Ballad of Earth and Moon

  • Submitted on time! Feb 22, 2023
Earth Tones

Oui chefs!

This was a tricky one for me, so I approached it in a much more organic way than I usually hack away at songwriting. I decided to interpret the drone note (for which I found a singing bowl sample on YouTube) as a common tone and wrote chords around it. I’ve been playing with this finger picking pattern for a while so I’m glad to have finally used it in a piece.

The lyrics crystalized after I did some vocal improv over the progression, and ended up being a weird little love/lust piece between the Earth and moon (kind of a sequel to a song called Moon that I recorded with Bon Solvermon back in 2016!)

Hope you enjoy! It’s a little Grizzl-y, a little Fleet-y, a little Yorke-y. All my favs :’)



I caught a glimpse of your light
Last night before the sunrise
But your touch was cold as ice!
Are you under any spells that might go wrong?

What can I do to get close to you
And why do you see me the way you do –
Frozen, barren
You and I are one and same!
Fire courses through the veins
Under both our skin

Lay with me, I’d like to meet you
I don’t know you

Looking for feedback on

Just pat me on the head and tell me I'm pretty


nurphgun March 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.

nick March 2, 2023 11:17am

pat pat. funny how we’ve ended up with a bunch of funky creepy intros from the prompt. “are you under any spells” great moment. tons of great moments.

juliapiker February 28, 2023 7:55pm (edited)

oooo you a Daniel Rossen fan!! I reallllly enjoy this a lot. Also i really just in general the way you use vibrato in your voice, its very gentle and soft and enjoyable. I have been hearing a lot of vocalists move away from vibrato in more current stuff thats out so it’s always a nice little treat to hear. Very very very beautiful finger picking. Well done!

nick March 2, 2023 11:17am

Rossen, yes

Sam Pearce February 28, 2023 4:04pm

Hey Alec, this is awesome. Yeah, I hear all three of those artists in this piece. Those triplets remind me of some moments in Daniel Rossen’s playing, and the major change at 0:46 makes me think of Thom Yorke’s approach to harmony. But it also sounds like something new. Singing in that deep baritone (?) range is something that none of those artists really do, and I think it’s beautiful and sets up the ascent into the falsetto part to be more powerful. I also thought of Moses Sumney. Maybe it’s that sumptuous vibrato! Also, respect for this guitar technique.

atalinkay February 27, 2023 11:13pm

Just lovely!

alechutson February 28, 2023 3:31pm

Thank you 🙂

Ryan February 27, 2023 4:29pm

Wowwww, I like your voice a lot in this range! Feels like a cello trapped in a human body.

I think it could be pretty special to treat “frozen, barren” (and maybe all the background harmonies) completely different from the lead vocal. Like, if they were high-passed, maybe a little leslie’d out, etc. But otherwise—you are pretty and I am patting your head.

Ben February 28, 2023 9:54am

“a cello trapped in a human body.”

Fun fact: that actually might be true. I’ve recorded or edited/mixed alec’s voice many dozens of times, and i swear the waveform of his voice is unlike anything i’ve ever seen from a human. Normally, the human voice, since it’s such a complex sound, makes a pretty organic and chaotic and imperfect looking waveform. A few years ago, in a studio, I remember looking at a waveform of Alec singing a background harmony, with no effects on it, and it was this completely geometric pattern, like perfect sawtoothes and squares. It looked like a synth or instrument. Yet his voice is rich and has a warm tone. He’s clearly an alien.

As i said in my comment, this song is stunning.

alechutson February 28, 2023 3:30pm

Thank you, Ben!! Chalk this up to my inability to take a compliment, but all I can think of in response to this flattering statement is Hagrid saying “You’re a cello, ‘Arry.”

Also, I think treating the bgvx differently from the lead would definitely be a good move.

lizzie February 27, 2023 4:14pm

i love the busyness of the guitar as the drone pulls you deeper. reminds me of a racing mind and the gradual descent into a feeling. your vocals remind me of ground coffee (my penultimate compliment). it’s like you’re guiding me into a cavern! and i can’t help but follow!

alechutson February 28, 2023 3:30pm

Come with me, precious 😈

Z February 27, 2023 2:43pm

Oh man the vocal entrance scratches an itch that previously only scratched by The Handsome Family, but rather than steep me in gothic Americana it sails me to the moon instead. Really impressed with how well the lyrics and tone of the piece agree. And the harmonies are brilliant, especially the question mark of the final chord – great work.

alechutson February 28, 2023 3:32pm

Ahhh thank you! (?)

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 2:12pm

Immediately hooked by the guitar work and the quality of the vocals. Love the vocal harmony at 1:00 and the major minor shift at 1:12ish. And then that harmony at 1:33 is so sick.

alechutson February 28, 2023 3:34pm

Thank you very much! I definitely have a soft spot for spooky unexpected harmonies and chord changes

froebusiness February 27, 2023 12:17pm

You’re a pretty chef aren’t you?

*pats head*

alechutson February 27, 2023 12:50pm


Ben February 27, 2023 10:12am

Alec this is incredible. The last stanza is sooooo drawn out and patient. kind of stunning actually. Each word feels like it lasts like an hour. Well done.

Also, false, we recorded Moon in 2014 or 15 (in western ma), then we revisited and finished in 2016.

alechutson February 27, 2023 12:50pm

Holy shit I forgot we started it that long ago

agasthya February 26, 2023 8:10pm

oooweeeeee those harmonies starting at “lay with me” are too good.

alechutson February 27, 2023 12:51pm

Thanks dude! Love me some layered vocal harmonies