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Friday Song Lab: Listen to “The Weight of a Feather”

I kinda don’t want to jinx this, but what the hell. The plan was to have a song written, recorded and posted on this blog every now and again. Then, I gave myself a bit of a deadline to have one song completed per week. Thus far, the results have been a nice surprise. Three weeks in, three songs done.

Writing AND recording songs is serious work. I’ve found that it’s not the smoothest of transitions from musician to sound engineer. If I had a choice, I’d don the musician cap exclusively, leaving the computer and pre and post-production work on the desk while I take a seat with a guitar and notebook. With that said, there is something special about laying a song or a basic idea down and hearing it evolve. Oftentimes, the end product leaves me surprised, wondering how some simple chords and a riff here or there can sound so damn cool. And more times than I’d like, entire songs that sounded beautiful in my head turned to little more than audio trash playing back over the monitors.

This song – “The Weight of a Feather” – is what intrigues me so much about songwriting. Some tracks take weeks or even months to flush out, while others seem to drop out of the sky. A few days ago, I was going over some ideas for the Zeus soundtrack in preparation for today when I found myself picking around C#minor in the style reminiscent of Elliott Smith’s “Somebody I Used to Know”.

In my head popped the line, “Cause, friend, I mourned long, long before you were gone”. That was it. The rest of the song seemed to write itself. Check out my latest slow burn:

I’m a sucker for quarter note, kick drum beats. Maybe it’s all the National I’ve been listening to. Anyway, I’m not so sure this song fits with the Zeus theme, seeing as though I’m going for quirky stuff and this is the complete opposite of that. We’ll wait to see where this track lands.

About the song, yes, it could use a bass line (If you got a bass I can borrow for an hour or two, let me know). Probably could use some more background vocal stuff, another pass with the main vocal, and it certainly could use some mastering. But, my deadline was looming, and, really, the feeling is there, so up it goes.

Suggestions always welcome.

On another note, I’ve been recommending Seth Godin’s latest, “Linchpin”, to every artist friend I know. One of the many concepts that I wanted to pull into my songwriting was the idea of shipping on time, no late-time “thrashing”. Just write the song, record and release it. I’ve stated before that striving for perfection has tied up a number of my songs and projects, and hopefully I’ve put those days of fruitless labor (and the ensuing self-hatred) behind me. This weekly song post has proved to be an excellent lab for song shipping. So, thanks for reading and listening.