For the love of a good lyric…

It was refreshing the other week when, at an acoustic sing-around I attended in Derby, the host complimented my songwriting and went on to purchase my new EP ‘A Collection of Tears’; he remarked that his main focus is always on the lyrics of a song – the music is secondary.

This is how I have always felt. Music is a boat to carry the precious (or, in the case of some songs, the worthless) cargo! Yes, it is ALWAYS a major plus to have a well-crafted boat, but it’s the cargo and passengers that the boat carries which is important.

In this analogy, YOU are the destination. We, as artists, want our cargo to reach you. Ideally we craft beautiful and powerful boats to carry that cargo to you.  But, that cargo better be well-made, of first-rate material, in excellent condition, effective and affective – the cargo better be good quality stuff. I don’t care how good the music is for a song, if poor lyrics let the song down then the whole song is ruined. Give me an instrumental then, with your toe-tapper or rocky anthem; keep the crap lyrics out of it! I don’t understand wanting a pretty boat that is filled with nothing but shit – that shit is going to make even an exquisitely gorgeous boat stink.

In this modern age, music videos have also become a vehicle for the cargo, with YouTube replacing the once novelty of MTV (which, as far as I can tell, does little showing of music videos anymore…it’s all reality shows and such).

Videos appeal to those of a visual nature and our increasingly visual world. But, as I always say, a picture may indeed paint a thousand words, but just one word is powerful enough to conjure many, many millions of images in the mind. Where is the power (or lack of power) of a song? The lyrics are where that power, or lack thereof, resides.

This brings us to lyric videos. You get something visual and which also ensures you don’t miss any of those all important lyrics. Very handy.

Now, not all lyric videos are created equal. The simpliest ones are just the words of the song on a plain, static background. Not all that exciting visually but, at the least, you don’t miss or mishear the lyrics. And, of course, it makes it easy to sing along if you want. More complex lyric videos attempt to convey the lyrics through a collection of legitimately sourced images or specifically created images. This provides something very visually engaging to watch, while also having those lyrics there on the screen so you don’t miss or mishear them.

To promote my new EP ‘A Collection of Tears’, we worked hard to create a lyric video for the first track off the album. Lots of time and effort were put into the creation of the images that appear in the ‘Waiting Room (Official Lyric Video)’,  in order to illustrate the meaning of the song (just in case anyone is still having difficulty working that out just by listening to it). I feel that the lyric video we created delivers the message. In fact, it might make it all too clear. There are some that will find the song uncomfortable. That’s ok. The song is supposed to make people aware and make people think.

‘Waiting Room’ is a very personal song to me – as are all the songs on ‘A Collection of Tears’.  There are people who will immediately identify and relate to the song. For some, it will perplex them or frustrate them…or, even, outrage them. I will leave it to you to decide what category you fall into. Regardless, may these lyrics – this cargo – reach you, and reach you well. I also do hope you enjoy the boat.

 

A Collection of Tears by Autumn Dawn Leader is AVALABLE NOW on:

Bandcamp

i-Tunes & Apple Music

Amazon

Spotify

Deezer

Tidal

iHeartRadio

Napster

Google Play

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Don’t fret? Apparently so.

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Here’s a picture of frustration for you, and a personal metaphor.

I’ve been considering my inability to play the guitar. In theory, this instrument should not evade me. I should be able to play it. It isn’t like it’s difficult, or a mystery. Except, I just can’t. Like being able (or, rather, not able) to cope and function in life, the guitar remains a source of failure.

It would be nice, helpful, perhaps profitable, if I could play such a portal and versatile instrument.

It would also be fantastic, helpful, etc., if I could make and answer phone calls and face social situations (i.e. going out my door), not either fall apart in or, alternatively, avoid stressful situations (stressful situations = life), not wish with every breath that it’s my last breath.

But, the guitar won’t let me play it…no matter how I’ve tried. And, life is just as contrary and hostile.

I can still make beautiful music, of course. Just as I still have moments of happiness, small victories while, ultimately, losing the war. But, the things out of my reach affect me greatly.

For the musically (or, humorously) challenged, the title of this post is a play on words… the guitar being a fretted instrument.  Don’t fret. Ha! Get it?

Why can’t I make the guitar and life sing for me? Well…it is what it is.

Not sure how to end this one. To stay with the music analogy, this post feels rather open ended and not resolving to the home chord…but, eh, I do that in songwriting all the time. So, yeah…life being as it is, I find it fitting to leave this…

All Stirred Up

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Please, forgive me if this post gets a bit fragmented. But, pieces, all over the place, that’s what I am right now. I often think how great it would be if we could defrag our minds as we do our computers. I think meditation can help in that… but, it isn’t fool proof. And, under the word human in the dictionary should be the simple definition: fool. But, I digress, and I simply beg you to stick with me. I have a question for you, but you’ll have to be patient and wade through my frag-mental stew.

I wax very philosophical at present. It started this morning with thinking about harmonics, vibration, and the nature of the universe. Deep stuff, yeah. How we’re instruments. Out of tune with ourselves, subsequently out of tune with the whole orchestra.

This analogy continued with thinking about the music we make and listen to. As society deteriorates, how the sound of that disturbance – that humongous discord – has been recreated by heavy, thrash and grunge metalists. I saw this music in a new light. There are those musicians/artists who hold on tightly to the sound of order and beauty in their music, because it is what they crave and desire; it is a wish for it to be as it should. Then, there are other artists who are “telling it like it is”, so to speak. That horrible (to my ears) harsh sound, is how the universe, how life, how we human fools sound!

I’ll take the analogy further. You can’t play anything worth listening to on a broken instrument. Musical instruments are fragile.

I could go on. But… I won’t. I’m tired and the burden of a broken soundboard is too great. I think I’ve made my point anyway.

Which direction do you stir your coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. in? Clockwise or counterclockwise? (This is the question.)

This morning I suddenly became aware that I always naturally stir counterclockwise.

Surely, there must be some psychology behind the direction in which we stir.

Interesting.

There are, most likely, studies about it. Certainly, some neuroscientist should be getting paid to find out why one stirs this way and another stirs that way.

So, what about you? Which way do you stir?

Escape Versus Freedom

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I’m really trying to stay in the present and “enjoy” reality. But…it isn’t easy when reality sucks and I suck and everything in my soul cries out for escape. But, escape is a band-aid on a gaping wound. I need saving, healing, deliverance and freedom, yes. But escape is none of those things. Delving into and entertaining my flights of fancy are not the answer, I know, but…

I guess, the gaping wound/band-aid analogy isn’t quite right. It’s more like cancer and morphine: fantasy (escape), the pain-killer…for a while – momentarily, but not a lasting cure. And, as morphine is addictive…

Thus, today, in pain, while my heart prays for freedom, my soul (and body) longs for escape…and everything in me pleads, “No more pain.”