May 22, 2023 2:35pm

Waiting for you climb in to bed with me…

May 19, 2023 3:34am

I’ll spread my legs if you’ll spread my pussy

May 15, 2023 6:30am

So desperate to have you fill me up

May 10, 2023 11:05pm

Wanna become your favorite redhead, what do I have to do?

April 25, 2023 6:25pm

I want to show you what I’m hiding under my robe…

April 22, 2023 8:55am

I’m waiting

April 19, 2023 5:23am

My room is a little nippy… can you tell

April 15, 2023 3:47pm

I love to take selfies like this. Do you like my tits?

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 6:57pm

i love how your loops become more of a texture/ drone than the main structure of your track.

the only part that feels a like it could use some freshening to me is the snare loop, everything else feels like it’s serving a purpose

ryanApril 13, 2023 1:31pm

Thanks, yeah, I was into the loops becoming a texture, too! Keeping the chord progression out of the loops helped a lot. Got to later reframe the length of the loops, harmony, etc.

Totally agreed on the drum loop—kind of ended up locked into using it because it’s a full kit loop and then was dissatisfied with my attempts at making small variations on it. Then ran out of time to experiment more lol. I think it could work if it showed up in one less section. Or if I threw in another kit layer that varied it up? Maybe that’s the move.

nickApril 13, 2023 12:21pm

Cool to see you getting techy! Would not mind hearing some further digital exploration from you. Definitely into some of the glitchy vocal elements, and with your dynamic voice, I think a lot of good be done. But yeah, cool track.

alechutsonApril 13, 2023 1:13pm

🙏 thank you :))

juliapikerApril 9, 2023 9:22pm

OOOoooo Someone is going to get a little spanking for not following the parameters.

alechutsonApril 9, 2023 11:42pm

i’m pretty sure i stayed within parameters so the spanking better be unrelated!

nickApril 13, 2023 12:19pm

Well seems like a spanking for one reason or another is inevitable, and that’s good news in my book. @@juliapiker may be referring to the “non-drum” loop part of the parameters, but curious if you read this a different way.

alechutsonApril 13, 2023 1:12pm

Spanks abound! I didn’t see anything strictly forbidding use of drums. The parameters specified a structure for a 4 voice loop with another line over it, which I had. The drums I didn’t treat as a static loop – they cut in and out, evolved, etc. But even if they were, I still met the requirements for 4 stacked equal length non-drum loops plus a fifth element, introduced one at a time

nickApril 13, 2023 12:34pm

Also, was definitely gonna call you out for the drums so geeze am I glad i decided to do my reading

nickApril 13, 2023 12:31pm

glad you liked this one, and a great submission. I think with these parameters, if something is not referred to as a loop, then hey, it does not have to be a loop. So yes, the 4 loops had to be loops, but the 5th element could have been anything of any length. Or at least, that’s how I see it. Appreciate your determination to nail the recipe—and you did!

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 7:25pm

mmm that string loop is tasty. this whole piece feels like a dreamy summer memory.

i think the bass line could be simpler, more intentional. maybe a different tone as well. what if you used the hanz zimmer BWOW noise, lean a bit more into the Inception vibe?

nickApril 13, 2023 12:26pm

Lol never knew how to spell that noise

nickApril 13, 2023 12:24pm

Ok wow. Thank you for your offering. Strong debut 💰

nickApril 13, 2023 12:07pm

First off, love how thoroughly you describe your approach to each parameter—I definitely appreciate the full scope of that insight. My current mentality in regards to self-mixing is that I’m not trying to win any awards for innovation, and so I try and take advantage of the Logic presets as much as possible. Totally agree with @@Z that throwing the whole thing through a preset master is a game changer. I often mix and even record all with the master bus applied which is ~not recommended~ by the pros, but it absolutely recommends by me.

ZMarch 29, 2023 7:36pm

Yeah I immediately start cracking up when this comes on. In isolation you might thinking it’s a tender Bruce Springsteen crooning about Wendy when we hear “she’s waking me home,” but you’d be two legs short.

The bass slow down into ”all I wanna do” I really like, and look forward to.

I’m most impressed that for all the unsettling stuff about dumping and pissing, sung at pillow-distance, the endearment of it all prevails for me.

and way to truly feature a unique instrument, Kalimba I think grounds it around the airier textures, it’s like I can feel both the interior of the house and the warm-ish night-time poopin’ air.

big one daddy!

ZMarch 29, 2023 7:43pm

Oh sugar I’m sorry I didnt really give mix-notes.

I think everything feels pretty well balanced, I’d try to two quick things-

Vocals performance I wouldn’t change a bit but they stick out a little – I’ve been finding success getting them to sit better with effects, like an 8th, a quarter, and a slap bus, and see if any of those give a little more presence just at the felt not heard level. Maybe even a little saturation?

and then I think l the whole thing could use a little more weight – do you throw anything on your master bus? I like to do that a lot when I’m demoing so I can feel things better even if it’s a bit heavy handed. Like a tape emulator or a limiter and play with that a bit and see if it you can’t score a little extra beef!

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:09pm

Comment of the week: “I’m most impressed that for all the unsettling stuff about dumping and pissing, sung at pillow-distance, the endearment of it all prevails for me.”

nickApril 13, 2023 12:01pm

Ditto to @@ryan ’s accolade

nickApril 13, 2023 11:56am

What a home run! You’ve really excelled with drum programming. Immediately hooked, and that’s what the networks want ya know?? this thing’s gonna sell. Love the bridge—totally imagine us seeing AGUAMAN emerging from the ocean like a submarine, trident outstretched, wink to the camera. Really great stuff.

nickApril 13, 2023 11:51am

Love your stream of consciousness descriptions. Yeah fun moves arrangement/progression wise. I’m also curious @@ryan how you created the progression… keys, guitar, or midi first? And yes of course I would watch this show.

April 12, 2023 4:36pm

Join me in the shower Daddy, I need your strong hands to scrub me down!

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 7:29pm

i love your use of vocal samples here, you created a really unique vibe with this piece!

i would love to hear an extended version of this that drops into full band halfway through. gr34t jerb!

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 7:00pm

this is fun 😆

ryanApril 10, 2023 11:47am

Lot of great sounds here, holy moly! Love that synth entrance at 0:30. Really all the ethereal sounds are awesome. Synth solo also rad as hell. Evocative track as always, man.

Re: mixing and production — I’m no master. But I want these drums to be beefier. More compression, more saturation, a little darker. And I think the vocal chops and screws should either take things further or be reserved for the synths. I think they’re a little in the middle right now.

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 6:58pm

i totally agree with your analysis!

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 6:52pm

i really like the textured strumming of the first couple loops! vibe feels like… wandering in the suburbs at dusk. don’t ask me why 😅

alechutsonApril 10, 2023 6:48pm

love this one, playful and nostalgic. i second ryan – a bangin drop into a full rhythm section would be pretty great

ryanApril 10, 2023 11:56am

Very “Different Trains” by Steve Reich, and I’m here for it. Love what those vibraphones are bringing. Nice balance between the pensive orchestra and the impatient-sounding vocal sample. This one’s a big win for me.

BenApril 10, 2023 12:08pm

thank you, thank you. yeah, the Kronos Quartet Steve Reich Different Trains recording was basically the vibe. However, the “different ways” “different trains” similarity is just a really cool coincidence.

ryanApril 10, 2023 12:00pm

Oof, I love this vocal melody. And that playful rhythm on loop 2 and loop 4.

Re: expanded version — um, an absolutely banging rhythm section. Think you could be into that? Countermelody on some kind of organic instrument over the synths, too. Maybe for a B section. Yum.

ryanApril 10, 2023 11:54am

Jesus, that first loop is a damn dream. I could listen to it all day. This sounds like a remix of a Washed Out B-side off of Paracosm. I love this.

Re: bassline — yeah, actually, I do think there’s a better option waiting to be found! I think the harmonic territory is dead on, but the rhythmic gestures need work. Too syncopated for its own good, I think. Track feels so damn good to sit in—the bassline should play into that more.

Great work, Juli.

ryanApril 10, 2023 11:48am

So, yeah, I would call this unexpected.

ryanApril 10, 2023 11:42am

Really interesting balance of warmth and unsettledness here. Keeps me on edge in a way that I find pretty engaging. And I’m always a huge fan of the randomness (almost humanness?) of glitchy loops. Only thing is that I wish the piece opened up at some point—a little resolve for all the tension.

April 9, 2023 6:26pm

Do you like my nips?

BenApril 7, 2023 10:40am

is this the first ncbc submission tagged jazz or funk?

lol this is great and funny, and CLEAN – both fairly familyfriendly wise, and just not a single grain of dirt anywhere to be found on the recording, i guess besides the honky clav and harmonica. You got Ballito over here, with the spiders and meat (spider meat?), and then you got Robert over here on a nickelodeon marathon every saturday morning.

April 4, 2023 3:50am

Come here so I can jiggle them on your cock 😛

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:19pm

i love the space and magnetic pull/reach of the instrumental—like a gentle beam from a UFO trying to bring an old friend back up to the mothership. the lyrics paint an impressionist 

the synth sounds feel like home, i like the sound selections and don’t think anything sticks out in a bad way.

is that the same piano at 1:40 and 1:58, just an octave up? seems so much more clear & provides some relief to any prior tension—feels intentional, but i think the more vintage/detuned piano lower sound fits the mood & could continue to fit there if you didn’t want to break out of that sadder vibe.

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:36pm

Damn, I love the idea of a UFO trying to bring an old friend back up to the mothership. That fits well—this song ended up being about the warmth of memories that stand the test of time, so I’m glad you felt a hominess.

It’s the same effect chain on the piano at 1:40 and 1:58, yup, but it’s the lead part from verse 2 that makes a reappearance as an interlude. I also played the same melody on electric guitar (piano on the left, clean guitar on the right). Yeah I wanted to let the sunlight prevail in the back half of the tune, so that change in mood was intentional. I’m hoping enough storminess stayed in the drums to make the whole track cohesive, regardless of the eventual shift.

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 8:19pm

this is so 24

is is very jack bauer

this is giving counter terrorism

i really dig the cinematic nature, and foreboding bass (but hopeful tings and pings). really nailed it, sounds like a friggin show theme song. i haven’t seen homeland in like 6 years but i think this is what i remember feeling during the credits.

re: notes

i think you could do great things at the company, man. they are always looking for the best and boldest and brightest. but be careful, they are known assassins and tricksters.

& side-chaining! i love it here, and in certain contexts (rly just thinking about Flying Lotus tbh). it can be distracting if it is not surrounded by other elements that are contributing to the mix; it has a really powerful hypnotic quality, but i think that goes away if you can focus too directly on it. i think your mix strikes a good balance where it is pushing/pulling without distracting from the Central Idea At play

ZMarch 29, 2023 6:50pm

This is giving counter terrorism = top comment award

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:29pm

Yeah biiiig into this is giving counter terrorism

ZMarch 29, 2023 6:50pm

So. Evocative!

Ken burns effect within the first few seconds, lucky draw for whomever gets to put visuals to this track over at HBO.

Love the side-chaining! I’m no pro at it but I like what Daeclan said – it seems like one needs to figure out what instruments are going to be sucked into the sidechain or not. My ear wants a non SC entrance for the cello (? Entrance at 13s) to separate it a bit. I wouldn’t want it totally flat so maybe just splitting the difference or playing with a separate compressor for that track would be where I’d start to explore.

just noticing how the ‘shaker’ sets that entrance up then gets out of the way – really nice touch.

Hi pass section is perfect

Four on the floor kick sounds awesome,

Noticing now that the the fundamental drum part is i think a 2 bar phrase which keeps it interesting – v cool.

Man there are a lot of other goodies in here, like that quivery reflection on the bells? Is that a separate entrance or like a flutter on a delay bud or somethin?

this is really great, going to enjoy it as much as possible before it gets memory-holed by the spooks!

nickApril 3, 2023 11:26am

Evocative is the word

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:28pm

Thanks, mate! Oh yeah fun fact about that “shaker” — that’s me scratching the head of an SM57 with a guitar pick and then distorting the shit out of it. And yeah, the quivery bell reflection I was thrilled with. That is a reverse reverb/delay tail from SoundToys Crystallizer that I added a fair bit of pre-delay to so that that effect swirls back in significantly after the glock attack.

And yeahhhh, good call on that non sidechained cello entrance. I actually tried that for a sec and couldn’t get it to work and then bailed. But I agree that might be best.

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:22pm

“All I wanna do is piss on everything, love on everything, smell on everything” – the Buddha

Some mix notes to consider!

The bass and kick sound are competing for the same space. I’d try thinning out the bass sound so that it’s more consistent in tone when you’re higher up on the neck / using higher strings and when you go down to the woofier territory. Hopefully that’ll also clear up some room for the kick, which you can then add sub and punch to.

Keys are sitting in a great place! Nice and isolated in that part of the EQ spectrum

Vox sound pretty good to me. I agree with @@Z that some wetness (delay, verb) on the lead could be a good thing.

And then yeah, what’s your protocol for a quick “mastering” once your track is done?

This track caught me completely off guard and I kind of haven’t been able to stop picturing you walking around on all fours and taking big shits on lawns ever since. In my mind’s eye, you are smiling.

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:08pm

This is absolutely hilarious. It also came on so, SO loud on my speakers for some reason (maybe following a quieter submission) and I was assaulted by it, making it even funnier.

I can easily picture a young Ryan Kershaw looking forward to hearing “Mmm, what the hell’s goin on?” getting a proper thrill from having heard the word ‘hell’ and being like “oh SHIT I better get my pop tart outta the toaster because my favorite show about a cigar-smokin’ barn cat jazzman is on.”

ryanApril 3, 2023 5:00pm

Benzo, this is gorgeous. One of my all-time favorite submissions from you. Great musical composition—how did you approach it?

I’m thrilled that it explodes at the end. Totally fitting.

Marketing team at HBO Max: “We are absolutely not calling it Muine Bheag.”

Agreed with @@daeclan that this is all about the wide variety of little voices that appear. Killer guitar playing. Great horn parts, great string parts. So fun.

ZMarch 29, 2023 7:22pm

I’d tap SickAnimation for the video😂.

This is great, so easy and fun to follow, all the parts are so deliberate and clear, the lyrics are perfecto – thanks for putting tin sandwich in my “I look forward to forcing this expression into an ordinary conversation” jar.

Huge shout out to the emotional arc of the narrator – he starts off so grumpy and skeptical and then he just gives in to the groove, I can him rolling his shoulders and crossings his arms and bouncing when we get to “tumbleweed smoke/humble tweed coat.” Wild rhyme.

at the end you arrive at the “Robert kittens” refrain and it feels like the narrator is no longer the focal point but an audience member and you feel like you’ve been brought to the show too, so cool!

Biggest curiosity – that vocal is so clear and present and there’s so much bass in it! Can you share with the class a bit about how you got that sound?

nickApril 3, 2023 12:45pm

can’t tell you how glad i was to come across tin sandwich. was intimated by the corniness of it all, wasn’t sure how much to lean into the rappy nature of the lyric sheet. Landed on a balance of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Snake Farm.

and sheesh thank you about vocals, but it’s always a guessing game on my end. Recorded with the Rode NT1 condenser microphone. Started with the “Tube Vocal” preset on Logic, then on the Pedalboard I took off the Tube Burner and added the SQUASH compressor and Tru Tape delay. A little fussing later and there you have it.

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 8:14pm

okay i am loving the wild animal energy that seems to be coming through on some of these submissions. i feel the barn energy. i see the glow. i smell the barn bar air, drunk animal stink.

really diggin the cinematic storytelling here, could see the lyrics animated for sure. instrumental gives me 70s the doors energy, and i thought the harmonica was a vocoder until i read your description so kudos on making it sound human & dynamic even w one note!

pilot pitch: robert kitten finds his tumbleweed is laced with pcp & has to track down his dealer, for justice

nickApril 3, 2023 12:30pm

right and i just barely show a bit of promise in my detective assistance that Robert offers me a shred of approval which i devour. realizing that Robert may be the cat of (@nick)

nickApril 3, 2023 11:25am

Siiiick but yeah if one of you turned out to be a secret agent it would be @@zoya

zoyaApril 3, 2023 12:01pm

Plus I don’t think the CIA even takes italians?

nickApril 3, 2023 11:41am

I could imagine watching Six Ducks on sunday morning in 1997 and my parents being like wtf is this why are things the way they are.

I think the ducks exclusively quack with subtitles when they’re on their own, but once they’re together in man-form, they take on the voice of celebrity chef, restaurateur, television personality, cookbook author, and National Best Recipe award winner for his “Turkey and Hot Sausage Chili” recipe in 2003, Emeril Lagassé.

nickApril 3, 2023 11:27am

The sidechaining is very yes working for me. I would look forward to hearing this at the front of each show. No skip baby.

March 31, 2023 11:26pm

Wanna become your favorite redhead, what do I have to do?

ZMarch 30, 2023 2:19pm

Love how the context of the municipal building, the boredom, really makes whats going on emotionally between the characters pop that much more.

I think “shorter” would be a fruitful instinct to follow in the context of a show’s intro. However this feels to me more like something that belongs in DC or Sam Pearce’s catalogue, in which case it can be as long or as stripped down as needed.

i don’t know much about the show, but if the premise is “sad indie guitar guy” and you’ll be trying out other stuff free of the NCBC parameters, I’d be curious to see what can come of something that provides more contrast. Maybe having someone else sing it? Possibly a female, if you’re going to be playing the lead role? Or a tempo/feel that’s a little more exciting? Maybe no vocal at all? Like what about the feel from “Panic Song” by Greet Death. I say all this because if I’m watching this show, I’m definitely gonna wanna hear some of the main characters music at some point. But if I’ve already heard a very specific tune right in the intro too many times it might undermine the performances reserved for the episodes themselves..

I guess to summarize, I love this as it is, personally want it to be a Sam Pearce/DC track, perhaps performed in one of the episodes itself, and so I think the intro should be in the rock world but it shouldn’t sound like Sad Indie Guitar Guy’s band…

Hope this is helpful, thank you for sharing this!

ZMarch 30, 2023 2:01pm

I’d totally watch this show. The music is great, I l’m glad we get to hear the whole song – I’ve always loved listening to the full twin peaks material. It is interesting to think about how you’d pate down the song to its most essential emotional centers depending on what the time/creative constraints are with the rest of the team, but there’s so much to work with here. Have you ever listened to the entire Bresking Bad intro? It is to me a TOTALLY different experience than what the 15 second truncated version it is.

I think you really nailed the mystery and night-timy feeling, and I love that it morphs into this total beast by the end. Vocals remind me of Son Lux.

nice work!

ryanMarch 30, 2023 10:19am

Jeeeeeeeeesus, yes. Somewhere between Petite Feet and Indiana Jones lies true bliss.

Moments of unbridled genius that I’d like to highlight:

The cymbal wash heading into the instrumental section. Unbelievably perfect.

Strings joining instrumental section. Actually moving. What a MELODY!

Isolated kit moment following the instrumental—this would be who accepts the Grammy and gives the speech

Vocal obliteration on “plan”

Every single brass part

Every single guitar tone

This theme is so good that I finally understand what Robin and Kyle mean when they say they catch zero lyrics on their first ten listens. I cannot stop listening to this. No notes.

ZMarch 29, 2023 7:07pm

I’d consider the karate sounds more of a feature than “bass,” but then again we’re talking about the front man of The Drunken Monkeys 😂

Guitar intro is absolutely hatching’ vibes.

I’m not sure what the pilot is gonna be – I’d recommend a close re-watch of both Beverly Hills Ninja and Three Ninjas to really carve out what’s gone unsaid in the trans-Atlantic ninja comedy dialogue.

Just now appreciating the vocal sample and the harmony at chorus 2, and the 2 claps, the last shake on the shaker.

You are a sum greater than your ducks Joe.

March 28, 2023 12:03pm

Can I sit on you?

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:47pm

oh man this cooks. the intro is bombastic & the orchestra hits are inspired. loving the strings ~0:50, too. twang fits well, this feels like a southern california super hero and i bet he has an absolute ton of sex. that is probably what he needs hydration for now that i think about it. but i mean, if he has strong discipline maybe he practices retention idk ok i am spiraling great work here man, what joy

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:38pm

i love how many elements you bring into your mixes, somehow fitting in a whole world of sound into the space of 2 mins 30 secs. i love the show concept, too (cos humans are the real monsters most of the time) and think this is a fitting soundtrack to that world. the guitar at the end reminds of a young jonny greenwood in the best of ways.

p.s. i was also hustling to get my shit together in time for the beginning of the end of succession, and i love that theme song more than i should.

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:23pm

i love the instrumental here, it reminds me of the good kind of dubstep (before the bros stepped in). like high polish UK idm. the lyrics and delivery fit well and have a restless & hypnotic vibe about ’em. the sonic chaos in the middle shapes up nicely and builds well, sounds really nice in my 2.1 system. lots of dynamics but it feels cohesive & buoyant.

singing feels loud enough, didn’t consider you were being gentle but i know that feeling (!) and never want to be self conscious when i am creating. have you played at all w treating your space w pads/blankets? even as a measure of self-isolation, might be worth considering!

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:18pm

so sweet and heavenly. a warm sunday morning sound. i think it works best naked like this, but would love to hear a more beefed up version just to confirm my suspicion.

love the lyrics, says just enough to bring up the sadness and longing underlying this tragedy. just incredible work my dude. sweet. heavens.

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:17pm

love the dad feature (!) and the general approach, it feels like an album outro. the implication of what your father is saying, and how it echos through your music is so rad. it creates a liminal space, i can almost hear the multiverses spiraling out of this like a never-ending mandelbrot set. really cool interpretation of the assignment, and what a deep introspective instrumental to boot. nice!

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 9:16pm

this is fun and i felt it so deeply (cos my grandma lived in Medford all my life and i done seen it change). i love the inspirations, and can hear al & zap & wet sammy here — it is playful & i can hear the space to spice w ska horns or zappa-esque high-polish doo whops. it’s a slice of life when life is kind of poking you in the eye haha, great work & fun sounds. i encourage you to lean more into your instincts–notch ’em up to 10–but love this 🙂

daeclanMarch 27, 2023 8:07pm

i want to watch this show. absolutely love the sound effects & atmosphere that arrive on verse 2. subtle vocal doubling sounds really natural and sits nice in the mix. good work w the shaker, too. only note is that the bass & guitar seemed to be coming from the same source—adding some light panning to either side might give you some more dynamics but it sounds tight, so if that was the intention, tight tight tight.

dreamcast: the kids used to call me ducklan but imagine fuckin’ six of me.

BenMarch 27, 2023 9:37am

Daddy took a big one tonight.

I lol’d a lot while listening to this.

Great kalimba work.

In terms of the chunk/mud of the bass, I don’t think it’s too chunky of a sound, in a vacuum, but it does maybe stand out and take up a good amount space… but also it sounds good to me. It’s a good driving bassheavy song and that is working. Maybe a good way to balance things out a little, while still maintaining the chonk , would be to add a little more mids/highmids to the track. Maybe one more subtle instrument or synth pad, or maybe even just slightly adjusting the keyboard mix? I dunno man, it sounds pretty great though.

This is the second submission on this assignment that couldve been on the “Inside” track list, like immediately following a banger like “Bezos II.”

nickMarch 27, 2023 9:37am

Love the new pic, btw📸

BenMarch 26, 2023 11:03pm

These are all excellent submissions, wow

BenMarch 26, 2023 8:03pm

Best thing you’ve submitted so far I think. So hilarious (and tight as hell) The intro is so good. Big “1985” by Bo Burnham energy (from the Inside Outtakes).

Seriously well done. The orchestra stabs are pretty great too.


TylerKMarch 24, 2023 3:28pm

Vivid lyrics on this. Wasn’t expecting to feel this much but here I am.

I like the just organ and vocals approach a lot. It works for you. My band relies heavily on layering and layering, to the point where we fantasize about “what if on the next album we do a song just guitar and vocals!” but it seems to come so naturally from you. One of those real musicians, damn. If the lyrics weren’t so interesting I’d recommend adding in ear candy or some kinda room noise idk but you don’t need it.

I hope it’s not offensive that I liked the google drive video version just as much, if not more. That’s just where my taste is this week. This is great, I’m a big fan.

TylerKMarch 24, 2023 3:17pm

Brush drums sound great and roomy. I’m right there. With this style of drums, it’s hard to make anything NOT sound human. You gotta be inhuman to be good at brush drums. You nailed the drums!

I read the poem trying to figure out where you got the idea to write a country banger, and I think when I saw the word NOON I felt the same feeling you must’ve. Also maybe the word WHY, if you really stick the landing on the H the way you do in this song wHyyyy.

It’s funny you said you almost put barn noises in this song, when I was listening before I read I was like “damn I wanna tell him to put some country western glass clinking bar fighting noise behind this to complete the atmosphere” haha.

You got a great voice for country. Coulda used some lap steel and harmonica but then again, not every person who performs that genre has access to these instruments at all times either. Can’t carry all’at when you’re takin’ the greyhound to the next town. This is a true blue interpretation of a real ass country song.

TylerKMarch 24, 2023 3:00pm

Love the warm mic’d acoustic and close doubled vocal takes on top of each other. Got me excited for the acapella I knew was coming bc I knew it was gonna sound good (and of course it did). Great lyrics and feel to this song. Great bridge/chorus WOOOOON’T MAAATTER along with the sudden stop at the end. Ties into the theme of the source poem. This could work as a standalone song, obviously. I wouldn’t think of it as a demo even, I like the performance and production the way this is. Great work again.

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 10:12am

Really nice track – the subtle light arpeggiating line feels so distant and really magnifies the sad, dark sound. “All I wanted was a little bit of time to be afraid” is a great line.

FWIW, even though I know it may have been supposed to be a capella – the bass carrying through sounded really nice to me.

In terms of build, an interesting exercise can be looking at your song and thinking about what are the moments you experience as peaks and valleys, in a narrative sense, and what the moments you want to experience as peaks and valley currently are. From there, it can help see how you are achieving what you want (or if you are) in the current arrangement, if it feels like it should be adjusted, if you like something that’s happening unintentionally, etc.

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 10:04am

I wish I had been at this show. The a capella section with the crowd noise killed me in the best way possible – and the whole next bit as everything layered just felt so classic. Realllllly fun.

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 9:31am

Very different responses to the same poem, but seems like it struck both of us for similar reasons. I like how pared down this is – feels easy to imagine someone playing this just with an acoustic at a campfire.

Also props to you for doing drums even though it may not be your key point. I, too, struggle immensely at making drums ever sound like I want them too, so I usually end up just skipping them… I’ll be stealing some of these ideas in your comments for sure.

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 9:25am

Love the vocal harmonies in the opening line and throughout. There’s something very playful about this song that I could also see you leaning into it further – but I kinda like the dry delvoery of the vocals because, to me, it sorta intensifies the absurdity in a way. Never mad when anyone leans into David Byrne though…

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 9:22am

Just getting a chance to listen now. The beat drop at :45 took me by surprise in a really lovely way. The contrast in styles between the sweet acoustic sound and the more produced drums.

Also, the ‘a capella’ section is really nice (even if the keys are still there for now).

ryanMarch 14, 2023 11:45am

Elias—I love this. Feels so warm and genuine. Love that it’s not belted. The rhythmic and melodic variations in the vocals are fantastic. Love those little background vocals in the last chorus, too.

The entrance of the a cappella section is so welcome! Lands perfectly. I wonder if the rest of the arrangement re-entering after a line or two would make it stronger.

But in terms of your question—this very much feels like a “real song” to me! I wouldn’t abandon too much of what you’ve got here. The warm, soft delivery and short overall length are paired perfectly with the ambivalence in the lyrics. Could be developed further if you want, but it’s killer as-is, too.

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 9:19am

Delayed response, but really appreciate the thoughts.

I couldn’t figure out how long the a cappella should last and am definitely curious about playing around with it. And glad to know it feels like a real song – sometimes I find I got lost between the imagined possibilities and what I’ve made and have hard time staying objective about it. Which also, in turn, makes it harder to build on. Will continue thinking on it…

nickMarch 15, 2023 12:14pm

“Pushing on like Sisyphus despite the insignificance” is an excellent line. love this gentler intimate vocal delivery style, and the doubling. works really well. whether it’s this song or another, would love to hear this style laid over a fully fleshed out track with other playful elements. also, kudos to you for powering through a rough week and creating very sweet and fun track.

oh also you get my fav acapella section award for what it’s worth.

EliasSZMarch 24, 2023 9:17am

Supes delayed response, but appreciate the thoughts. I think my unsureness came from having ideas for a fully fleshed out track that I didn’t have the time/ability to put together. Sometimes hard to appreciate the trees when you’ve been imagining a forest, or something hahaha.

March 23, 2023 2:53am

A red lip makes me feel sexy 🙂

March 19, 2023 12:32pm

I like watching myself masturbate, do you?

Sam PearceMarch 17, 2023 3:17pm

Damn dude. Makes me sad. Beautiful song.

Sam PearceMarch 17, 2023 3:18pm

Also really love the last lines

BenMarch 17, 2023 11:45am

this is sick. it’s a vibe and it belongs on TV and you should get a small royalty check in the mail every month.

I agree with nick and ryan in general about the vinyl sound etc.

There’s def no official or correct way to make things sound old (sometimes the best way to oldify a sound is to have no idea what youre doing and just mess up the sound with “bad” EQing, weird distortion, ugly noise etc), but i think the main culprit that makes it not quite sound authentically antique is that there’s too much variation in qualities.

The talking lyrics literally sound like they were peeled off a tape recorder of some weird underground broadcast from 1970. But the guitar sounds modern, or at best like a pretty hi-fi late David Gilmour strat tone. …Which of course is actually cool: The long lost recovered audio of the voice sits well over the modern guitar, and it’s a like a found footage sound collage piece. Very meditative. But if you’re going for one cohesive piece – like you recovered a vinyl recording of a full piece that already had guitar and vocals, both recorded 50 years ago, together, I’d put them through the exact same plugins/filters. And if you already did that, then… maybe dirty the guitar up even more and put them through even more filters together.

As Ryan said, maybe add some drone (or maybe you can add some dirt and vinyl mechanical noises too to really tie the room together.) Then, like Nick points out, kill the master EQ a bit more. round off the brightness even more than you’ve done. Maybe even throw one more verb on the whole thing just to place every piece in the same room (and decade).

Of course it’s so hard to not go overboard or get cute with this stuff. It’s kind of weird when i can hear the fake vinyl or vhs warp on a song that was produced in the 2020s. Because everyone knows it’s fake, what’s the point, unless it’s being ironic or purposely trying to sound fake or funny?

So I guess my only advice for this part would be: Add the dirt or whatever you do to make it sound old, then cut the mix on those effects by like 40%.

Great work on this. Listened to this a lot so far.

March 17, 2023 3:52am

Lick your way down

ryanFebruary 26, 2023 10:51pm

Yeahhhh! Haven’t heard a full-band Bergen-banger in a bit! This is fun. I do think the guitar tone could do with some taming in the high-end, but it’s definitely in the right territory. The extra harmonics that come with it are pretty rad. Reeeally love the glock or vibraphone or—actually what is that? This gives me big Broken Social feels and I’m here for it.

KristophMarch 16, 2023 7:55pm

nailed it, vibraphone. thanks!

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:34am

im into the guitar tone. i think im game for your inclination that this could follow something with a little more tension, and act as a sort of release. i think the drums work. whenever i use programmed live drum sounds, i add a thin trebly layer of some snare or cymbal or percussion to kind of coat it in a little natural humanness. just a thought. well done, brother.

KristophMarch 16, 2023 7:54pm

love that idea!

BenFebruary 28, 2023 9:13am

ahh yes, the ick-fueled song pivot. I know that well.

This is great, and honestly, your drummer was kind of nailing it. some early tame impala sounding driving beats that just start suddenly with a pretty huge spacey vocal accompaniment. I also love when they cut to half time around 0:24 (and then they sort of go down another notch at around 0:37). very cool and interesting. then they start cooking again. well done.

My one constructive critique is pretty much what you already described. Yeah, it’s either a few dB too loud, or just too present or too thin? What steps did you take to adjust the sound in postprodution?

Great vibes. Getting a little of those anthemic arcade fire vibes.

Glad NCBC is back and i’m glad youre here.

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:31am

tame impala, interesting. im getting a little more broken social scene.

BenMarch 6, 2023 11:42am

the earlier stuff

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 9:45pm

It’s giving Wilco to me, too. Love this, @@Kristoph! It’s sparkly, shiny, jingly, jangly, triumphant.

KristophMarch 16, 2023 7:53pm

haha the post production steps were… limited, my mixing knowledge is not my strong suit. y’all are too nice tho

nickMarch 14, 2023 3:00pm

oh this is wonderful. love this gentler version of your voice. really nice warbly guitar. honestly im hooked all the way through 1:06. Wouldn’t mind going right into the acapella section right there, then maybe looping back to the section where the drums originally enter. and totally dig the outro. i dunno, something like that, but i really like this whole thing, great job.

BenMarch 15, 2023 6:47pm

“warbly” is a good description. goes well with the fairly straightforward nonwarbly rhodes. good call not making the rhodes too rhodesy and warbly.

BenMarch 15, 2023 6:46pm

I think most of us here agree that this was one of the most challenging assignments yet. And a lot of the submissions seem to be departures for a lot of us. What a refreshing sound you’ve got here.

It’s chill and soft and gentle and pretty, and just as I was getting used to it and getting settled in for a nice sweet acoustic ride, the beat drops (0:46). Still stays chill af but gets a slight edge and attitude to it. I *love* the kick sound and *really love* the rimshot sample. What a great little song. The tension in the chords, vocals, and bass right at 1:23 are amazing.

Excellent outro, too.

I hope to see this song, or some version of it, in a future swelo release. Job well done.

EliasSZMarch 15, 2023 2:55pm

Another great one!

Arrangement-wise, I think one of the beautiful things happening here is that this is a song about emptiness or loss, from my understanding – and mirroring that with these minimalist, intimate parts works so well. I started wanting a larger, spread out atmosphere being created with other elements in the space/track entering to emphasize the intimacy and smallness of the voice and organ as a unit, if that makes sense. Far panned sounds, or deep low frequencies pulsing, or anything else to help the central part of this tune feel smaller and smaller. That being said, I don’t think the song needs it.

Either way, lovely tune, lovely lyrics, thanks for sharing.

nickMarch 15, 2023 3:53pm

hey really interesting idea about working to kind of put the main duo on a pedestal that’s maybe receding or somehow getting smaller, while remaining the focus. i will definitely be thinking about that.

EliasSZMarch 15, 2023 3:17pm

This was a fascinating journey. I get both the lost vinyl vibes, but to me, I also felt the vibes of like an intro to an album that’s about to get insanely heavy right after this ends. Or as if these lyrics could literally just be a character’s opening monologue to a scene in a movie as this music plays behind it, with shots of b-role, etc.

No individual moments that did or did not work for me as the experience was a contemplative journey I was happy to go on exactly as it existed. I’m not a mixing minded guy, so I’ll let you audiophiles speak more to that side of it.

EliasSZMarch 15, 2023 3:11pm

Seconding Nick, that :59 transition is dynamite. Love the growth to the second half of this track and the chaos/hectic vibes in that breakdown are super excellent/disorienting in all the right ways.

Guitar tone throughout is sick. And the use of vocals in the arrangement feels super strong to me – didn’t immediately sound to me like it was just headphones and macbook speakers (though I guess I also just listened in headphones ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

EliasSZMarch 15, 2023 3:04pm

Totally hear what you are saying about the difficulty of writing lyrics separate from music – felt very impossible for me, and I even scrapped my first lyrics I wrote when I realized I basically written a melody to write them. Very impressed with your ability to get your lyrics to sound so musical, as if this was always the way you wrote.

In terms of the different sounds, I think things generally sound excellent. Love the synth sounds and vocal processing. Not sure the piano sound at :36 totally works for me, but honestly that only occurred to me on second listen when I was intently listening to see if anything didn’t fit, so I might be overthinking it.

Two other things I really liked: the change at 1:59 is extremely satisfying. Really nice. And the line “I’d be a corner / Just to be a part of the fold” is really strong and stuck with me.

nickMarch 15, 2023 2:26pm

good comments below, and kudos to you for attempting your first multi-track recording! like your last track, you’ve got a great natural strumming ability that fits your chord choices really well. curious which line you borrowed for this one—all of them work together cohesively, so well done there. also just realized @@Sam Pearce is sitting next to you in your pic. hey, sam.

daeclanMarch 13, 2023 10:26pm

notes: really dig the sounds and words–you’ve got a lot of good material here. i love the imagery this sound conjures, a darkened bedroom on a quiet empty night. “somebody calls me to tell me why they’re not a bad friend” oof, that one really resonates man. thanks for sharing this

re: shaping/cutting down – as an exercise, you could cut each lyrical section out and rearrange them into a natural crescendo (based on the audio levels on the file you shared) and then re-analyze the lyric sheet to see if there are sections you can cut or combine with others that feel natural and meaningful. that’s the benefit of having a lot of a good thing, you can tailor it down and fit your vision

nickMarch 15, 2023 2:21pm

well said!

nickMarch 15, 2023 12:24pm

ooo that’s a diamond transition at :58 from wee-e-e-e into the guitar. and killer piano entrance at 1:31. why is the outro giving me Going For the One vamppy solo section??? very dope. and lol, breaking the 4th wall at the end is a delicious surprise. great submissh.

i only have airpods right now, but im getting what sounds like some clipping in the left ear at like ~2:05-2:20. may just be my equipment, but id double peep that.

BenMarch 15, 2023 1:20pm

ah yes, Yes making an appearance once again.

nickMarch 15, 2023 2:14pm

and yeah i think it may just be my headphones ^_^

nickMarch 15, 2023 2:14pm

I’m guessing that’s you on guitar? love when you play electric. great use of acapella for the intro, and landing where the drums come in. nice and B52sy. totally interested in hearing it faster like you mentioned. combined with some of ryan’s comments, i think that would do a lot for this one. totally relate with playing with pronouns to change perspective without any prompt.

fun to see how you and @@TylerK took this poem in slightly different directions.

ryanMarch 15, 2023 1:32pm

Damn, this is rad. Feels like it should be over a montage in an episode of Peaky Blinders. That big minor chord is a dream.

Love the mix aim — I think it’s almost there but agree with Nick that there are some giveaways. What reverb did you use on the guitars? Sounds pretty modern to me. I wonder if using a big room verb would’ve helped the “lost vinyl recording from a Buddhist poet’s collective” aspect. Absolutely love the fuzzy vocal shadow.

All the chordal stuff in the guitar is A+ for me. I like a lot of the leads, but some of them sound a little post-rock / midwest emo — that’s not inherently a bad thing, but I don’t think it was your goal, so I figured I’d point that out. I think less sliding would help a lot. I wonder what an acoustic guitar droning one or two arpeggios might bring to the table.

Your dad delivers these lines perfectly. Did you guys write the lyrics together? Picturing myself sitting down and getting this deep with my dad right now and I am actually cracking up. Rad that you guys are able to do that.

nickMarch 15, 2023 12:38pm

appreciate your whole description—great read. and so happy that we now have another dad contribution to ncbc. i think you do a great job building up to the the final question, “And what remains after all that I think I am is gone?” MAYBE it would be cool if the music like, had a little key change either right before that question, or maybe for that final set of three questions? would just love to highlight that moment in the lyrics because i think it deserves it. in regards to the decades-past vibe, i think it’s pretty much there—I would only hop in that master EQ and round off the edges a touch. the current level of hi-fi treble is a bit of a give away.

thanks dad!

ryanMarch 14, 2023 12:53pm

Whoa, okay Nora! This is fun as hell. I would love to hear a version of this with a big full mix on it to hear the extent of the vision you described at the top of your blurb.

Songwriting-wise — chorus is great. Really cool harmonic and rhythmic decisions. Drives home the prevailing feeling of the song the way a chorus should. You already identified what I’m most curious about, which is the verse vocal delivery. I think I want you leaning into the fun even more. Given the slightly sociopolitical lyrics, I think the dry delivery comes off a little wry, whereas tapping into a bit more David Byrne might highlight the absurdity of it all in a way that matches your sound world more. Does that make sense? Some occasional doubles, Ben’s background yelps, some big room verbed-out moments, etc. might also serve it well, but that’s mix stuff.

nurphgunMarch 15, 2023 12:35pm

Yes! Absolutely should’ve taken more of a David Byrne approach. After all, these are NOT his beautiful houses!!!

nickMarch 15, 2023 12:02pm

another banger. really great space you’ve created with all the instrumentation/samples/mixing. totally agree with @@Tengo and @@TylerK— very very cool drum sounds and composition. that raspy flappy kick has so much character while still delivering the goods.

i love distinct isolated percussive elements that repeat every so often as part of the drum composition, so the little brushy drum fill toward the end of every bar is a big win for me. however, it sticks out sonically because it’s so natural sounding, so id experiment with effecting it in some way to be less distracting sonically and even more outstanding in general.

Tiny other thing for me is the little mouth noise poppy clicky moments. maybe zap those puppies out.

@@zoya killin it back there

nickMarch 15, 2023 11:37am

just purchased my feature instrument for $12.99

ryanMarch 14, 2023 8:31pm

Electric guitar tone and piano chaos both sounding hella apocalyptic—nailed that. Cool that some of the vocal lines are barely or not at all finished. That’s a pretty rad solution for reverse engineering lyrics into the tune. Adds to the chaos.

This was a wild ride, I don’t even know where I am. Riding westward with Ben in the Fit, I guess?

TengoMarch 14, 2023 8:18pm

this is just so sick.

ryanMarch 14, 2023 8:18pm

Gorgeous performance, man. And an excellent, memorable sheet of lyrics. Congrats on whipping these up, especially given the challenge of the assignment. Excellent way to freshen “rain or shine” with the addition of “or sickness”. Found that particularly touching—evoking the rainy feeling of sickness.

As far as arrangement goes, after three listens, the only thing missing for me is a steadying percussive element. The ethereal organ is beautiful, but the off-kilter rhythms of the vocal were hard to keep up with / digest in real time, so I found myself just a little taken out of an otherwise transportive performance. There wasn’t anything keeping me tied down, moving along effortlessly. It may seem ironic to suggest a percussive element to a piece that floats so well, but I’m choosing to honor that feeling of being taken out of the moment because I think the song deserves to avoid that.

Great work here, man. And I love the live vid inclusion.

nickMarch 14, 2023 3:22pm

this is a real first for ncbc. so well executed and so fun. just ridiculous and awesome. would literally believe this was phish. my only tiny ask would be let the bass shine through 1:51-2:00 without any drums, and then have drums enter with that fill at 2:00. Just a thought. great job dude.

nickMarch 14, 2023 3:16pm

damn, cowboy. huge props indeed. great poem selection—i missed this one, but i absolutely love it. What you mentioned about the challenge of inconsistent syllable amounts is a perfect example of what made this assignment fun for me. you just end up making something you never would have otherwise.

something you could play around with is perhaps a little organ underneath it all, or maybe some piano (or pedal steel if trinity teaches you how to learn very hard things very quickly)—something to pad out the space and add a little sustain to blend with the ride. I really dig the harmonic composition of the acapella section, and would only suggest cutting it in half, and having the organ (or whatever) re-enter in the second half. The guitar sounds are excellent, deep and twangy. I won’t belabor the good points made below about the drums, but i will say, for a slow melancholy drunken rambler song like this, I wouldn’t want the drums to be too tight. Keep on swashbucklin’, buddy. Well done!

ryanMarch 14, 2023 1:26pm

Absolutely adore the songwriting here. Great job hearing a lyric as having potential for a specific genre and GOING for it. If someone told me this was a cover of a classic country song, I would believe it without question. Also, the zoom-out of the lyrics in the last verse, going from a wasted day to a wasted life (“why did it take all my life to begin?”) is seriously incredible. Huge props.

Glad you’re asking for feedback on how to improve the execution, because the song deserves it. Love @@Ben‘s suggestions on getting a more human drum sound. Can I ask what your process was for the drums that are currently in the recording?

@@nick‘s voice is in my head 99% of the time when I’m writing / recording drums. He’s huge on making sure the drums hit before (or at the same time) as every other instrument. Helps tremendously with feel. Ain’t nobody want a draggin’ drummer. So keeping a close eye on this is key. Hits still sneak through the 1% of the time where I don’t hear Nick nagging me, but I’ve gotten a lot better at this over the years. So I do think a large part of what’s keeping this track from feeling good rhythmically is rushing guitars and the lack of presence in the bass (is there bass? sometimes I think there is, other times I think it’s just another guitar) in lockstep with the drums. Too many fills going on, too. The more fills you allow a fake drummer, the harder it is to sell the listener overall. I think a good programmed drum performance is one that’s pretty unnoticeable. Sample-wise, I’ve not yet found anything I like more than Addictive Drums. Just great, great sounds. Often, I’ll layer other one-shot samples I’ve collected on top of them (did that for s=Flood (@ryan) this week) for additional color.

One note on structure: I think the a cappella section should be cut in half. Maybe even a quarter of the length. Halts the song too much as it currently is. The re-entrance of the band works great, though.

Another thing I think about a lot when going for a human feel (or live feel) when recording track by track is trying to get everything to sound like it’s being performed in the same room. Using the same room reverb on different instruments, panning placement (rarely hard-panning, usually just percentages here and there to insinuate position in a room), playing with the blend of close mics and room mics on drums and vocals, etc. I think this is especially helpful with earthy/live-focused genres (like country!). Picture the band equivalent of several people singing around the same mic. So this could go a long way for you.

Really do love this song, Dec. Great work.

March 14, 2023 11:59am

I’ll be all the way naked in just a sec

TengoMarch 13, 2023 9:45pm

Damn dude, the production sounds so sick on this one! I love all the sounds you’ve chose on this one, and I continue to be so impressed by your ability to just churn out these super cohesive, well produced, well mixed tracks on the reg.

All the keys/synths/strings sound great, and I love to see you featuring keys parts on some songs and letting the guitar take a backseat. The drum sounds are sick! Truly some of the most interesting drum sounds I’ve heard in a while.

The vocal processing on your lead and the bgv all work for me.

tl;dr it’s perfect

TengoMarch 13, 2023 9:42pm

What’s more beautiful, the song or the mustache?

Answer, the song. Though the mustache is a close second.

Truly, this melody is so gorgeous Nick. I think you dialed in the reverb so nicely and the sparse arrangement still sounds so lush. The descending melody toward the end is so perfect, especially on the word “invitayyyytion.”

daeclanMarch 13, 2023 9:41pm

could 200% see trey anatasio flipping his lid and losing his cool to a pink dolphin fantasy. i love the vision, you captured the energy of a summer show and the lyrics are in line w this phish or dead songs i know (in a good way). mix was present and full, nothing stood out as lacking or out of place. maybe a little de•esser on the main vocal for some of the verses, but that could be an audio quality compression. agree w ryan re: 2’s & 4’s we need to have a little talk w this audience.. but solid work and fun interpretation / execution of this idea 🙂

TengoMarch 13, 2023 9:33pm

Man I’m so late to the party but gd this is wonderful! You and your dad sound great together! Can’t wait to hear this live someday #thecricketsarebettterthanthebeatles

BenMarch 13, 2023 9:38am

Memories of hearing him out the window having one of those wayyy overly-polite but definitely very heated exchanges with our landlord asking him to pay for his new fence that was falling down. He kept saying “I’m a good neighbor! No, you don’t really know me that well yet. I’M A GOOD GUY. I’M A GOOD NEIGHBOR! I just think it might be the right thing if we split it. I’m really a good neighbor!”

*Narrator: “He wasn’t.”

This is somehow one of my favorite things you’ve written. Whenever you’re ready for me to give it the random-insane-background-singer-in-frank-zappa’s-1980s-era-band treatment with some high energy background rock and roll screaming vox, you know where to find me.

BenMarch 13, 2023 9:50am

one of those situations where hey we’re moving anyways in a few months. it’s probably better to just get out of the way let godzilla and king kong fight it out

BenMarch 13, 2023 3:49pm

i was picturing vocals like the crazy guy in this vid (bobby martin)

Sam PearceMarch 13, 2023 1:27pm

Love the addition of the second guitar track at “I’m sad again”. And the electric guitar at “somebody”. Thought I noticed additional tracks in my car but now I can hear it clearly in headphones. If you’re trying to cut it down, I still like the idea of ending on the words “But they still have the nerve to ask for their polaroids”, but maybe sing it four times instead of two. I think that line is strong enough to support more repetitions; or put more simply I wanted to hear it a couple more times. That bass break is nice has a similar effect to an a cappella break. This rocks! Might be my favorite of yours I’ve heard so far.

ryanMarch 13, 2023 1:12pm

And we mean FEATURE it.

ryanMarch 13, 2023 1:07pm

I don’t remember the last time I had such shit-eating grin on my face listening to a recording for the first time. The screaming organ in the big sections aaaahahaha. The honkin’ piano. The dualing guitar solos. And of course the crowd noise—”instant Phish”. Goofy and playful as this is, you still ended up writing a banger of a chorus. It’s so good. Honestly a hell of a verse, too! Your dad’s live Rolling Stones DVD’s finally paying dividends. You’re a melody wizard, Harry.

Okay, mix stuff. Works for me. It’s bright and hot, but I dig it—that’s par for jam town, sugar. I’d bump the verse vocals up a fair bit and throw a slapback delay on there. Great bass entrance after the breakdown—that tone is killer. Guitar solo tones can easily be annoying but these are not. Good job with that. Bashful verse vocal is the only real mix miss, for me.

But also: HOW did the audience not starting clapping on the 2 and the 4 during the a cappella breakdown section?! Not a mix note, just a little disappointed in the crowd for not participating in a more specific way.

BenMarch 13, 2023 12:34pm

WOW i didnt know you had this in you. This is amazing.

The drums. Theyre tricky. And I don’t know the answer. The actual samples are pretty good and your arrangement is great, just maybe could use a few adjustments for humanization.

But, a few thoughts about cleaning and arranging and humanizing.

Thought 1: maybe dont repeat the same fills so often. Change them up. Have some fun and remove or mute a few notes in your list or piano roll, move them around, use various different tomtom samples for fills

Thought 2: adjust the volumes, sustains, and positioning (ever so slightly) on your drum notes.

Thought 3: experiment with panning each drum/cymbal slightly.

Thought 4: dirty them up a little. some minor minor distortion or weird EQing can sometimes make it sound more real.

Thought 5: and this might be the most important, and the toughest: the swing. Around 0:29-0:38 you can hear a little disconnect between the swing of the ride/snare and the swing of the guitar. theres a little bit of not lining up. they both seem swung but at different intensities and style i think?

Thought 6: do the other instruments sit in the pocket? they sit pretty well at most parts, but sometimes various instruments sit ahead or behind the drums. Nick commented that about mine last week. It’s always important (and fun) to close listen to your song and scan for times that things aren’t sitting right. Even if they’re technically perfectly aligned, sometimes the difference between human sounding and robot sounding playing is a tenth of a second of nudging. @@ryan has consistently been creating extremely human sounding drums that really feel like humans are playing them, or at least don’t stick out from the mix. I think he’d have good advice on writing drums, simplifying them, mixing them, and making them sound warm and good.@@nick can also weigh in on Thought 5 and 6 because he is good with this type of thing. @@bop_guncan also speak to pockets and to swung vs straight (and to swung vs what i call “robotic swung”).

This is awesome and i totally was not expecting to listen to this song. Sounds like something from Twelve Golden Country Greats. Your voice is perfect for this and your playing and songwriting was pretty delightful. Hope this isn’t the last we hear of your country tones.

agasthyaMarch 13, 2023 10:42am

obsessed with this. youve got a great sense for bass lines. I’m reading White Noise by Don Delillo (before I watch the Adam Driver movie on Netflix) AND watching last of us, so lyrical content is hitting. piano section is great. love how frantic it gets – especially in contrast with the first few seconds of the track. you captured the energy of speeding away from the apocalypse (but maybe in a universe where the apocalypse is a dark comedy).

first listen was on my macbook speakers as well so it came through well. I’ll bump it in the car later when Miles and I go on a coffee run and see if anything jumps out.

BenMarch 13, 2023 10:46am

thank you thank you! yeah, i think there will be moments in the apocalypse that will definitely be darkly funny, at least sometimes.

TylerKMarch 13, 2023 10:34am

Love the outside kick mic sound on the drums. Been getting super into this sound lately after shying away from it for years. What was I thinking! You also knew I’d like that pulsing synth cmon. Great hi hat sound too. You don’t miss!

Was expecting this to be a breeze for you bc of your background in being well read, but refreshing to know that you felt a similar disconnect that I do between poetry and song lyrics. I feel like I can usually tell when lyrics were written first for a song (Disintegration by The Cure) and I resist that. I don’t know why. It’s not the way I do things, so it’s gotta be wrong. “It doesn’t work that way with songs” hits hard. I had a difficult time but when I ended up embracing “I am fine with this not turning out perfect” is when it turned around for me.

Maybe poems gotta make their own music and whatever we try to musically impose over it will always feel at odds with each other. Write that down.

agasthyaMarch 13, 2023 9:59am

I think the arrangement is great as is – it’s short enough that it doesn’t need anything else. sounds like the melancholy reprise of a big musical number at the end of act 1 of a broadway play. really like “…son in a crash/…driving past”.

BenMarch 13, 2023 9:18am

I’m sure I’ll be saying this type of thing a lot as I leave comments on these submissions, but your worksmanship on the lyrics really struck me: I love that I can definitely hear the active “fitting” of your lyrics into your music, but it also sounds right that way. Works really well. The borrowed line and the line directly before it are perfect examples: The flow is obviously unusual, the syllables are delivered in weird polyrhythms and syncopations with the drums (you’ll also really hear that in the chorus of Nora’s song.

All the unusual non-traditional-songy ways of building your song not only sound great, but they even kind of sound like a style that I’ve been hearing emerging over the past several years. I can’t quite put my finger on what artists and songs are good examples, but your song struck me as not really sounding jarring or surprising.

A couple stray examples of lyric-squeezing that I’ve come to love after the ~3rd listen: The “If you wanna talk about it” tacked to the end of a line in Cadmium. Also, the delivery of “I think his lung’s fucked up” in “Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?” by Ween gets me every time. It so doesn’t fit but I’m so glad they forced it in.

I also like that you’ve got 2 types of retrofitting of the lyrics:

1. Write fewer syllables into a bar than there are beats – stretching and spacing them out, maybe polyrhythmically.

2. More words into a bar (“…7 words and 4 beats walk into a bar. bartender says hello, this is crazy, but welcome to ryan’s song”) than there are beats – squeezing them, grouping them together, borrowing beat credit from the previous or next bar’s beat bank and paying it back with interest.

“Letting the bigger hand-hold take hold” puts you over your beat credit limit but the space in the two lines that sandwich it give it plenty of room to fit.

The third time of rhthmically retrofitting i think is just continuing the phrase in the next bar (and the next line of paper), as I’ve done several times in mine.

Also in general, less related to the rules of this assignment, I just really really like it when songs stay at pretty much one solid energy all the way thru. No need for an epic build here. We’re just dropping into this vibe that you created, that might have started hours before I hit play, and might continue sort of just chugging and vibing for hours more. That was a huge reason why Jose Gonzalez/Junip hit me so hard the first time i listened to them.

trumpeteer123September 15, 2020 4:57am

which daw did you use to do this in? did you notate it or just tweak it til you were good w it? i am always interested to know peoples processes. the pizz strings are a nice touch and good counterpoint!!

nickMarch 10, 2023 12:45pm

Logic! i had been fooling around with this line for years on guitar and piano, and this felt like a good application for it. pretty much played the whole thing with “musical typing”/entering in midi notes. Don’t know how to notate! also hello 3 years later.

trumpeteer123March 11, 2023 1:48pm

oh hello 3 years later what a surprise! surprised also (in a good way) that you even remember the process at all after this wild time passing!

nickMarch 13, 2023 8:42am

Like it was yesterday

agasthyaMarch 12, 2023 9:32pm

oops. i forgot to take out the keys in the last verse (stanza?) so no acapella moment 😳.

also lead vocal at 1:06 is way too loud

juliapikerFebruary 28, 2023 7:52pm

oooo :58 i really like this pre-chorus. This is really cool! also 1:51 vocal the word “alone” gives me Billy Corgan vibes. I really like your songwriting a lot it’s super vibrant and moves in fun and interesting directions. Love the percissive breakdown at the end as well. I’m definitely not feeling like i miss any keys, i really don’t think your track needs em! I agree with back half of Sam’s comment! xo!

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:16pm

vibrant is the right word

BenMarch 8, 2023 1:44pm

Thanks for the Billy Corgan comment. No joke, I was trying to channel T.S.P. for a lot of the vibes in this. The fizzy little electro beat that sits above the regular drums is 100% inspired by “1979.”

BenMarch 12, 2023 9:25pm

Also found myself thinking about the song “Assessment” by The Beta Band while i was making the outro jam.

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:21pm

towing the line of familiar/accessible and unique/surprising is something you always deliver on. not only is the pre-chorus, as julia referred to, a sick composition, but damn that low bass note is stinky. very evving cool. and yeah baby screeeam. go where you have to go to free yourself of imaginary neighbors and the ghost of andre. love hearing those decibels out of you. vocal mix never bothers me. some guitars get a little pokey but that’s for the *professionals* to figure out. iiiii will say, especially with the “perfect” electronic drum rhythms, would appreciate nudging the guitar jun-jun-juns back behind the drums. yes plz yum and thank you. well done.

BenMarch 12, 2023 9:23pm

classic advice.

the kids on a hill ep guitar+drums berkshires macbook treatment

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 10:33pm

Love it Beni. I hear all the references others have called out, and I will add that the ending reminds me of “Voodoo Lady,” but much more chill. I am also hearing The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth.

We’ve talked about this: I often prefer a shorter song, and if this were on an album, I might split it into two tracks, with the end and beginning of each stopping abruptly (think Yoshimi or Dark Side of the Moon). Or it could be one track with one of those pretentious “[XYZ]/[XYZ]” titles. For me, superficial stuff like that sometimes makes things more accessible.


BenMarch 12, 2023 9:21pm


nickMarch 6, 2023 10:10am

Already hit that point where I would have adjusted the lyrics/arrangement because I’m not sure how to support them musically… but it’s nice to know reworking the music is the only option. As @@nurphgun would say #parameterswillsetyoufree. How’s it going @@agasthya?

agasthyaMarch 6, 2023 10:55am

same! I’ve got a bunch of words that *look* nice, now I’m trying to edit by feeling the rhythm of the words themselves to set myself up for the music part. definitely hard to ignore any little melodies that come to mind. I suspect that I’m going to make some lyrical/syllable adjustments once I start writing music.

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:18am

right, finding the natural rhythm of the words is the way to go… definitely have to avoid loyalty to those knee-jerk melodies. I’m doing my absolute best to keep my sheet untouched, but it is a struggle.

ryanMarch 6, 2023 11:35am

This assignment has been fascinating. My lifelong obsession with the difference between writing lyrics and poetry has been fully rekindled. I’m leaving my sheet untouched just for the sake of sticking to the parameter—it’s certainly revealed some oddball rhythms.

agasthyaMarch 8, 2023 11:13am

ok in music writing mode now and OOF dis is hard to do. love it!

BenMarch 12, 2023 7:07pm

lyrics are so hard. poetry is hard.

i definitely have a bunch of lines that

are sung like this.

i finish singing some of the phrases in the

next “line” of the lyr-


nickMarch 9, 2023 10:12am

look, gonna make a slightly more critical comment, largely because of the potential i see in this song. i think you create an incredibly intriguing space and attitude with the intro, beat drop, first verse, but i think the current chorus takes it in too cheery/poppy/cute of a direction. i would love to hear a rework where that section is omitted and the “shoes off/woohaaa” section repeats as the chorus (because it’s tiiight,) and just keep this song swampy shadowy cool. one man’s opinion, curious what others think @@peter @@daeclan @@nurphgun @@Ben @@juliapiker @@ryan

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 3:07pm

oooo yess this is what NCBC is for. i wanna hear what other people think about this too. thanks nick!!

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:59pm

you know what? I actually don’t disagree. You do kind of lose me a little at the chorus melody but I’m so fucking hooked by the rest of it it’s an easy fix if you decide to.

If we are calling :47 your pre chorus. Kill the break/pause that adds that extra beat at :56 and go directly into “I DON’T REALLY KNOW NOBODYYY, I DONT REALLY KNOW NOBODYYY”. But with more idk… thickness than the way you’re doing it at 1:18

i wish we could leave voice memos @@ryan @@nick

ryanMarch 12, 2023 5:28pm

Yeah y’know, I agree it gets too sunny. But I wouldn’t axe it quite yet. When the “doot-doot-doot-doot” rejoins in the back half, the mood makes more sense. What if you added more of that and let it hit right away? I think drop the high-octave on the vocal, too. Let the “am I a creepy outsider in this new town” energy into the chorus—it can still be hooky!

March 11, 2023 9:10pm

Thick and full of cum. Who needs a morning fuck?

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:50pm

Vibe vibe vibe vibe groove groove groove i’ve listened to this one a bunch of times I want to rob a bank to this. A slow group walk into a bank and we cock the gun :27 directly at some lady screaming for her life. Move the revolver at the man behind the counter at :33 hes slow motion looking for the keys to the safe (whats behind the counter at a bank?idk)- he runs to the back room where i’m assuming theres a fuckload of tightly packed cash. At around 1:16 I WISH I HEARD THIS TRACK UNWRAVEL. I want it to grow and listen maybe thats just me, and maybe I want to much and give too little but I just hear a weird bridge that crawls out of its shell and maybe a tenor sax bends into a weird crash heavy rhythm section and we go crazy gunsablazing. Everyone is screaming and runs out of the bank for their lives and i’m slow motion staring at this pile of cash as me and my friends pour the cash into bags. Idk i really can’t grow this story any more without hearing this section in my head in real life.

does that make sense?

(btw i fucking looooooooove it)

nickMarch 10, 2023 10:37am

took the words out of my mouth. but yeah, totally want something new to happen at 1:16… dirty sax bend may be just right.

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:29pm

Lizzie this is gorgeous! It’s really beautiful and does sound like it comes from the British Isles, so you absolutely nailed that part of the assignment. Your voice is so emotive and sits so beautifully on top of the drone. I really loved listening to it. It gives me a similar very compelling bittersweet feeling I get from Auld Lang Syne. Keep doing what you are doing. If this is your first song, I can’t wait to hear what you do next!

lizzieMarch 9, 2023 9:41pm

mateus! thank you! such a testament to how when we settle our mind on an intention, so many fragmented aspects of the outcome seem so unintentional. i wasn’t consciously choosing the sound of great britain, but of course there it is. i’m so glad it came through and that you enjoyed it. love the note about auld lang syne – such a huge compliment! xoxo

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 9:21pm

Your voice is amazing, and this who thing feels like a welcome sunrise. “good morning/good morning life unlived” 🌅 yes

lizzieMarch 9, 2023 9:35pm

thank you so much (‘:

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:24am

hey you’ve got a real knack for this! love how you wrote about the experience singing over the drone. this performance feels very natural. your pacing is extremely compelling. the singing feels very reactive and unencumbered—grown rather than made. well done.

lizzieMarch 9, 2023 9:35pm

i’m just so thrilled to be here! this has been so heartwarming. really appreciate the perception of “grown rather than made”. thank you for the pointed feedback – learning more and more each day, xo

BenFebruary 28, 2023 9:45am

We’ve had this one on around the house for a couple days now.

I think I knew what braai on a skottel was before i even googled it.

So, trashy, yes; hurt, no.

Man, I have fun listening to your grimier stuff. Lots of dirt. A city of dirt. For one of the more tonally clean songsters in the game IMO, it’s always such a treat when you put something out that’s trashy, gritty, glitchy, creepy, twisted. It’s almost refreshing. The more your drums sound like they were recorded on a macbook mic, the more i will probably like the song.

I will say though, the reason why I like this type of your stuff is because it’s tight and it has a vision and the song and story are compelling. The lo-fi is an instrument. Sometimes I get lost with lo-fi production, but this essentially plays as a pop song to me. Just about spiders and meat.

Curious what you did with the vocals, and also how you recorded the drums. Sounds kind of like brushes and a zoom mic?

Good work. I “Dig” it. This type of song is “Strange no more” to me. Sure you might be carrying some “Baggage” about the harsh drums, but it doesn’t “Matter.” “No yeah,” it doesn’t.

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:27am

well this is just an honor. thank u dear friend.

background vocals through the Logic pedalboard’s spinbox. dont remember what i did for the lead, but there is a double in there. drums were recorded with the macbook microphone out in the barn at 0 degrees with yes, those thick nylon brushes. maybe one take with sticks too.

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:33am

😮 stealing the spinbox on vocals idea!

nickMarch 9, 2023 9:54am

i stole it from Yes

BenMarch 9, 2023 10:09am

love the spinbox effect. use on voice way too often. very yes, very beatles.

grateful dead might go a little overboard with the leslie roto on vocals, guitar, organ on tracks on aoxomoxoa

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:43pm

i do NOT need another excuse to listen to Yes

nurphgunMarch 1, 2023 2:21pm

This is really catchy and tasteful. I like the little “aiii”s. Love the Afrikaans; it’s fun when lyrics sound like English enough that, as a listener, you assume you just aren’t quite understanding the singer.

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:30am

thanks nora! those “aiiis” are actually “braiiis”. just yelping about grilling.

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:43pm

grilling on the barbie

atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:21pm

Captivated by your spell

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:42pm


Sam PearceMarch 1, 2023 6:08pm

Hey Julia! I’ve listened several times now…the music sounds expansive. I hadn’t seen the location till now, and I think it evokes Joshua Tree convincingly (from what I’ve seen in pictures). I really like the way the parts interact: the relentless almost brutal nature of that low part that comes in at -1.34 underneath the feeling of freedom in the vocals and high strings (I don’t know whether its violin or viola or both). And that dark-toned ostinato in 6 binds them together somehow. I also like how I can’t really tell whether the very first vocals are verbal or not, like I might be listening to a language I don’t recognize. In my opinion, this has the depth to become a much longer piece, if you were interested in expanding it.

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:42pm

Thanks Sam!!

TylerKMarch 2, 2023 3:58pm

Love the flutters that come in at 1:58, panned perfectly where your attention is brought left but the vibe/verb is felt on the right, feels like how a pro boxer might pan this sound. EAR CANDY. The wind is another layer. I saw that the guy from Disclosure sometimes puts street noise under a lot of his tracks to transport the listener into a chosen location. The wind audio brought me to where this song was for sure. I think the dissonance adds good tension to the eventual dive. Your voice is huge. Great lyrics, performance and mix on this.

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:42pm

Thanks Tyler !!

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 9:37pm

So stunning Julia. The background vocal line that comes in at 0:55 is the moment I really perked up listening to this, and the bass coming in at 1:45 – so delicious. This could have been gorgeous purely as a swirly, layered vocal situation, but the percussive elements keep it from being too indulgent in that way. And as always your production is like a drink of water in the desert (no offense to the other chefs lmao).

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:41pm

nora!! so so kind. I had a lot of fun at this one, i may try and lengthen !

gosh thanks for the note about the production, I learn every day!

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:44am

Thank you for giving me a description of a viola besides “a little bit bigger.” We’ve been on a Caroline Polachek kick over here, and well you’re giving her a run for her money. Did you… play the viola? or is that ian.

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:40pm

i played the viola and Ian made steaks on the barbie

TengoMarch 9, 2023 12:01am

Julia, you are just world class. This is, in a word, exquisite. I love the way you’ve managed to unite the vocal processing with your vocal itself so they are in total harmony and achieve a perfect mix. It’s such a testament to how freakin’ good you are at all the things 🙂

Can I ask what reverb/delay you are using that make those beautiful vocal moments where the melody peaks?

juliapikerMarch 9, 2023 6:39pm

hi!!! I’m using Valhalla vintage! I use it on everything.

Also this is a VERY VERY kind message <3 thank you so much for the sweet words.

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:27pm

1:12 hellllloooo. delightful. agree with @@ryanabout maybe some perc being cool. in regards to the arrangement, yeah maybe a few things here and there, but i think the guitar arrangement is excellent as is. not sure if those pops and clicks are in the actual wav files, but if possible, hop back and throw in some cross dissolves. that would be nice. otherwise, sick song. love the whole outro, did not see it coming, and was pleasantly surprised.

not sure if anyone mentioned, but you should put your lyrics in the song description if you’re up for it.

EliasSZMarch 9, 2023 10:22am

Appreciate it Nick! Wanted to go through and try to catch more of the things but in a late night accident I accidentally flattened and merged everything at a point I didn’t realize so decided to let it be lol… I’m not always great at the DAW work lol. Oh! And yeah, I’ll start adding lyrics. Good thought, thanks!

lizzieFebruary 27, 2023 5:19pm

this is so great. amazing that each part and the mix sounds so good in just a day’s work. it sounds fantastic from my laptop speakers, more mud to you!

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:41am

thanks lizzie!

ZFebruary 27, 2023 5:45pm

Bust a few rhymes like “woo-ha” -Knack for coming in strong!

The octave-upped vox on the chorus really helps that standout.

Way to write something in a day after scrapping something that wasn’t working.

I think it’s cool that we’ve had all these quasi-love-lettters to various, specific locations, this is such a unique take on the prompt, I really like that.

I love the franticness of it. Sometimes it borders on claustrophobic or maybe too dense for me to feel inside the song, I wonder what it’d be like to cut the shaker here, the organ there, I think a little more space could let the song breathe better.

love the post chorus “I don’t really know nobody”

Mix doesn’t sound muddy to me.

Overall it is a real muscular beast, love it!

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:41am

thanks! Yeah I kept going back and forth between wanting a sort of wall of sound and wanting to give the listener a chance to breathe, cutting shakers is always a nice subtle way to make space.

atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:44pm

Riding to this with the windows down all the way, don’t care if it’s winter

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:39am


nurphgunMarch 8, 2023 12:42pm

No notes, just so good. How do you do it?! The little baby voice, the low voice, the doot doots.

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:39am

thanks nora!!

nickMarch 8, 2023 1:20pm

oh damn kick bass right off the bat is tight. woah this song is brash. is that live bass? and lol, same, always mixing with headphones. i would ditch the breaths before “i got a knack” and others, i dont wanna know you’re human.

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:38am

it’s actually live guitar pitched an octave down since I was too lazy to go get the bass and plug it in haha. good idea with the breaths, i think it will add to the overall brashness

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:11pm

WOW. This absolutely slaps. You’ve got such a great songwriting instinct and the way you vary vocal delivery and vocal processing is so dynamic. Super cool stuff!

I dug the mix! The only small notes I have is that on my end, some of the kick and/or the open high hats sounded a little too distorted, and I think the “ooohs” could be even more wet with delay and verb.

Just a truly sweet track. Well done!

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:35am


agasthyaFebruary 26, 2023 10:05pm

getting some experimental Beatles vibes. this is super fun and the drums are just the right amount of trashy.

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:16am


BenMarch 9, 2023 9:20am

wow good point Agasthya, it does kind of have those strawberry fields (or i am the walrus, flying, bluejay way) overdriven drum fills.

fun fact, Ringo actually recorded the drums to magical mystery tour using only his macbook builtin mic in a leaky barn in liverpool.

agasthyaMarch 9, 2023 9:34am

you know I think I’ve heard that before, if you listen closely you can hear the hum of the laptop fan

EliasSZFebruary 27, 2023 2:26pm

Love the vocal processing on this. Drums def not too trashy at all – total vibe. Loving the tambourine sound. Also getting experimental Beatles out of this. The speed of the “bet she wish she was” is a super nice contrast.

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:20am

i can’t stop throwing background vocals through a spin box

BenMarch 9, 2023 9:12am

yeah i love the two different rhythms of the Bet She Wish She Was’s.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 3:55pm

hey man what is your spider?

nickMarch 8, 2023 5:34pm

thank god you asked. this song is about my spider plant, which has origins in South Africa.

BenMarch 9, 2023 9:10am


atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:24pm

This makes me feel like I’m being followed by someone/something I didn’t know I wanted to be followed by (but turns out I do) weird and vibey yes!

nurphgunMarch 1, 2023 2:13pm

great way to put it lol

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:23am

sounds like freshman year

lizzieFebruary 27, 2023 4:39pm

drums are the perfect amount of trashy. and sexy. hot little garbage spidey.

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:22am


ZFebruary 27, 2023 4:00pm

Fever dream! Drums and entire thing sounds great, wouldn’t change a thing.

Man, love it when a song is so cryptic, but so familiar – it moves this piece from being just “spooky” to straight up uncanny.

Smoking these meats in South Africa(?) with my arachnid lover

Take me back!

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:21am

thank u brother. probably somewhere in the description should have mentioned that this is about a spider plant, but really didn’t want to screw with people’s first impressions

alechutsonFebruary 27, 2023 12:48pm

Classic nick pope sounds 👌 your drumming is super tasteful and creative as per usual – I definitely don’t mind the trashiness

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:19am

thanks mr h

Sam PearceFebruary 26, 2023 9:49pm

Nah the drums are great. I like how spooky this is. Reminded me of the spookiness from the “What Good Luck” days.

nurphgunFebruary 28, 2023 10:01am

“What Good Luck” stans to the front!

nickMarch 9, 2023 8:16am

my people

March 9, 2023 6:47am

Would you fuck me right when I got home from work?

atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:33pm

I feel like this is playing as a crew of humans are being launched into space on a mission. They’re trying to be chill, stakes are high, everything ends up being ok.

nickMarch 8, 2023 11:43am

for now

TengoMarch 9, 2023 12:07am

i do love any movies about space, so you honor me with this association. let’s hope our crew makes it back home safe in this movie

TengoMarch 9, 2023 12:06am

This is super cool! Really appreciate the spacious moments when it’s just your voice and the drums.

Ableton is the best. As someone who was once a beginner and has now finally figured out why it’s the best, all I gotta say is stick with it!

Well done!

juliapikerFebruary 27, 2023 8:27pm

I like that shoegazeyness in the drone tone. Only wish it were even longer! I feel like all your synth sounds are sitting pretty equally across the board! love u mattyice

TengoMarch 9, 2023 12:03am

love you back! thanks for the kind words

EliasSZFebruary 27, 2023 7:49pm

Cinematic as can be. Would love to hear this explode into a full on movie theme right where this ends. Feels like it could be the intro of something big. 

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:55pm

thanks, Elias!

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:53pm

Elias, we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, but I’m so grateful that my ears have had the pleasure of meeting your guitar playing. Truly stunning stuff with so much to appreciate!

A few quick thoughts regarding arrangement: I really love the group vocals that come in toward the end. They introduce a real magic that I think could perhaps appear somewhere earlier in the track. I also think that your lead vocal could be processed in a slightly different way that makes it feel more intimate, if that makes sense? I am a huge fan of room tone and processed lead vox, but maybe there’s some different processing to help us connect with your voice as much as we do with your guitar.

Beautifully done!

ZFebruary 27, 2023 4:48pm

I appreciate the context of the Korg ground rules – I wish decades of other artists had had the same discipline.

Its nice to have a pulse without the global quantizing of a metronome, it’s something that feels much better.

Patago-go-gadget fuck yeah.

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:45pm

thanks Z! here’s to keys and synth players exercising restraint

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:40pm

Duuuuuuuuuude. DuuuuuUUUUUUuuuuude. I mean, come on.

So much to love about this.

First off, you swept me off my feet with that drop! Ugh, the drums just sound great. They’re fat and they’ve got that 90s production edge on them that just grooves hard and fills out a big room, which this track deserves.

The chorus is catchy and the guitar parts on it are a perfect pairing with the melody.

Finally, your vocals throughout are wonderful. in particular, I liked the direction you took it in the first stanza of Verse 2. There’s this purity and clarity in your tone in those lines that I just love and want to hear more of.

lizzieFebruary 27, 2023 4:47pm

it’s the musical expression of how such intense heat can distort the image of the sky and make it look like it’s wavering. i love how you wanted to challenge yourself. such a great job.

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:31pm

Ah I love that image! thank you

froebusinessFebruary 27, 2023 1:24pm

Really love the tones you got here.

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:21pm

thank you!

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:20pm

Nigel, excellent work as usual! This reminds me of how fun it can be to listen to punk rock stripped down to an acoustic guitar and a good vocal. Plus, I’ll take those breakdown harmonies and the extra juicy “wondahhh, hungahhh, thundaaah” anytime anywhere. Super fun track, well done!

agasthyaFebruary 26, 2023 10:15pm

very cinematic! riding a motorcycle through the desert into the sunrise

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:14pm

appreciate that!

daeclanFebruary 26, 2023 8:25pm

cinematic vibes. blade runner but like set in argentina. wish i could help w synth stuff but its pretty engaging as is great work : )

ryanFebruary 26, 2023 9:41pm

Blade Runner set in Argentina is dead-ass accurate.

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:05pm

Thank you! looove the Blade Runner soundtrack so I’m glad you made that connection

TengoMarch 8, 2023 11:03pm

oh heck yeah! give me that drum groove all day. i’m diggin it

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:06pm

my guy, this chorus is absolute butter. no second thoughts from me, just second listens ayye. but seriously, this is like top three all time ryan choruses for a sucker like me. dont care dont know about kick samples. banjitar is a big win between these ears of mine. musical composition is prime. for the line “that i knew once before”, i would skip the little tudey bend into “once.” just keep that chit straight as your whiskey. i do not dislike the talkyness, but for some reason im giving the verse vocals like an 86. certainly like the lyrics. would be interested to hear a singier version where the only “talked” line was “was told i couldnt sing”. wait is that stupid maybe i dont know who the hell am i. incredible submissh.

oh and for that stiff-kneed Mr. Barfchin, he can choke on his own tongue

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:33pm

Wow, top 3 chorus in your book, huh? You might say this is a huge day for me.

Yeah the verse vocals are Grade B, you’re right! I think the whole song would ideally be bumped up a half-step or two so that the verse vocals are in my sweet spot, and then the delivery would be better. Was a tricky one both range and rhythm-wise.

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 10:18pm

Love this so much Ryan. Cool to hear you singing in a different style, the lyrics & melody are held back, controlled, intentional, well chosen. It moves along nicely, has great motion. I feel like you usually achieve that effect with soaring guitars and soaring vocals, but you managed to achieve it here with very different instrumentation & vocal delivery, bravo.

“Was told to stick to my day job/six years before I had one” is a graduating-into-a-recession-in-2012 vibe.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:31pm

I was told to stick to my day job when I was 18 and heading INTO college by a DIFFERENT friend’s dad (shout out suburban Massachusetts and its ability to produce kind-hearted fathers). Couldn’t believe it. One of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.

Glad you dig the song. I always appreciate your observations.

atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:36pm

This is splendid listening! Perfectly complete if you ask me.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:30pm

Thank you!

juliapikerFebruary 27, 2023 8:32pm

This is a great song. Super super easy to listen to and I don’t even know if i’d call this a talky vocal but it is a range I don’t normally feel like I hear you sing in?? I like it and it also gives room for you to maybe sing an octave up in a little head voice and double it. I hear another bridge as well. Obviously instrumentation is phenom. The mix is a little dirty but not too thick. Pretty mid thick. I often feel that my ears are itching for brightness and ear blowing low end- this feels relaxing to listen to. Very nice work.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:30pm

Oo! Can you say more about what you hear for another bridge? I swear the chords made more sense before I added that uneccessary slide solo lol.

EliasSZFebruary 27, 2023 7:52pm

Your talky voice is great. So are your other voices, but this works very well for this tune. “This is where I leave you in the only way I can” is such an excellent line. I feel like the chorus lyrics are almost right but could be tweaked slightly to reach total perfection – they’re definitely good as they are but I wonder how some small changes to them, maybe even just a change for the second time you hit the chorus could help really land the song.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:29pm

Funny you should say that — originally I had two completely different sets of lyrics for chorus 1 and chorus 2, partly to aid the fact that verse 1 and verse 2 take place in 2 different locations. But the song ended up feeling so dang SONGY that I was like, y’know, let’s let the chorus be a chorus. I agree with you that the lyrics still need just a few small changes, though.

lizzieFebruary 27, 2023 4:53pm

you sound so great in a talksing!. it feels like the cresting of an emotion that’s been knocking at your door for a while. you’re familiar with it so it’s more like opening the door for it rather than it flooding the gates. “it’s not because i love you, it’s not because i don’t” is lyrical perfection. love the twang. this is gorgeous.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:28pm

Thanks, Lizzo! That line was one I was happiest with myself!

TengoFebruary 27, 2023 2:42pm

Oh my sweet sweet Ry. What a sweet sweet tune! Sounds like a deep cut off “Wildflowers” and you know it don’t get no better than that for me. So excellent dude. TP and MC would be proud.

Talky vocal works super well. Do it more!

Kick don’t bother me a bit. Ask Robin.

Slide and banjitar are woven in so well.

It all feels good!

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:27pm

All-time compliment. Tattooing this on my frontal lobe.

froebusinessFebruary 27, 2023 1:39pm

Really sultry stuff here, Kershaw. I like the tone and panning on the guitar a lot (or is that two tracks?). That intro harmonic is so simple but so effective. All those ornamental choices add a nice, subtle complexity to the track. “This is where I leave you” is such a strong opening chorus line lyrically too, really opens up the emotion while the tune opens up with it. Mr. Bartlet can kick rocks! Great story.

BenFebruary 27, 2023 3:22pm

agree about the “This is where i leave you”

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:27pm

Heck yeah, thanks Joe. Was worried about that line but you’ve helped me come around on it.

BenFebruary 27, 2023 10:09am

Sounds like a good guy.

This is great for a lot of reasons. First of all, the mix is good. Sounds finished to me. Sounds full and listenable and I think I can hear some of the good mixing decision-making.

Loving the underlying irony of managing to prove the guy who said you shouldn’t sing wrong by… not singing.

(But then you actually did sneak some nice singing in in the harmonies.)

Also sidenote: some of the best singers are notorious singtalkers (talksingers?), from Dylan to Kurt Vile to Leonard Cohen to Zappa to Billie Eilish etc etc.

I always like your drum samples and programming. Every time I hear one of your NCBC songs i’m always like fuuuck did ryan suddenly become a really really solid drummer (maybe you are; i don’t know if i’ve ever seen you drum) or did he maybe have nick come over and track these or something? and does he have his own home studio with a kit and really nice mics?

They sound just hazy enough to be real. I almost never try to program “real” sounding drums because they always live in the uncanny valley, so i either opt for just playing real drums or programming clearly digital beats. But this works well. this song calls for real drums, and your samples do the job well. not really hearing kick flab.

the music video for this is just you walking slowly through the city with a guitar talksinging.

i can go on and on here because i think this is one of your best, but instead of rambling, i’ll just leave you with a similar Well Look At Me Now story. In third grade chorus class a classmate (she’s a cop now in our hometown) told me that i just talk through all the lyrics and that she hates standing next to me because i make it hard for her to sing. i assume i probably told her that i sing the song at whatever rhythm, harmony, timbre, and style i damn well please because i’m a misunderstood musical genius. But the truth is that decades later i’m still hyperaware that i can fall into pitchless talk singing.

Looking forward to hearing all your tunes this session. Great great start, man.

nickMarch 8, 2023 11:50am

hazy is the right word

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:27pm

Love that the drum samples are working for you! I think I’m getting a little bit better at layering percussion and treating each sound a little differently so that they’re more believable.

ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:24pm

Variations on Mr. Barclift’s name that have shown up in the comments: Mr. Cliffbar, Mr. Bartlet, Mr. Barfchin, Brett’s dad

TylerKFebruary 27, 2023 12:16am

Your speaky voice is great, I’ve never heard this style from you. Emotion has nowhere to hide. For a two day mix this is great, get outta town. In context of the assignment, it’s earthy and fits the song. A flashy mix don’t always mesh with slide guitar (spittoon sound effect). Good work on this song, you simply don’t miss. I knew Brett’s dad was going to be involved in all of this but just didn’t know how.

nickMarch 8, 2023 11:46am


ryanMarch 8, 2023 2:21pm

Earthy mixing just might be my thing.

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:13pm

what an incredible batch of submissions. well done fine people.

BenMarch 8, 2023 1:47pm


nickMarch 8, 2023 1:15pm

was definitely hooked right off the bat, probably due to the lofi. it’s like, oh, im going to get a unrefined look into this moment, which is nice. the unnaturalness of the phrasing paired with how well you sing it makes for a pretty compelling intro. also, that little flutter on “map” is excellent.

froebusinessFebruary 27, 2023 1:57pm

I love your lyrics here, Nora. The melody also really works in its simplicity, and I particularly like when it hits the “treasure map” line. If you add more sections, I would keep highliting the disparity between the repetitive first verse melody and the second section melody to continue to make the lyrical content stand out when it shifts between the two.

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:31pm


Sam PearceFebruary 26, 2023 10:03pm

Hey Nora, I relate to your reservations because I also made mine in what felt like a too-small window of time, but I think is very cool. I like how it seems to truly be “one chord”, almost like a bagpipe melody (but waaay nicer timbres). I think you build the melody nicely, in a way that uses its potential energy (from the first half) without overextending it, if that makes sense. And I like the percussion; it adds a lot.

nurphgunMarch 1, 2023 2:10pm

Thanks! I was banging two dog bones together

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:30pm

lol dog bones

agasthyaFebruary 27, 2023 8:39am

either i never actually submitted a comment last night or @@peter might wanna check something out, BUT i love this. it doesn’t feel like a 5 minute song at all. I love the percussion-heavy section near the end and the bassline at around 2:45 is very McCartney (maybe hints of I Want You/She’s So Heavy?). love it!

BenFebruary 27, 2023 4:18pm

Thanks (and i’m glad i have a couple seconds that are reminiscent of my favorite bassman of all time). I’m usually disappointed in the sound of my bass recordings. i’m fine with my playing, but it’s always fretbuzzy if i hit a note anywhere in the first 3 or 4 frets. I usually have to either scoop out a bunch of frequencies to get rid of the buzz (i’m playing on my childhood Korean squire pbass, which i havent properly had a setup on in at least 20 years) or dramatically change how i play and where i hit my notes. But for this recording i put a capo on the second fret and played with a pick and it sounded kind of nice. minimal effects. Still has the grindy effect that i like and when i swing up to hit an octave on the same string (which is becoming a thing i do a lot i guess?), it wasn’t overbearing (i hope). A little overdriven but fairly well-contained and not gross sounding.

nickMarch 8, 2023 12:11pm

so true, agasthya re she’s so heavy

nickMarch 8, 2023 11:42am

Yesss i like the sounds. so these are all synths created from that korg? that is cool. i’ve recently been recording my actual organ instead of using software instruments. i like the challenge of having to stick with (roughly) your original sound. neat how each of your synths sound full to begin with, but the entrance of each new synth just widens the perceptive. glad to have you back.

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 10:10pm

Very cool. It’s definitely sunrise-over-a-barren-desert, with some alien stuff mixed in. I don’t really have the language regarding timbre & mixing & such, but since you mentioned it, the synths do stand out a bit? But I don’t know, it’s what creates the cool extraterrestrial vibe. Maybe it just needs something to dampen the overall sound, like a master track with a little reverb?

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 10:03pm

I love the juxtaposition of the beep-boop guitar line over the rumbly drone. So cool.

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 10:00pm

This is so sweet. There is something so mischievous and cute about crickets. In high school choir, I sang a different 90-second-long song in Italian about a cricket & yes, we would all look at each other with trickster grins just like the blokes in this video. Anyway, this made me smile, and it sounds great!

nurphgunMarch 7, 2023 9:28pm

Love the imagery and little scenes you describe in these lyrics. It radiates nostalgia. Your vocal delivery reminds me a little bit of this tune I’ve been revisiting lately.

March 6, 2023 5:42pm

Wishing for a new cock to have some fun with

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:19am

lemme just say 11 seconds in had to pause it to lol for a minute and write this comment

froebusinessMarch 6, 2023 11:53am

Cheers, bruv!

nurphgunMarch 2, 2023 12:48pm

Love this, lmao. I know you’re doing a character here, but it’s totally authentic and totally Joe Froeber.

froebusinessMarch 6, 2023 11:53am

Cheers, luv. I don’t know this Joe Froeber geezer, but he sounds like a proper lad!

froebusinessFebruary 27, 2023 1:21pm

Hectic, baby. Sorry, I listened to it! I feel like some intentionally strange spoken word poetry would go well over this.

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:41am

yeah or like a distant scolding you’re not listening to

lizzieFebruary 27, 2023 4:44pm

i love the tone on the guitar and the interaction between it and the keyboard (?). kind of gave me jazzy tom and jerry ate an edible that made them love each other – trust me im trying to compliment you.

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:40am

lawl im making t shirts too

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:39am

what the hell is this it’s awesome. great soundtrack material. out of a strange scene in Severance or something. u r a prince.

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:38am

more seriously??? nothing wrong with this amount. and banjo rules.

father daughter duo submission makes my heart hurt a little bit. you both sound great. excited for the next one.

BenFebruary 27, 2023 3:59pm

Great little ditty. Welcome. I dont know what “the view from the soft jazz” exactly means, but i like it.

What was the drone in this? Seems like some sort of wind thing with a crank of some sort? or like… a … bagpipe?

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:29am

yeah, love “the view from the soft jazz.” like, muzak getting played in the elevator, or somewhere with a window.

nickMarch 6, 2023 11:27am

great chord progression, and well strummed. especially the turnaround chord at 1:19. also love the way you say Barahona that first time 👌

March 3, 2023 11:02pm

I’m ready for you

alechutsonFebruary 27, 2023 12:45pm

Love this intro bass riff, very Thom Yorke meets RHCP. Then the drums drop in and it goes more in the NIN/ Incubus direction. Super cool

juliapikerFebruary 28, 2023 8:28pm

Real Housewives of Ceverly Pills?

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:39am

Robin Hood’s Capital Punishment

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:27pm

Thanks Alec! An yes I’m assuming he is referring to the Red Hot Chili PIPERS, a Scottish group, good catch on the UK reference Alec.

alechutsonMarch 3, 2023 6:15pm

That’s the one!

Sam PearceFebruary 26, 2023 9:45pm

Hey Zack, I thought this was sick. I like how much it transforms while maintaining that groove. In moments it made me think of Hail To Thief and some John Lennon songs.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:37pm

Hey Sam, thanks for listening – glad you liked it! I watched this bass player speak the other day about how a good groove gets better the longer you play it, so I really wanted to allow that with this song. I think as Joe mentioned there are still little opportunities for a little variety but glad to hear that it works for the most part. Which John Lennon songs were you thinking of?

Sam PearceMarch 3, 2023 3:44pm

“Day Tripper” came to mind. Something about the vocal phrasing.

ryanFebruary 26, 2023 11:03pm

Ummmm 2:06 to 2:12 is absolutely fucking excellent. Can’t stop playing it back. Also love when that ornamenting part comes in at 2:34—what is that sound, actually? So rad.

I think something that could push this track over the edge would be some vocal processing throughout and consistency in delivery or tone. The more Pinegrove-esque verse deliveries don’t work as well for me as the chorus deliveries, for example. When the chorus hits again at 3:20ish, that’s a great indication of how much difference some vocal processing/stacking/additional color would make in this track. I want more!

This is like if Colin Greenwood was in NIN. Very rad. Nice work.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:36pm

Yep you’re totally right about the vox. Have my mic set up for the next time I have an hour free after a long run and I can add some layers. The Pinegrove delivery, I’m not sure how intentional it was vs. “here’s the only way I can manage to sing over this part.” Definitely want to improve on that this year and definitely appreciate the honest feedback about what doesn’t work as well, thanks my dude!

froebusinessFebruary 27, 2023 12:37pm

Z, baby. Very nice track. That baseline is hot. It’s so hopeful and nostalgic. If you’re not married to the idea of having it run throughout, I would play with dropping it out and going to a pedal or roots here and there to see if it adds some spice to it once you bring it back. That being said, I wouldn’t say it doesn’t work as a repetitive line because it is so catchy. I second what Kershaw said about the vocals too. I think a vocal double would work really well over the whole tune if that kind of thing is your bag, baby.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:31pm

Thanks lad, I agree about the bassline – it’s tricky because whenever I change it in a given section I listen back and I’m like “ehhh I kinda miss the original.” This is probably because I’ve now heard that bassline 9 billion times so it’s really hard to get out of my head, so I probably should take some space from it for a few months to let the most impactful moment for change reveal itself. I think there’s some room for double vox in this bag.

Thanks for listening!

EliasSZFebruary 27, 2023 2:14pm

First bass entrance got me hooked immediately. Drop at 1:30 is sick. Definitely agree that the 2:06 to 2:12 is as vibe as can be – hearing the Ok Computer influence for sure. Those little accenting guitar lines at like 4:20 for example are so tight – love how they live so well in the bigger section and the quieter moments equally.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:24pm

Thanks for the close listen Elias, much appreciated!

atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:17pm

This is fucking dope I was shocked. So full and rich!

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:23pm

Thank you!

juliapikerFebruary 28, 2023 8:28pm

oh i very much enjoy this bass intro thank you so much yes yes yes. OOOOOO baby it feels good to hear it. ooo we are crescendoing into verse 1. this is giving me major 90’s feels. I agree with Ryan on vocals needing some fun stuff but Kyle is super into robotic vocal processing these days (kyle are you here? this is an @@Kyle joke). Lets double or triple the lead then let’s add some low vocal tones throughout i hear it i hear it . make it snakey. So fun Z dog. love it.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:23pm

I love that your comments are in real-time – it’s like closed-captioning transcript for one of those “Composer Reacts to _____” vids! Appreciate the “let’s make it…” feedback, totally agree about the vocals, it’s really helpful to A) have that corroborated and B) have you as a resource to help with that stuff – it’s pretty daunting to me but it’s priority for me to improve my vox performances and recording techniques in 2023.

Thanks for the feedback Jdog.

TylerKFebruary 28, 2023 11:49pm

What a slam dunk! This song is so cool. I don’t mean cool as in good (it is really good) I mean this is black denim jacket sunglasses cool. Slow motion music video cool. I would listen to this song to get pumped up on the way to a job interview and then not get the job. Iconic line I FEEL EVERY MILE FROM HOME damn. This track wouldn’t be out of place on a NG’s High Flying Birds record, which speaks to how English this song feels. You nailed that place. Big fan.

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:36am

lol, slam dunk is right.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:18pm

Thanks for the kindly words Tyler! I believe In Rainbows came out at the time I was there, so I’m glad those English-y aspects didn’t go unnoticed. Thanks for listening and I hope you get the job!

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:36am

incredible submission. killer bass track. like i told @@lizzie you taught me everything i know on that old slap stick, so it’s great to see the master at work. agree with so many of the comments below; iconic lines, colin, kyle helping with vocal goodies, great sounds across. Are those just logic drums, or some other sample pack? or are those real? you’re either getting quite good at drumming or quite good at programming. so either way, cheers, mate.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:15pm

Ha! Welp the ‘master’ has become the apprentice to your bass work for a while now – I think if I had to recruit someone to play on this studio recording you’d be top-o-the-list. The drums sounds come from a plug called Superior Drummer, although I believe at one point you misheard me refer to it as “career drummer,” which I much prefer. Thanks for listening, cheers lad.

nurphgunMarch 2, 2023 1:04pm

Yes, give me something repetitive and compelling like this any day. The guitar tease at 2:07 is nice. For me it’s giving “Take a Picture” by Filter, “In Every Direction” by Junip. And some general NIN and Porcupine Tree. Really landscapy. Car-driving-around-a-fjord. My only note is I want it to be even larger-than-life. LOVE it.

ZMarch 3, 2023 3:12pm

Thanks for listening, I really appreciate the comment. Yeah it totally needs to be larger-than-life, I think that’s gonna come with a lot of the doubling and layering, especially with the vocals recommended by other folks. Admittedly, that’s something I often put off – consistency of tone and delivery is a fine art that I don’t have in my back pocket yet. I’m looking forward to the next assignment as I think it’s gonna force me to really start there. Thanks again Nora.

ryanFebruary 26, 2023 10:56pm

“I miss exits in my nasty little car / when we’re talking like high school / I can’t do two things at once” is a really great line, man. “Nasty little car” in general is just a memorable and unique phrase. I love it. Voice memo format works really nicely here with the drone and the general metronomelessness. I also think you did a great job with the vocal delivery. This is a special recording. Good job, Sammo.

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 4:01pm

Thanks so much, Ryan. Definitely a case of general metronomelessness haha. I was intimidated by the rawness of a voice memo, and having to do everything in an hour, incidentally, but I think this assignment was a perfect opportunity to try that, and I appreciate your creating it!

atalinkayFebruary 27, 2023 11:16pm

Nostalgic x 10000, ever-sweet!

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:55pm

Thank you!

juliapikerFebruary 28, 2023 8:01pm

Nasty little car. i LOVE this lyric. How weird and adorable and beautiful. Kind of reminds me of high school love <3 nice job

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:54pm

Thanks, Julia! The reality of my car is the antithesis of adorable, so I’m glad it can be that in a song.

nurphgunMarch 2, 2023 1:17pm

This is so, so sweet. To echo everyone else, the sentiments here are just so touching. “I never mind hearing every little thing that’s on your mind” – this is one of the best descriptions of capital-L Love I’ve heard. Talking like high school. Yep.

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:50pm

Thank you, Nora. Although I imagine there are as many different definitions as there are people, I just read a HuffPost article about love with a capital L, “a matter of freeing the other person of the responsibility to express their love for us only in the ways that we want to receive it”, and that is the kind of love I want to give my friend.

TylerKMarch 1, 2023 11:05am

Songs about cars that aren’t nice always feel really sad to me. What’s more depressing than a nasty car? CFTPA had a series of songs across his albums about white cars (white corolla, white jetta etc.) so I thought maybe that was what’s making me sad but then I re-read your lyrics and that was why I was actually feeling that way. “I MISS exits in my nasty little car”, that’s a masterful play right there. Very up my alley. Swear is good too, esp since it accompanies a lil climb in the chord structure. Voice note production fits so well too. I listened to this a few times in a row, real good.

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:41pm

Thanks, Tyler. I had never listened to Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (had to google CFTPA), and I like the music. I think Owen Ashworth is great at making songs, and I love how homemade they sound, like something that could have been made for NCBC maybe. I appreciate the recommendation!

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:25am

even before the listen, great title. magnetic. agree with all the lyrical comments below, potent stuff. glad to be back here with ya, buddy.

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:35pm

Thanks, Nick. Glad to be back here with you too.

alechutsonFebruary 28, 2023 3:54pm

Nostalgic AF. I like how the cello drone almost sounds like a hurdy-gurdy. Lovely lyrics. Well done!

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:34pm

Thanks, Alec! Something wild I realized is that a bunch of us, including Ben and Michael, used YouTube cello drones, and they all sound really different depending on how we recorded or mixed them. The weird high-frequency “filter sweeps” from the heating in my apartment seems to have had an effect on mine.

froebusinessFebruary 27, 2023 12:23pm

The lyrical and melodic content are both very potent. I especially like the play with “I never mind” and “never mind.” It adds some tension lyrically that really pays off at the end.

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:32pm

Thank you, man.

BenFebruary 27, 2023 3:56pm

I too used a cello drone. found it very pleasing. Nice guitar playing here.

This resonates with me. I agree with Z – the can’t do two things at once is relatable. so is the talking like high school.

My car is clean these days, but i’m great at missing exits (actually i usually miss entrances to places when i’m driving more often than highway exits).

Would love to hear a full arrangement of this with maybe some more cello and some lazy ridecymbally drum parts.

Sam PearceMarch 2, 2023 3:29pm

Thanks, Ben. Any guitar compliment coming from you means a lot.

Thinking about cleaning the car…

nurphgunMarch 2, 2023 12:41pm

Stunning! This is my favorite kind of song you write. I definitely see it as a companion to “Moon.” I love the concept, and I know this a small thing, but I love the punctuation in your lyrics. “But your touch was cold as ice!” “You and I are one and same!” It adds to the drama of the piece.

nurphgunMarch 2, 2023 12:37pm

The beginning is beautiful and intriguing, but what really sold me was the “coo” at 0:59 & everything drunken and primal that followed.

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:56am

Funny how upon listening (with much delight i might add) I just assumed that you were like “a house music guy.” so to read that this was your first house track, well, im excited to hear from the rest of your arsenal.

I also use Logic, so the bass instrument sounds familiar to me, but in regards to the whole DAW, that’s a no from me, dawg.

agasthyaFebruary 26, 2023 10:08pm

this is awesome. hadn’t read the description so was caught off guard when the beat dropped. love the cool down section and subsequent build up. Caroline’s claps cut through the mix nicely 👏

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:51am

lol i thought you meant your caroline

ryanFebruary 26, 2023 10:44pm

As soon as the beat came in, I was soaring high above the year 1992 in a hot air balloon featuring the exact patterning of the fountain soda cups they had when we were kids. Was hoping some classic house piano chords would show up and 1:39 did not disappoint. This was lovely, man. Great work.

Anyone who says they can hear what DAW something was made in should be sent directly to jail.

nickMarch 2, 2023 11:50am

do not pass go, do not collect $200.