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Story Behind The Song – Boy by Bleachbear

 

The song Boy actually began as a soft, acoustic song. I was messing around transitioning between two chords and vocally riffing over them when I came up with the melody. I played the song for my bandmates and they suggested we replace the acoustic guitar with the overdriven bass line that you now hear on the track.

 

 

Lyrically, Boy is the simplest song I have ever written.  I transitioned to songwriting from writing poetry and thus I love intricate lyrics. However, I wanted to try something new with Boy by using aloof lyrics and letting the instrumentation convey the story. The emotion I wanted to capture was desperation. The track starts off sparse with just the bass and slowly builds as the other instruments are added in, climaxing with the guitar solo before simmering back down.

The chorus lyric “Can you feel the wind” was a line I cut out from a poem.

In fact, all the songs from the album Cowboy Movie Star are snippets from poems. 

It was part of a project I did last summer where I created a collages from vintage postcards intermixed with phrases from cut-apart poems, in what amounted to an ode to western deserts, 1950´s slow dances, and old Hollywood.  One of the postcards portrayed a lone cowboy and it conjured in my mind this heartbreaker cowboy protagonist who never stays long in one place, hence the verse lyric “that boy he goes like a bird like a ship like a plane.”

 

“I wrote the song from the prospective of one of his mistresses begging him to stay, her building desperation mirroring the crescendo of the song’s instrumentation as she implores if he can feel anything at all anymore.”

 

Our debut album Lost Parade was extremely personal, and this upcoming album is no less personal. However, this time around I projected the emotions I was feeling at the time through these cinematic lenses which I think added some depth to the lyrics.  I’ll admit I’m a sucker for love songs, but with this album I wanted the listener to have to work harder to discover meaning behind the lyrics rather than being able to label the tracks as “just another love song” or such.

Although I’ve already solved the puzzle for this track, there’s nine more you can dissect when the album comes out July 30th!

Tigerlily Cooley,

main vocals/songwriter/guitarist

www.bleachbear.com

Bleachbearband@gmail.com

www.instagram.com/bleachbearband

www.facebook.com/bleach.bear.10

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Cicadas in the Sun by Cali Blake

The bittersweet innocence of country meets sultry nightclub jazz to create the singing persona of Cali Blake’s Cicadas in the Sun.

Cali Blake’s debut, 10-track album showcases her many styles and talents. No matter the occasion, you’ll find that Cicadas in the Sun is rarely out of place, whether you’re settling down for a quiet dinner for two or getting ready for a night around town.

A journey for the senses, Cicadas in the Sun takes you on a feelings trip, from melancholic ballads and ambient dream pop, to calming New Orleans blues. Absolutely amazing.

-Mark

Check out more about Cali Blake below

http://www.caliblake.com

https://www.facebook.com/Cali-Blake-496631920393140

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Bad Reed (Eponymous EP)

Bad Reed’s self titled EP evokes many nostalgic feeling with only three tracks(!), each lovingly crafted to display the band’s wide musical range.

From the melancholic folksy humming of “Slackjaw Romance”, to the edgy slightly gothic undertones of “Cassava”, to the classic Americana rock&roll of “Punch It”. Bad Reed displays its diversity. But also, a firm sense of identity.

This feels like a band with a violent urge to create. Pulled in many musical directions, like a kite in the storm. Definitely looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the near future.

-Mark

http://www.badreedband.com

https://www.facebook.com/badreedband 

https://badreedband.bandcamp.com/album/bad-reed-ep

ViseMènn

Begging You Please by viseMenn

There’s been a string of talented bands emerging from Northern Europe recently – A real Scandinavian Invasion if you ask me. For now, sit down (actually stand up) and enjoy a slow headbanging session with the intro of “Begging You Please” by Norwegian atmospheric rock band viseMènn

The first thing you’ll notice is texture. Layers upon layers of sound build up into a raging crescendo. And just when you would expect an explosion of release, the back end of the chorus offers nothing but controlled restraint.

And then there’s the tension. The song encapsulates its title, leaving you begging for more. Raw emotion bubbles underneath the surface, kept in place through long drawn out rifts and sombre vocals.

“Begging You Please” reminds us that sometimes, the best way to deliver a message is not by letting it all out, but by holding something back.

On a side note, their less critically acclaimed songs “Don’t Let It Break” and “The Bright and Shiny” are also worthy of your attention. You can find them on their website.

-Mark

http://www.visemenn.net

https://www.facebook.com/viseMenn/

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SBTS – Don’t Be Strange by Doppler

A random turn of events on Soundcloud led me to discover and befriend Jamie Mulrooney of Doppler, a small outfit from Ireland looking to spread its wings out to the wider music industry. I spoke to Jamie on one of their songs, “Don’t Be Strange”

-Calvyn

When I’m low I find it very easy to reflect. I draw solace from the process of writing lyrics or simple melodies and piecing them together. Its like therapy. In reality I was pretty depressed at the time of writing this song and it is only now when I look back at these lyrics it seems strange to think that I felt so low. Its a track that I don’t like listening to as it bring up memories that I have no interest in revisiting.

“Don’t Be Strange” is a by product of my state of mind around that time. I ended up writing several songs on the same subject but this seems to be the most poignant. Suitably, it was written in the depth of an Irish winter which itself can be pretty depressing. The sky is always grey and there are 16 hours of total darkness and the light which shines in between is weak and has to battle through dense cloud and rain. As you can imagine most of the time is spent indoors and as I spent two thirds of my time alone because of work, it was only a matter of time before I reflected on personal experiences that had not gone the way in which i envisaged that year.

I had come out of a serious relationship and cursed the time that I felt I wasted. I was bitter and self loathing. It very hard to convey how I felt but it wasn’t good. Several of my best friends had all emigrated to Australia for years and I was one of the only ones that remained in Ireland. I felt like I missed the opportunity of a lifetime and it was now too late to join the party.

On the mornings during this time I often spent hours reflecting. I’d be looking back romantically at the past when in reality I knew that this exercise would be fruitless. That I was looking back into the past with rose tinted glasses and confusing the past with fantasy. I found it hard to let go.

 

Jamie Mulrooney

As usual I just wrote about what was in my mind. I wrote the lyrics over the course of 2-3 hours on a dreary morning in my kitchen. The chords changes were simple just going back and forth like a wave between a variation on A major and E Major. I then added the sound of the Ocean crashing in the background and put it very low in the mix but I think it fitted metaphorically with what the content as well as it being therapeutic, which fitted neatly into ideology that the process of making music was a release to me. I recorded it with my makeshift studio on the kitchen table and had the lions share recorded before midday.

The lyrical content was honest and I didn’t question the words as much as I usually do. I later found that lots of better writers do some of their best work first thing in the morning as they’re less self conscious about what they are saying and they haven’t had enough time to question and belittle their own subconscious.

“You need time to make you feel better,
You need sound to clear your mind,
Sat alone with your regret thinking about how you can change.
For your memories deceive you, nostalgia makes you strange.”

“You need life, surrounding us to keep you warm.
You need women to heal the cracks that you have torn
And I know you’re healing, you’re getting better everyday.
I just hope that you cope with nostalgia when you’re grieving,
Don’t Let it Make you strange.”

The chorus was slightly more uplifting. I was listening to a lot of Bill Withers at the time and Lean On Me was uplifting and honest voice to draw upon as well as Use Me and Ain’t No Sunshine. Receiving and sharing help was something that I was lucky enough to understand and I knew that in future times I would hope to be the voice of reason or be somebody to confide in. But for now I had to realise that I was the one who needed help.

“I’m only around the corner.
I’m only around the corner when you need a friend.
I’m not going to change,
I still think about you now and then.”

The outro was a darker image that passed through my mind at my cousins funeral earlier that year. He had suffered with a long illness and I thought about his wife and children and what they were going through. I was listening to On Raglan Road a poem written by Patrick Kavanagh and performed by Luke Kelly which covers the same topics. Trying to accept loss is difficult and its just something I wanted to convey with the imagery.

“When you died in the Spring, I could have died with you too.
Throwing soil over your body, can I go down with you.
If I could be buried tomorrow would it be next to you?
I don’t want the truth.”

Many people say that they don’t care if people like their songs and its “All about the music”. I never bought into that idea at all and in fact I think that the people who say that are just lying. Getting vindication or being complimented for your music is amazing and the fact that people are listening to this song and drawing their own conclusions from it makes me feel great. It gave me a sense of purpose. And it couldn’t have came at a better time.

-Jamie Mulrooney, Doppler

facebook.com/dopplerireland

soundcloud.com/dopplerireland

jamiemulrooneydoppler.bandcamp.com/

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SBTS – This Time by Thought Beneath Film

“This Time” by Thought Beneath Film is the final track of their debut album Cartographers. Today, vocalist Brent Wirth walks us through his creative process.

-Mark

 

The process of writing a song (or an album for that matter) is often non-linear. Fragments of melodies, lyrics and ideas can often drift around one’s consciousness for weeks, months, even years in some cases before a purpose or place is found for them. Some may even be forever condemned to musical purgatory, never finding that purpose or place within the context of a song.

 

Ultimately, “This Time” is a culmination of remote fragments and ideas that had been drifting around in my mind merging together and finally finding their place to form a complete thought.

 

“This Time” began with the simple pentatonic melody that is featured throughout the verse sections of the song. I can’t recall the specific place or time that I stumbled upon it, but most of my creativity seems to strike in the small hours of the night when all of the filters in my brain finally shut down. Knowing this trend, I often force myself to stay awake far beyond the point that my body wants to just in case a great melody or idea presents itself.

 

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Unfortunately, they don’t always come and it’s easy to become discouraged. Given this simple fact, having patience and faith in the notion that another great idea will eventually strike is vital to being successful as a songwriter.

 

I recently read The Pinkerton Diaries by Weezer’s frontman Rivers Cuomo and I think he really epitomized the process with an analogy he made in one of the essays featured in this book. He eloquently compares being a songwriter to being a hunter:

 

A more successful approach is stealth. Farmer’s cats are known to shut their eyes, believing that as they can’t see, neither can they be seen, stalking the cow’s milk pail. Every day I try this. I casually enter the garage, stroll as if without purpose in the direction of my guitar, and at the last moment, pounce, and strum furiously, and sing and hope I’ve caught a tune unawares. Most often they’ve seen me coming, and fly off laughing. But not always, and this is the reason I keep trying. (The Pinkerton Diaries, p. 106)

 

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Although I felt very strongly about the melody, I didn’t really have a clear sense of which direction to take it in. So, the melody remained dormant in my mind for months. The funny thing about songwriting is that it’s not always a melodic idea, rhythmic structure or harmonic progression that illuminates a path for a potential song. Sometimes, it can be vague, abstract and disparate ideas randomly merging together in your mind. This notion was definitely true in the case of “This Time”.

 

I remember experimenting with an EBow (a hand-held electronic device for playing electric guitar in which the strings are moved by the electromagnetic field created by the device, producing a sound that is reminiscent of bowed orchestral strings) one day and having what I thought was an ingenious idea at the time: composing a piece for an EBowed guitar quartet – kind of like a futuristic version of a traditional string quartet. I quickly banged out and recorded a few measures of a four-part arrangement in G flat major (one of my go to keys for one reason or another) for EBowed guitars.

 

The sound was interesting, but not interesting enough to appease my appetite for sonic novelty at the time.

 

The lingering hunger pains inevitably led to the crazy notion to digitally reverse everything I had just recorded to completely change the attack and dynamic envelopes of the sound. Finally! The sound that I was looking for! The only issue was that, by reversing everything, the melody and harmonic progression were backwards and no longer sounded coherent (this very recording was actually added to the end of “This Time” and serves as the song’s outro). This forced me to re-recording everything backwards (a tedious process) with the intention of it being reversed for the sonic effect.

 

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After listening back several times, I quickly noticed the similarities between the melodies in the recording I just produced and the pentatonic melody that had been floating around in my brain for sometime. I hastily worked out a fingerstyle guitar arrangement to house the pentatonic melody that had been haunting me for all of those weeks and crudely dovetailed it to the reversed EBow music.

 

With minimal meddling, the parts worked together quite well. From that point, the ideas started to flow and the remaining sections of the song came together quite quickly. It was as if a bridge finally formed between a divide. I was finally able to reach the other side and complete the song.

 

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Despite being one of the band’s oldest songs, “This Time” was never featured on our early demo and EP releases. Much like the writing process behind it, it was a difficult song to record. Every section of the song is so sonically diverse that it was difficult to give any recording of the song a sense of cohesion. However, upon our most recent attempt, I think we managed to finally capture our vision of the song on record. All of our patience and faith finally paid off and “This Time” finally found its place by becoming the closing song on our debut full-length album, “Cartographers”. In my opinion, it’s the most sonically adventurous and structurally unique song on the record.

It’s very unconventional and, ultimately, I think that’s a testament to the unconventional way the song came together.

-Brent Wirth, Thought Beneath Film

http://www.thoughtbeneathfilm.ca

https://www.facebook.com/thoughtbeneathfilm

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#NowPlaying Giving Life to Greys by Daysdeaf

The song is a hopeful account of the fragile character of a young man enthralled, confused, and motivated by love and ambition.

Manvir Rai, Daysdeaf 

 

https://www.facebook.com/Daysdeaf