• Submitted on time! Feb 26, 2023
Earth Tones

This tune is about the backyard of of my childhood home, specifically the roof of the backporch that the window from my childhood bedroom let out on to. It’s also about aging. I’m not much of a mixing/mastering type, so not sure how this tune will sound on different speakers lol



I can picture Rocky Mountains sitting in my backyard

I can picture all the rivers where I’ve never been

I can see the horizon from over the garage

Windows still showing signs of breaking when I was a kid


I know I’ve got no place to go

So I guess I’ll just sit and smoke


Slipping in the dark night sliding to the front door

Or slowly running hands where wisteria had been

Could I still climb up the trellis like I did as a kid before

Thinking back to when my grandmother watched me sneak back in


I know I sat there once before

But I’m scared we’re growing old


I think I gotta go home


And if my parents move out

I swear I’ll make the time

To open up my window

And climb back out there one last time


I think I’ll have to go home

Looking for feedback on

Open to any and all thoughts! Maybe focus on arrangement ideas to take this from demo to finished track.


Tengo March 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!

nick March 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.

EliasSZ March 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!

alechutson February 28, 2023 4:10pm

Very nice. Really sets a mood. Wonderful guitar playing. I agree with some of what the other folks are saying – vocals I think could come up and personally I think they would have more clarity if they were slightly less effected. As for arrangement, I don’t think you need much for this piece – the guitar really carries a lot of it! Maybe some minimal bass and percussion would help bring it home.

EliasSZ February 28, 2023 7:12pm

I’ve experimented a lot with how I want my vocals to sound, and I’ve always just sorta thrown something together to make something sound sorta right more than learned how to do it in a ‘correct’ way (and I never really remember what I’ve done before lol). Think that a little less effected makes sense and might serve the piece. Thanks for the thoughts on arrangement too – all makes sense to me

atalinkay February 27, 2023 11:41pm

I feel like I’m looking down, watching myself feel things from above, while listening to this…cool!!

EliasSZ February 28, 2023 7:10pm

Always good to get a bird’s eye view

Z February 27, 2023 5:21pm

Super glad you’re here as well.

I love the flutter, or whatever is coloring the delay.

The guitar and vocal performances sound really tight.

I love the wetness of it, it makes it feel really cohesive and distant without being muddy. I’d be curious to hear what someone else’s treatment of the mix would be to provide just a touch more clarity but I thing the soul of this is really clear and would only benefit from a very light touch.

NCBC submissions aren’t really about having final mixes but this is damn near the finish line to me, really impressive especially when it’s not your core strength.

Bon jobbo bruther!

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 8:03pm

I’m glad to be here! I appreciate the thought on the mixes – I don’t tend to think of myself as someone who can really mix, but I know the sounds I like and always try to make them balance. Definitely agree that someone more adept adding some final mixing would take this through to the finish line, but honestly feeling glad that what I did is working so far!

lizzie February 27, 2023 5:12pm

guitar is impeccable. i do love the distance from which we hear the vocals – a proper reflection on times past. however i would agree to pull them forward just a bit since they’re so beautiful. maybe upping the activity/volume of the bass guitar in the second half of the song would help to ground it which is something i think i was looking for a bit more of. the guitar riff is so good and i’m so glad you brought it back with vocals over it. as an existing fan of yours, i hope to hear more of this. it’s really amazing!

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 8:01pm

Hahaha, yes, listening back I think I’d pull the vocals up, but glad that the feeling of the distance comes through. I always love super quiet vocals that are still audible, but don’t always balance it right. Love the idea of trying to ground it some more with some low frequencies in a bass – I felt limited by the low drone and didn’t really add to much more to that side of things and think the tune could benefit from it.

froebusiness February 27, 2023 1:52pm

Great guitar work, man. I know this isn’t in regards to arrangement feedback, but I would kick those vocals up so they are a bit higher than the guitar in the mix throughout (more so evident in the verses).

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 7:58pm

Hahaha, I tend to love the sound of quiet vocals nestled between guitars and not up front, but even I think listening back that I probably pulled it too far back. Appreciate the thought!

Sam Pearce February 27, 2023 7:44am

Hey Elias, I love this. I like the pulsating sound behind the guitar. It sounds like it might be the guitar itself through effects, but it feels like a separate instrument. The changes are kind of haunting. Psyched to hear another iteration of this, if you decide to do that.

Ryan February 27, 2023 4:32pm

Yes to the pulsating sound!

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 7:58pm

Thanks Sam! I was trying to experiment with layering guitars and keeping a decent amount of the processed, but still very guitar-y sounds up front, but also sending a bit of them to a much more heavily processed, delayed, etc. send to create another layer. Glad that they intended effect is coming through.

Ryan February 26, 2023 11:20pm

Elias! So glad to have you here! This track is gorgeous. Love the guitar playing and vocal delivery. Killer performances. Love the addition of the bends in the second verse.

I think some simple percussion joining the new section at 1:12 would do a lot to take this from ‘demo’ to ‘finished track’. Maybe kick doing four-on-the-floor and then some kind of crunchy white noise sound on the upbeats? I could see that developing throughout the rest of the track nicely, too.

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 7:56pm

Yeah, I definitely want to add some percussion – I’m so unpracticed at programming drums that I just never made myself do it, tbh. But something I want to push myself to do more of. Love those ideas for it – ideally I think it would build to the final chorus that would have some more full on drum vibes.