experiment a lot with different melodies and chords but most of the time its songwriting by accident. Most of the time its the Royal CP doing its thing...

Johnny Depp reading Keith Richards biography....(YES YES YES).so good. I could listen to that for hours, and have.

MORE pedals....i have a serious pedal addiction. Some times all it takes is 9 DL4's, every Strymon pedal ever made, 4 Klon's and a looper to be inspired


What track got stuck????????????


Chris

ETA
Home
**** me that's cold. I'm in the UK and it gets nippy here but yeah, cold... I like what you said there about music being in the food, water etc - I understand your move now.

Yeah I understand that, so how did you and J meet and start writing?

Yeah I have a song writing friend in Manchester who has a CP80, it's got a nice sound. Heavy though, mainly for studio recordings.

I'm getting the impression you are very very into your music. Enthusiastic about writing, and that's great. In terms of your sound and songs, how do you see that developing? In terms of your words, do you tell stories, create imagery, make statements...? In terms of images, I'm enjoying your photos - mainly cos it's showing me a world far away from rainy and miserable UK and I like the colours and the vibe. But I think as a foreigner in LA, you should take more photos yourself and try and capture some of that music in the food, water you were telling me about. I get that from some of your twitter photos, but your facebook page - not so much. I see your facebook page as a way of getting to know you as creatives and musicians hanging out in LA. Kind of like, this is LA from our perspective, WOW! I think images are very important when trying to generate interest, wadda you think?

Yeah the tech is good as long as you don't get lost in all that crap and lose your sound and vibe. Loopers can be useful.

Ok, so the track that got stuck - lots of energy, hi-hats doing 16's on the beat (I think), lyrics - "And I can give errrrvrrrrrything..." or something like that. That was yesterday, this morning I woke up and I can't get, "I kept holding oooon, my broken herearrrrt" - which is pissing me off actually, hahaha.
Old 17th March 2014
  #20
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It was like meeting your twin. We were both working on different projects at a studio and after talking about music for 30 seconds, we were on the same page.

Now that we have some form of identity in terms of a sound, the challenge is to push ourselves and find more abstract ways to make statements in our music. Writing a pop song is not easy, you have to keep things memorable and singable but to avoid the cliches you have to take some risks. This comes with maturity as writers, we still have a lot of growing to do in this respect. The theme of the E.P is obviously relationship heavy, starting with the exhilaration of meeting someone for the first time and feeling you are in a "Free Fall". The E.P gets more complex and emotional as it progresses. The guitar solo in "Reminds me of You" is the tipping point of the frustration....where you realize how intertwined your lives have become. Seeing this cycle play more then once, it makes you feel like you are just waiting for the next perfect storm, its a hopeless feeling. The last track, "There can never be another you", is the reminder for next time but its like we are hardwired to fall back into the same situation...the cycle repeats itself.
Old 17th March 2014
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ETA View Post
It was like meeting your twin. We were both working on different projects at a studio and after talking about music for 30 seconds, we were on the same page.

Now that we have some form of identity in terms of a sound, the challenge is to push ourselves and find more abstract ways to make statements in our music. Writing a pop song is not easy, you have to keep things memorable and singable but to avoid the cliches you have to take some risks. This comes with maturity as writers, we still have a lot of growing to do in this respect. The theme of the E.P is obviously relationship heavy, starting with the exhilaration of meeting someone for the first time and feeling you are in a "Free Fall". The E.P gets more complex and emotional as it progresses. The guitar solo in "Reminds me of You" is the tipping point of the frustration....where you realize how intertwined your lives have become. Seeing this cycle play more then once, it makes you feel like you are just waiting for the next perfect storm, its a hopeless feeling. The last track, "There can never be another you", is the reminder for next time but its like we are hardwired to fall back into the same situation...the cycle repeats itself.
This sounds way deeper than what I'm hearing. I mean it's just pop music lol. Music about relationships? Never been done before.
Old 17th March 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
This sounds way deeper than what I'm hearing. I mean it's just pop music lol. Music about relationships? Never been done before.
hahah! whatever man, you got too much time to hate. maybe go and write more HITS!??!!!!!
Old 17th March 2014
  #23
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Originally Posted by ETA View Post
hahah! whatever man, you got too much time to hate. maybe go and write more HITS!??!!!!!
Don't listen to a loser like me, I couldn't write a hit song if my life depended on it I'm a nobody, carry on.
Old 18th March 2014
  #24
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This is a good song and sound, you guys show a lot of promise.

I have to echo the auto-tune suggestions. I'm not sure its helping you. Its a very pop move, and the sound of the song is very pop, with a touch of indie and a touch of country. The real-world issue you're facing is that male acts rarely do well as straight pop, except for boy bands targeting younger girls.

Typically male acts need to have a home in some other genre as well as pop, they need a base in either indie, hip hop, country, rock, or EDM. Just look at the charts to verify. There are simply no male Katy Perry/Carly Rae/Gaga/Kesha/etc equivalents, except the occasional pop song from an Usher/Derulo type, who both appeal to the urban crowd as well as pop.

Pitbull - urban. John Legend - urban. Aloe Blacc - urban. Avicci - EDM. Zedd - EDM. Passenger - indie. Eminem - urban. Imagine Dragons - indie. You wouldn't describe any of them as "pop" first, they all have a sub-genre home.

So I would recommend going much further towards indie and/or country with your sound and vocal performance. The auto-tune in particular is making the song seem extra-pop. The songwriting is good, the ideas are good, the potential is high. But you're going to have to reach a sub-genre other than pop in a significant way to really catch, unless you want to bank on being that one act that's an outlier. Which isn't usually a great gamble. (Taio Cruz did it for one song with Dr Luke, so it can be done. He couldn't repeat though, even with Luke).

Hope this helps as you develop things further.
Old 18th March 2014
  #25
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It came in so strong for me (with the compression and all) it left it nowhere to go. It was like you came in with the dial turned to 10 and pinned it there. It certainly grabbed my attention but I couldn't listen to the whole thing. The intro is strong enough you can dial it to 8 and leave some room for the song to build. Otherwise you're giving it all away on the first date.
Old 18th March 2014
  #26
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Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
This is a good song and sound, you guys show a lot of promise.
Yeah, it's pretty good. I have to agree. And I'm usually a tough sell. OP, good luck. Sincerely.
Old 18th March 2014
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETA View Post
It was like meeting your twin. We were both working on different projects at a studio and after talking about music for 30 seconds, we were on the same page.

Now that we have some form of identity in terms of a sound, the challenge is to push ourselves and find more abstract ways to make statements in our music. Writing a pop song is not easy, you have to keep things memorable and singable but to avoid the cliches you have to take some risks. This comes with maturity as writers, we still have a lot of growing to do in this respect. The theme of the E.P is obviously relationship heavy, starting with the exhilaration of meeting someone for the first time and feeling you are in a "Free Fall". The E.P gets more complex and emotional as it progresses. The guitar solo in "Reminds me of You" is the tipping point of the frustration....where you realize how intertwined your lives have become. Seeing this cycle play more then once, it makes you feel like you are just waiting for the next perfect storm, its a hopeless feeling. The last track, "There can never be another you", is the reminder for next time but its like we are hardwired to fall back into the same situation...the cycle repeats itself.
Hi Chris,

Twin...eh What projects were they?

Ok, so you feel you have a sound and now want to find abstract ways to make statements in the music, did I get that right? My feeling from the EP is that it's good up front pop, I didn't get the depth you speak of tbh. Ok, so how do you see yourselves developing as songwriters? I didn't get the theme myself, the sound is so pop I missed quite a lot of the meaning behind it. From what you've said in your words it looks like you have an imagination in your music, you tell emotional stories, hopeless feelings etc. This is all good stuff, feeling is the way to go for sure, I'd say "more feel, more emotion, deeper pop".

So about the sound, you gonna develop that?

Dave
Old 18th March 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
Don't listen to a loser like me, I couldn't write a hit song if my life depended on it I'm a nobody, carry on.
I just enjoyed one of your tracks, "If you ever come home". You ain't a nobody...
Old 18th March 2014
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavieB View Post
I just enjoyed one of your tracks, "If you ever come home". You ain't a nobody...
Glad you liked it
Old 18th March 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
This is a good song and sound, you guys show a lot of promise.

I have to echo the auto-tune suggestions. I'm not sure its helping you. Its a very pop move, and the sound of the song is very pop, with a touch of indie and a touch of country. The real-world issue you're facing is that male acts rarely do well as straight pop, except for boy bands targeting younger girls.

Typically male acts need to have a home in some other genre as well as pop, they need a base in either indie, hip hop, country, rock, or EDM. Just look at the charts to verify. There are simply no male Katy Perry/Carly Rae/Gaga/Kesha/etc equivalents, except the occasional pop song from an Usher/Derulo type, who both appeal to the urban crowd as well as pop.

Pitbull - urban. John Legend - urban. Aloe Blacc - urban. Avicci - EDM. Zedd - EDM. Passenger - indie. Eminem - urban. Imagine Dragons - indie. You wouldn't describe any of them as "pop" first, they all have a sub-genre home.

So I would recommend going much further towards indie and/or country with your sound and vocal performance. The auto-tune in particular is making the song seem extra-pop. The songwriting is good, the ideas are good, the potential is high. But you're going to have to reach a sub-genre other than pop in a significant way to really catch, unless you want to bank on being that one act that's an outlier. Which isn't usually a great gamble. (Taio Cruz did it for one song with Dr Luke, so it can be done. He couldn't repeat though, even with Luke).

Hope this helps as you develop things further.
Insightful...thanks! We had this very discussion as a band recently. The next EP will have more organic elements...definitely a more alternative vibe.
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