Pretty Good

  • Submitted on time! Jul 31, 2020
Word Warps

A tune about my grandparents. (Seems to be a trend here on NCBC – new category?)

@Ben helped big time with this one (guitar during the outro, the drum fills, and some mixing). Thank you Benny. <3

Roland and Joan
You were made for a different world
Where you read books all day
And paint your cares away

Went to the ER
To treat a nightmare
I was with you there

When I’d rather be alone
I do a shot and grab the microphone
Then I’m right in your zone

We all could have done better
We all could have done better
But I’m the one who knew it
Should’ve seen to it

We all could have been better
We all could have been better
But I’m the one who knew it
Should’ve seen to it

Shy sun shining down upon you
Squinting out beyond the camera
Going, gone
Now they’re somewhere beyond

Shy sun shining down upon you
Squinting out beyond the camera
Going, gone
Now they’re somewhere beyond

Where I bet they’re understood
Where I bet they’re understood
And doing pretty good

Looking for feedback on

Arrangement and instrumentation


kurds August 16, 2020 8:53pm

Damn, this is so meditative. Sheena and I love your voice!

nicolemalagodipope September 1, 2020 7:51am

Yeah, coming back to this one. 🤘

nick September 1, 2020 7:52am

Me too

nick August 6, 2020 11:41am

Ben? cmon, we know this is @theEdge. strong vibe. Love the introduction of the distorted vocal. excellent addition. Yeah, a lot of this is just right instrumentation/arrangement wise. I think potentially, emphasizing the dynamic structure of the song could be nice—starker at the being of the outro and even bigger by the time the distorted vocal comes in. Great full track, Nora.

alechutson August 6, 2020 11:06am

I love the line “squinting out behind the camera.” Really digging the nostalgic vibe on this one, your voice reminds me of Annie Clark here. I think I would’ve liked a stronger lead in into the rhythmic section, but side from that I really dig the arrangement. Great work ♥️

Ryan August 4, 2020 1:04pm

Wow I absolutely love this. I adore when a song finds a new section and it just splits off from where it was because it’s become what it wants to be (when I come across this structure in my own work, I think of it as verse/chorus/whatever + outroooo). It’s just so undeniable when that part comes along, that it’s so natural for the song to stay there and not worry about “getting back” to where it started.

I listened to this once with headphones on and was swimming in it. Then I listened again when I was driving across Brooklyn at night to go pick up Tam. Listening to this while driving on rain-slicked, nighttime city streets was really special. The guitars and your voice were such a dream to spend time in. I was sad when it was over.

To answer your question, I love the arrangement and instrumentation. I wouldn’t argue against much. Loved being surprised by the shaker, the drum part, and the organ. I think the only thing that was a touch curious was when the drum part switched to a back beat. For me, the snare hits aren’t big enough to really feel that change. It’s cool that it sneaks in, but I think it should still be felt when it does. I wonder if a synth were paired with that organ—something with a little oscillation—might add just a touch of movement to complement the swimmy guitars.

If it’s not too much to ask, could you make an entire record like this? Great work.

nurphgun August 5, 2020 3:48pm

Thanks! Yeah, switching the back-beat was a late-hour decision. I got sick of listening to the original snare part and wanted to settle into something easier to bop along to, but I think you’re right that snare is possibly not strong enough in the mix or something. It does lose a bit of steam there, at a moment where it should be peaking and feel more celebratory.

nick August 6, 2020 11:42am

Yeah i agree about the snare. I also agree about this being a great addition to a road trip playlist.

Ben August 4, 2020 9:04am

Nora, you shouldve called this song “Great”

nick August 6, 2020 11:29am

*snare and cymbal emoji*

Carseat August 3, 2020 8:37am


Nate August 2, 2020 9:10pm

very cool soundscapes. I love all the sounds. Two things I want:

1) More consonant sounds in the words. vocals are very dreamy but I want to hear the specific word sounds. I like feeling like I can parse the words w/o lyrics on first listen. Wow at 2:05 the drums really get going

2) a really wild string part. Totally hearing gabriel Kahane type writing (Empire Liquor Mart) (or that Nick Drake song with really tumultuous. shimmering melodic stuff).

I’d love a more Sufjan approach to the vocal affect and mix you’re building: with clear different voices; like the sound of your voice as another instrument. like, chorus of you singings plus the melody more up front with.

Great stuff!