In case you haven't heard, we've got a new EP out called Little TVs and, to celebrate, we wanted to share some facts and stories about the creation of these songs. So, without further ado, welcome to Little Facts About "Little TVs". There's 6 tunes on this EP, so I'll give you 6 facts about each tune. The suspense!
First up: Track 1, "Something Wild"
You can watch the first episode up above and I've included my little "script" below for those of you who prefer good old-fashioned reading:
- Started with a chord progression
- Most of my songwriting starts this way: some sort of riff or chord progression that catches my ear and then I just play it over and over and over again until it really roots down into my brain.
- In this case, it was a very simple driving Em - G - D progression on acoustic. Ultimately, I switched over to electric guitar because it felt more like a rock tune.
- Don’t change the nonsense lyric!
- I start out a lot of my songs just singing nonsense lyrics. I think Jeff Tweedy calls these "mumble tracks".
- What's interesting is that I usually find that I can't actually nail down the melody or get a real sense of the song until I find a lyric. Not even a full set. I just need one line that somehow resonates with me and feels like it fits. Only then can I actually make progress.
- The only problem is that I usually have no clue what the hell I'm talking about with that one line.
- Woe unto me, though, if I try to throw that line away. I wrote no fewer than 3 complete versions of the lyrics to this tune before coming back to the original line and rewriting it all from there. It's a weird game to try and figure out what story some part of my subconscious seems to want to tell...
- The chorus holds the key
- Tom Petty once said, “Don’t bore us; get to the chorus!”...but first you gotta have one. And it needs to not suck!
- My first pass at a chorus was more strumming chords, but it was boring.
- Sometimes the best way to solve this is just to experiment. Play around and see what happens if you suspend all judgement.
- I was strumming the verse chords and then jumped instinctively to this droning riff thing. Even on acoustic guitar, I liked it. It felt unexpected and inspired me to sing the “Something wild in the way / you make my body wanna sway” lyric, which, in turn, helped unlock the rest of the lyrics.
- Last tune we did before lockdown
- If we’d known, we would have all gotten together and worked on this as a band!
- But who knew? Nobody knew, that’s who.
- What a year.
- Tracked drums, gtr, vcls live
- David and I tracked drums, rhythm guitar, and vocals live in my little studio room right before that wasn’t possible anymore.
- You can hear the drums bleeding through the vocal microphone, but the energy of the combined take was worth the slight sonic imperfection.
- My band is awesome
- Check out the bass and second guitar on the chorus!
- Sometimes, we have some back and forth on the arrangement. I send them the basic track, they send me an idea, and maybe I give some feedback.
- Not here. What Dave and Erik played was both completely unexpected and completely awesome. I love when that happens!
Alright folks, that was Little Facts about Little TVs, Episode 1. Check out the full EP wherever you stream or buy your music (bonus points for buying it from Bandcamp because that actually send us a little $) and I hope you’re all hanging in there. Cheers!