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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On The Spot

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a blog post. I figured it was overtime for an update.

Life has been busy; I won’t bore you with long stories or too many details. My health continues to be a thing that gives me many complications and grief, with new conditions/ailments/symptoms rearing their painful heads. Meanwhile, I am continuing to write, record and perform music, and I am very actively gigging. Besides the odd solo show, I am regularly gigging as one half of the prog-folk duo The Secret Magpies, performing our original songs, and I play with the original rock band Stevie Jones and The Wildfires.  I’ve also recently had national radio play on BBC6 Radio Music, something that was very exciting, indeed.

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So, it may appear that I am in demand. But, it is a seriously a challenge to stand out and get noticed among the glut of music that is out there and available these days. I am only now beginning to embrace digital media and streaming, in the effort to get my music out there to YOU who will hopefully listen and even share my music with others (word of mouth is still the best advertisement).

Do you use Spotify? Do you like music that is distinctive, emotive and intense? If so, it is you who I am appealing to in an effort to increase my music’s reach.

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For a while I have been using the hashtags #supportoriginalmusic and #supportindependentartists. What I do like about Spotify, as a streaming service, is that it allows its users to discover more of what is out there off the mainstream. Sure, you can stick with what you know, what is familliar and comfortable, but where is the fun and adventure in that? We miss out on so much when we do that.  I have personally discovered artists I had not known before by using Spotify – artists I now love. And, when you follow an artist on Spotify, it updates you whenever artists you have followed release anything new – so you don’t miss out on new music coming from your favourite artists. This is beginning to sound like an advert for Spotify, and in a way it is (although, I can assure you, I am not on their payroll and they have not commissioned me to plug their app…more’s the pity). I’m not trying to get you to download Spotify if you don’t already use it and don’t want to use it; my aim here is to engage with people who are already sold on Spotify and use it regularly*.

 

What I am doing is fan-fishing. I’m not going to deny it. I’m looking for people to follow me on Spotify.  I don’t write and perform music for it to sit on virtual shelves. I know my music is not for everyone. I am a particular niche. While being trans-genre, or cross-genre, or multi-genre, whatever you want to term it (because sticking with one genre is just far too fucking limiting!), my music isn’t EVER happyclappypoppyfluffy. It is more moody and edgy and about all the anquish, frustrations, longings, sorrows, struggles and pain and grief of this life. Many of my songs deal with longing for death. Ocassionally (as in my track Siren Song), I delve into the realms of fantasy and mythology. But, nothing I do is what anyone would call ‘happy songs’. So, if you don’t do morose, move on now. If, however, you question and rail and scream and cry at the general madness of the world, or if you tend toward introspection, over-thinking and daydreaming, my music may just be for you!

So, with no more ado, I leave you to (hopefully) go listen for yourself. If you dig what you hear, please click that follow button so you will be updated when I add more music (I am presently recording a brand new EP which will be released in the next month). Thanks for reading and listening.

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*If you aren’t a Spotify user and you are still interested in checking out my music, it is available to download or stream from i-Tunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, i-Heart Radio, Deezer, Napster, Tidal, Pandora, Bandcamp, & YouTube Music

A Great Promise to Begin a New Year On

Today, when I should have been listening to what the pastor was saying in his message, God re-showed me a beautiful promise for those – like I – who suffer with depression (so, you decide if I really, technically, should’ve been listening or not…after all, I heard what God wanted me to hear, what I needed to hear).

2 Corinthians 7:6 AMP says:

But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.

 

In the KJV it says that He ‘comforteth those that are cast down’. Being ‘cast down’ is an accurate (short) definition of severe depression. But, I love the way the Amplified Bible amplifies this verse; it tells us that God comforts, encourages, refreshes and cheers the depressed and sinking.This tells us God’s nature and desire. This is such a brilliant promise.

I’m on Twitter and I noticed that Spotify (internet radio, MP3 service, etc) are asking people what song best represents their 2012. Well, there’s been a lot of music that touched and help define my 2012 – my own music and other peoples’, as well. I answered their question with one of my songs – my first single release, ‘Hope Breathing (A Lullaby)’, because, one, it was my first single release (a pretty big deal, to me…well, and to a few others who count themselves among my fanbase – it was a defining moment which took me from struggling/starving singer/songwriter to recording artist proper) and because there is a lot about the song that speaks of 2012 for me (and, because, I’ll admit it, I was trying to plug my own music…shameless plugging, yep)…but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that there are two more songs that, together, sum up 2012 even more than ‘Hope Breathing’ does. Read on…

I recently wrote and recorded a song that highlights a lot of what it’s like to suffer with severe depression: the sinking, the sorrow, the overwhelming nature of it. That song is ‘Waterfall’ (if you follow my blog at all, you might have read about this seriously morose song here). I experience and struggle with this on a regular basis. But, in these times, if I stop and ask God to help me, He is always faithful to ‘help the sinking’. Some days are better than others. But, I can honestly say that God’s comfort is real, and I couldn’t make it without the comfort God gives.

In this verse in 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about how God used another person – Titus – to comfort and cheer him. And, indeed, there are times when I’ve had a message or a phone call or a visit from a friend that has made all the difference to my darker days. The difference between total despair and coping. Sometimes the comfort comes from taking a moment to quiet myself before the Lord and allow Him to minister grace to my aching heart and troubled mind…

Yes, I ended up this year writing a song that accutely describes the depths of depression and the agony thereof,  but earlier in the year I wrote and recorded another song – ‘My Salvation (Ageless One)’– that is all about how God can help the depressed – indeed, how He often helps me personally. It was based greatly on Psalm 27. Today, using 2 Corinthians 7:6, God reminded me (He is so good) that it is always His desire to comfort the hurting and broken, the overwhelmed, the SINKING!  With this verse, God is ending my year with hope for the new year ahead…and, well, that was definitely worth blogging about (as well, I think, ‘interrupting’ the pastor’s message).

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(AMEN!)