• May 24, 2020

I wrote a song partially inspired by this tiny Wikipedia article on a place I will never visit:

Wind instrument: sax 🙂

Looking for feedback on



Daevster May 26, 2020 2:02pm

Gorgeous arrangement, it has a whole lot of character and mystery. Love that dreamy piano part, shades of Yorke and Philip Glass. Maybe the kick could be a little less punchy, and I wouldn’t mind hearing that sax louder in the end as well. I want those sax noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All in all, damn. Great stuff!

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:39pm

thanks dev! one steaming bowl of sax noods coming your way 😉

Ben May 26, 2020 1:11pm

You know where I stand on you incorporating sax into your work (and for those who don’t know where I stand – I am for it). Since you’re the weirdest most unique sax player I know, it once again seems effortless for you to add sax into non-saxy music. You also don’t get caught up in licks, jazzisms, or even the cute harmonies that I often hear when people “incorporate saxophone into indie rock.” Great sax texture, as always.

Great swirly piano, great vocals. Sort of a stylistic sequel to Rotor. Shades of Tawk Tomahawk-era Hiatus Kaiyote and some Radiohead.

My mix criticism would be the drums: I actually really like the composition of it, and I’ve seen you play drum kit and clearly you know what you’re doing, but I think it could build differently and sit in the mix better. It comes in with some complexities/fills/syncopation fairly early in the song, and I think they’d hit harder if that waited and built. Mixwise, I think they stand out a little too much. They sort of live in uncanny valley. They’re realistic sounding, but clearly not acoustic. Which is actually fine, and not even my main point. Mostly they could tie together a little better with the rest of the song. Reverb and EQ are probably the way to go for this.

Ben May 26, 2020 1:11pm

But yeah, I agree with some of the comments – i think this is one of your best.

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:41pm

thanks ben!! this makes me feel all fuzzy inside 🙂 i really appreciate the detail in which you listen to music.

noted on the drums. i’ll spend some more time on drum arrangement and mix next time around.

Ryan May 26, 2020 12:30pm

Coming back to mention that I think this is up there for my favorite Alec track ever. Big dig on this one, my man.

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:41pm


peter May 26, 2020 8:12am

alec- this is awesome! kinda dark grizzly bear, radiohead. the drums are so cool (drums on all the tracks you’ve posted have been very cool).. i assume they are programmed- are you finding a beat and cutting it up? echoing @@daeclan but i’d love to know your process here! vox are also 🔥

love to see those lyrics too!

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:31pm


If I could reach the pebbled shore

Lightness and the viscerals: Etonia, Etonia

Knowing about it, could I live without?

I see what you mean: it’s not just a dream

The thorns are cruel and dig in deep

Letting go and breathing out to welcome in my greatest fears

Sing me memories; we were kids

Sing me demons from my past

Sing me comfort from your skin,

And cast me into knowing

With heart unbound: Etonia

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:38pm

@@daeclan@@peter really glad you dig the drums! they are indeed programmed. I’ve been using Reason Essentials for the majority of these tunes, and it comes with some really excellent drum sounds. I’ll usually start by beatboxing a reference feel that i’m trying achieve, and then I use that as a base to build out intentional rhythms for each phrase. i actually feel like i could have spent a good deal more time on the drums on this track, but i’ve developed a bad habit of writing/recording/mixing these assignments two days before they are due :-/

daeclan May 25, 2020 4:32pm

a big swirling pool with some unknown darkness dancing beneath the surface.

my ears loved the drums, curious if this was programmed or if it is recorded. it’s how i hope my drums sound some day, alive, varied & participatory.

the mixing felt right in that it played into the swirling/cacophonous vibe i was getting from the elements playing together, but i don’t actually know how to make a good mix so idk how to tell you to improve this haha. keep up the magic 🙂

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:43pm

thank you, i really appreciate this! drums were programmed using Reason Essentials. i went into a little more detail in response to Peter’s comment, let me know if you have more questions.

nick May 25, 2020 4:17pm

killer track, probably my fav so far. captivating piano right off the bat. and the vocal arrangement is excellent. cheers to etoniah.

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:45pm

thanks chef! i really appreciate that 🙂

juliapiker May 25, 2020 3:26pm

pianos. wow hi. beautiful track. I love your voice always alec!!! Also what a great word to sing “Etonia”

mixing: I’m hearing a bit too much stereo right. I’m hearing your lead doubled stereo left and then most of the rest of the track coming through the right.

I would center. Otherwise dude you’re a pro- your mixing is really solid.

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:47pm

thanks julia!! i love getting vocal compliments from people with amazing voices 🙂

thanks also for the mix notes. i will be more mindful with panning for the next assignment.

Ryan May 25, 2020 11:34am

Really cool vocal performance on this one, Alec. And a super interesting harmonic space. Love how you manage to straddle the line of feeling light and dark the whole time—that piano part is dope as hell. Re: mix — I’m new to the game myself. But I think you could definitely push the drums towards a roomier sound that matches the space that the vocal and sax exist in. Otherwise, I found the balance nice.

nick May 25, 2020 4:16pm

Totally agree—a little verb would tie this puppy together.

alechutson May 26, 2020 8:48pm

thank you ryan!!