So here it is, my first song, written and performed by me. What do you think?
I don’t remember the moment I showed this to mum and dad, but I imagine that my 14 year old self sat there, legs twitching (legs always twitching unless specified otherwise), seriously proud. And to my parents’ credit, I’m pretty sure their reactions were appropriately proud as well. If they hadn’t been- if the wool had been pulled out from under my eyes and I had really understood that the song wasn’t particularrlllly good, I might not have written the close to 200 songs which followed it. So thanks to my parents for listening with rose-tinted ears.
The distorted octave bass playing along to a metronome which introduces the song was not an auspicious start to my music career. Although the (perhaps frivolous) layering up of parts has been a component of much of my music ever since.
I’ve always felt strongly that electric feeling of adrenaline when creating anything quickly. And it explains in part why so many of these early songs have such obvious mistakes in them. The timing errors going out of the chorus for example. I just couldn’t wait to show everyone what I had made. Couldn’t wait until I’d unblocked my nose, or stopped messing up the drum fills, or maybe learned a few more chords before writing a song.
Connected to this is a KEY feature of my early music- the mouse click as I finish recording. All these early songs were recorded on an Apple computer, using only the internal microphone. Very little post-performance editing of the audio tracks occurred, and the deleting of untoward extra-musical sounds I found to be an unnecessary indulgence. So, we have many mouse clicks.
Harmonically, the chords change at one point from e minor to e major, which is actually slightly advanced, if it had been done with any sort of awareness. I think at this time I used to just play one chord, then another chord, and attempt to fashion melodies around the change, no matter what it sounded like.
And finally, the lyrics. The inspiration for this song I remember was the scene on Kingsland Road as I got off the bus in winter at night, the scary boys who hung out on the corner (who never once threatened me at all). ‘Walking through the streets at night’- a fair line, although maybe one you shouldn’t repeat for so much of the song, without having Lou Reed’s voice. However: ‘sitting watching running starting starting looking starting running getting nowhere ’til we’ is alright, and similar to the style of lyrics from much later songs, much better songs.
The thematic content here, and many others from the early period, is quite clearly influenced by the melodrama of Muse. Blame them. And the lyrics get a lot worse than this song, for example in my next work^