Well now that the record is officially finished I thought I’d pop in and give a quick run down of each track. The official title of the record is “Bent on a Line Or Half the World Away”.
The explanation behind the title is the record was to originally be called “Half the World Away”, but I eventually decided to change it to “Bent on a Line” but didn’t want to give up the original title so I took a page from the Rocky and Bullwinkle book and used them both. Now on with the tracks:
Lead or Silver – The record starts with a ruckus with this one. I’m a bit tired of reading bands talk about their opening track and saying something like “it really sets the tone for the record”. I don’t know, you can make up your own mind when you hear it, but it does get the energy going with a nice bending opening lick and steady beat to kick off the record.
Friends Along the Coast – I remember once reading how someone close to the Beach Boys at the time referred to “Good Vibrations” as a pocket symphony. This is kind of my pocket symphony, at least on this record; maybe not so much in terms of parts or length but more in the span of instruments and digital instruments used on it such as a glockenspiel, strings, and flute. It’s got a nice contrast of heavy verses which transition into a happy shout along chorus. Get your gang vocals ready.
Sunshine – A straight ahead alternative pop rock track. If you like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus, this one’s for you. I remember when I got the idea for the opening horn lick I was half asleep and it felt like something from the musical score to an 80’s movie on the lines of “Big” or something as I was making a note of it to myself at the time. Then wouldn’t you know it; the horn didn’t even make it on the final cut.
Late Tonight – This song is kind of an extension of “Sunshine”. It’s got low key verses which fall right into a big hook in the chorus. I’m a huge Minus the Bear fan (btw, listen to “Dayglow Vista Road” on the beach at sunset… amazing things will happen) and love the imagery in their lyrics so I think I tried to echo that a bit in this one as I was getting that kind of feel from the music. The lyrics were inspired in equal parts by my life and “Before Sunrise”. As good as that is, I’m more partial to “Before Sunset”. I heard there’s going to be a third, very stoked for that. Ok back to the tracklist…
Relive the Night – About feeling young and invincible with a hint of mortality, squished into a three and a half minute poonk rock song. I remember seeing a picture online of a friend of mine who lives on the opposite coast when she was out with her friends at a club one night, and the opening of the song just popped into my head. It stalled from there for about a year and a half after that until I finally paired up the right chorus with the rest of it.
It’s Just an Expression – This flows very nicely from “Relive” if I do say so myself. This may be the rockiest track and the first spotting of a genuine coda on the record.
When It’s Warmer – This is a fun, summery, Sugar Ray-esque track with what is hopefully a very catchy chorus which makes you want to dance, even just a little bit. Fun fact; this might be the oldest track on the record. I had a lot of fun doing the slide guitar parts at the end.
Good Together – The last addition and youngest song on the record. I had another song whose main hook I stole from myself to use as a prominent part of a song for the next record… so I couldn’t justify having it here, as well, so that track may turn up as a b-side at some point after the other track has come out. So yes I wrote and substituted in Good Together as track 8 which I feel it does justice to.
About Your Birthday – This is a rocker with a little piano and an anthemic chorus… generally an all around fun time. For some reason Open Office refuses to acknowledge anthemic as a word, but I know better. I distinctly remember writing this one when I was feeling a little bored because most of my friends had gone off to see “The National” in D.C. For the record, I love The National but I had JUST seen them a few months earlier (in case you were ready to jump on me), so I stayed home and played along to Oasis songs; the song/video for “Don’t Look Back in Anger” inspired this one somehow even though they sound little to nothing like each other.
The Door’s Closed – Another latecomer to the record which I slipped in at the last minute while swapping it for another. This one sounds like Dylan even though it wasn’t deliberate… I don’t think. I think I was just looking for an excuse to use my largely neglected key of B harmonica, but I’m proud of how it all came out in the end.
Lie Upon Lie – An uptempo rocker with plenty of “ooos”, “ahhhs” and moog. This is a fun way to almost close out the record.
You’ll Never Know – This is another olddd one which I always planned and felt should be the closer. The first half is pretty straightforward, then it gets a little loud and fast. I actually took a piece of a song which I wrote for another band I was in 5 years or so ago because I always liked the lyrics and energy and I slipped it in near the end and it ended up working quite nicely.
The final step is mastering and then once that’s finished I just need to argue with the non existent record label about when it can be released which probably means as soon and as quickly as I can upload it online. Check back for details.