Friday, 8 April 2011
Song Number 13: Reach Out
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As some of you may have noticed, I've really been struggling with this one! The music was written and completely recorded in a matter of hours, but the melody and lyric were just not coming easily. I must have started off on a dozen different topics, written a few words for a chorus and scratched it; tried starting with a verse but scratched it... It doesn't help that I found the music pretty uninspiring - it's like the stuff I was writing when I was 16 or 17 - so of course I wasn't able to get a melody that felt right, and a topic for the lyric didn't suggest itself readily. When it's not obvious what I want to write about, I start by writing a lyric that's pretty obscure, but then it feels like I'm trying too hard to be cryptic and get on my own nerves!
Then Mrs F came home tonight and was telling me how she nearly found herself in a stand-off with some woman over a scarf in a clothes shop. And after days of fannying around trying to find something to write about, I was suddenly presented with the perfect topic. You can read the full story on her excellent fashion blog here, but in short, this song is about a woman shopping for a scarf, nearly losing it to another (evil) shopper, but triumphing in the end. It's the classic Dark vs Light story. Tolkien couldn't have done a better job, really...
On the technical side - I normally like a lot of compression on my voice anyway, but this time I also used a hell of a lot of limiter to even things out on the rather rushed vocal. I'm pretty sure Rhett Davis used the same technique on Bryan Ferry's album As Time Goes By - lovely album, incidentally. Well worth a listen. Even if you're not a fan of rock's original lounge lizard, you can't deny his voice works very well with these songs, and the whole thing's just gorgeously recorded.