Cigarette Burns

  • Submitted on time! Feb 3, 2024
Meteor Shower at the Motel

This was a hard one for me! I don’t often write songs that are, like, in a location, so figuring out to start that way was a bit challenging for me. I also usually write melodies by default, more than with a motion in mind, so that was also hard.


I feel decently happy with what I came up with though! I feel like I went the creepy motel route, but focused on the idea of dreamy wonder that a meteor shower might bring.

Lyrics as follows:

Cigarette burns in the sheets

And I wonder who else slept here

Lay my head on the roof

And I wonder who else noticed

Burning holes in the sky

Looking for feedback on

I'm not really great at mixing, but would love some thoughts on the sounds I made. Or just any thought in general ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Caleb February 25, 2024 6:38pm

i don’t know jack all about mixing, but i have to second the shoutout to “and i wonder who else noticed burning holes in the sky”, and it was a chef’s kiss for my ear to hear that first vocal cascade on sky. Really awesome moment, and a great question to pose. At 1:08-1:11 I hear that faint grumble in lead into the guitar solo, and I love that sound so much I almost want to hear it stretched out into a longer and bigger crescendo. Awesome atmosphere!

EliasSZ February 25, 2024 8:44pm

Thanks! Glad to know I’m not alone in not really knowing anything about mixing hahaha.

I’m a sucker for hearing feedback/distortion before a solo, I think you’re right that it’d be fun to stretch that out even farther.

alechutson February 9, 2024 3:37pm

My approach to mixing is to find a vibe and lean into it. I think you’re doing that quite well here! I think you got some really nice guitar sounds, and your voice sounds great over the bed of texture you made. I love the outro rumbling. Would love to hear some more low end, maybe that just means recording a bass part. I feel like this would be a great song to do some late night driving to.

EliasSZ February 14, 2024 10:29am

Thanks! It’s funny, I think I caught up on the ‘technical’ things you like, need to do while mixing (that I’m mostly vaguely aware of) that I forget the other part is focused on creating a vibe/sound/atmosphere. Definitely agree about more low-end – I was trying to use a droning organ/key sound but I don’t think it had enough low frequency in the end to really flesh out the bottom.

Ryan February 6, 2024 9:55pm

Dude! Gorgeous guitar parts! Reminds me of Strange Mangers, one of my favorite bands of all time. Though I love the fuzziness of the tone, I wouldn’t mind some clarity blended in to discern the parts more—I think they deserve it! Plus, one fuzzy and one clean often sounds gooooood IMO.

Regarding vocals, I think it’d be cool to let the lower voice be the lead and then choose your spots for the falsetto voice to join in and play the role of highlighting.

All the environmental/ambient sounds are awwwwesome, I’m super into this.

EliasSZ February 14, 2024 10:28am

Thank! I’ll have to check our Strange Mangers – feel like I’ve heard them, but not sure. I tried to mix some cleaner doubles of the parts in, but I don’t think I got the balance quite where I originally intended, even though I liked the sound. And interesting thought about the vocals – I like the idea of the falsetto vocals popping in rather than leading it. Might have to try that out.

Ben February 6, 2024 4:27pm

well “burning holes in the sky” is a great motif and phrase and i can’t believe i haven’t heard or thought about that before. well done. that’s really cool and inventive. and it flows so well.

the solo came in scorching.

Ryan February 6, 2024 9:51pm

Yeahhhhhh “burning holes in the sky” might win for metaphor-of-the-assignment. So good.

EliasSZ February 14, 2024 10:26am

cheers fellas, thank you! Funnily enough the first idea I had was the parallel of cigarette burns in sheets vs. like, burnt holes in the sky so I just kinda ran with it!

nick February 5, 2024 4:14pm (edited)

incredible textures and sounds all over this thing. the repeating “And I wonder who else” is a great move. and *pat on the back* for trying this out even though it was strange. i also struggled with some of the things you mentioned. but you ended up with something special. i think your mix is really nice. totally works for me. the only thing would be avoiding the pops/clips in the vocals and guitars. feels like it could be as easy as tiny fades in and out from either side of the wav forms? unless it’s in the recording, in which case, just get those levels in place beforehand, or friggin get jonny to do it 🙂

EliasSZ February 14, 2024 10:25am

Yeah, I definitely needed to go back and fix the clips and things but never got myself too. I did some fading to get around some of the more egregious ones, but there’s a few places where I probably needed to rerecord and I just didn’t lol. Can’t always get jonny 😉

lazyrabbit February 5, 2024 8:53am

I love this! The textures are awesome and the cascading held vocal line sounds so ethereal. Also the guitar tone for the soloy part is 🔥🔥🔥

EliasSZ February 14, 2024 10:24am

Thanks J!