I’m Fine Going Solo (a sort of anti-valentine)

Feb 7 13
Hangout Setup

This is a live take of a song that is sort of my “I’m single, and I’m fine with that, thank you very much.” It’s also about being able to love yourself – as RuPaul puts it, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”. Yeah, I’m totally watching Drag Race in my downtime. Addictive isn’t even the word for it.

I’m also testing out a new webcam and a different sound set up for demoing songs at home. It’s basically the sound set up I used for Google+ hangouts, but the difference is that the Hangouts don’t like my firewire connection from my desk, but my recording software does. So, although it’s more of a headache to set up than just plugging in my little MBox for recording, it does give me stereo piano and a main vocal all in one take, which is how I like to demo newer songs.

So, yesterday, I ended up doing demos of three of the newer songs that hadn’t made it to being demoed yet. It was quite a productive day really.

Lyrics:

Today Amanda asked me a question, she asked my why I am still single,
I said that she knows full well, and she can’t marry me off to someone,
Just so that she can feel now I’ll be happy.

I’m an idealist – ideally flawed is the kind of a guy that I fall for.
I’ll know he’s not perfect but I fall for those imperfections.
They make us unique and that’s how we can define our own beauty,

So don’t fix your nose, and don’t pin your ears, and flaming red hair sure is pretty,
You’re not too short, your hands don’t look weird, and your eyebrows don’t need dyeing,
The lines on your face tell me you’re not a drone, and the grey in your hair is damn sexy,

I saw a photo online of a man who had rescued a puppy from drowning, shivering cold, and soaked to the bone, he wasn’t that handsome, but he was still perfect, actions speak louder, and that’s what’s important, as it’s the person inside that you fall for,

Two isn’t better than one unless it’s two sides of the same coin.
I’ll find my hearts when I flip heads from tails and the coin just keeps spinning,
perfectly balanced, an evenly matched equal pairing.

Now I’m in my thirties and I’m happy sometimes and I don’t give away love that easy,
It takes some time before I’ll even be friends but of course I’ll still meet you for coffee,
Where it gets tricky is I don’t need many more people in my closest circles,

I’m quite protective, and I take less chances, but that’s something I’m slowly changing.
So let’s take some chances, and fuck having coffee, we can have some for breakfast,
But don’t think that breakfast means anything more than I like you enough to stay over,

If you don’t fix your nose, and don’t pin your ears, and flaming red hair sure is pretty,
You’re not too short, your hands don’t look weird, and your eyebrows don’t need dyeing,
The lines on your face tell me you’re not a drone, and the grey in your hair is damn sexy,

I don’t know when I’ll meet a guy who is someone that I’d want to marry,
but I won’t rush into things, headstrong and blinded, just so I can close on that chapter,
I’m perfectly happy when I’m all alone, although sometimes I still feel lonely,

But happiness is something you share, not something you marry.

So for now I’ll go solo,
and I’ll eat by myself,
and go to see shows,
and travel alone,
and not lose the duvet,
and hang with my friends,
and visit my family,
and look after the cat,
and keep writing songs,
and that sounds like a good way of living.

Yes I’m fine going solo – I’m fine.

That said, I’m open to offers…

Live video demos

Feb 6 12

I’m currently going through a bunch of little live video demos of some of my songs that I have on my computer, and posting a few on my youtube channel for people to see.

They give another side to some of the songs that ended up on the album – though the ones that work best in demo form are the ones that ended up pretty much with just piano and voice on the record itself.

They’re pretty low res quality, as they’re just stuff that’s recorded with the webcam and a little home recording setup I use to get songs down when I’m working on them so I have something to reference again later. I’ve been using it again lately to demo some of the very new songs I’ve been working on.

I Wish You Were Here
It’s an old song that wasn’t meant to end up on the album, but did a take of it on the last day of the piano and vocal tracking, and liked how it came out, so it ended up on the record.

Wet Feet

I think this video shows just how lazy I can be at the piano sometimes. And also how much I move when I play – it’s something piano teachers always pointed out to me but that I never really noticed until watching back little clips like this. They really tried to get me to stop moving my upper body so much when I played, but it’s a habit I’ve never broken, and something I still do whenever I play. I just move a lot at the piano when I’m playing.

The version on the album is pretty pared down too – there’s some lovely cello on it that I miss now whenever I’m playing the song solo again. Same with this next video, actually:

Restless

I do plan to have some proper videos up on my youtube channel soon, along with these wonderfully webcam home demos too.

Listen or buy the album: [itunes] [amazon mp3] [bandcamp]

Demo: Is This What They Call Romance?

Jan 8 11

This song was previously demo’d about a year ago, and even shoddier than this demo I’m posting today, but nonetheless, the song has come together more in my head, and I’ve a clearer idea of it now than I did 12 months ago. It’s a cute little pop song that kept popping into my head in different bits and pieces, that all came together on the piano at one point. It has a jauntiness that makes me smile, and although I think I really intended on making it quite a musically simple song, it hops back and forth between two keys instead. Oh well, that’s what I get for intentionally trying to write something simple and straight forward. It seems that when I try to write something more complex, I end up using two or three chords!

Nevertheless, I like this little tune. I fuck up the piano, as I’m wont to do, and I probably go off key too, which is my other little issue when I’m recording myself. I really hate recording myself. Just thought I’d put that out there.

But yeah, this song is about liking someone you should really like in that way at all, but you know, you can’t really help who you fall for sometimes can you? I kinda like the gender-fuck in the lyrics, and it was intentional.

Is This What They Call Romance? [demo] by misterebby

(lyrics after the jump)

(more…)

Galway Rain (newer demo)

Dec 8 10

I was going through all the stuff I’ve demo’d and seeing what needed improving, and did two re-demos of two songs last night. This is the first of them : “Galway Rain”, which I’ve written about before.

I have an awful habit of being really “free” in my approach to rhythm and keeping a steady tempo. It’s something that has always plagued my piano work even as a classical student. But the years of having to practice with a metronome filled me with an absolute distaste for them and click tracks. But it’s something I need to overcome as well as working on listening closer to my own internal sense of rhythm instead of abandoning my playing completely to emotional rubato.

That was one of the reasons I wanted to retake this demo – to get a tighter feel to the pulse, which I managed to mess up in the bridge again when I went to relisten to it. I guess I’ll have to take out my metronome again, or overcome my fear of click tracks.

Listening back to recordings of yourself is the most horrible, yet often essential learning.

Anyways, here’s the re-take of that demo, mistakes and all.

Galway Rain (demo) by misterebby

Lyrics (more…)

My First True Love (demo)

Oct 26 10

This song was written at the same time as Helen (don’t make a sound) back in 2007 sometime. Both songs were inspired by novels I’d read or recently read at the time. I’ve noted previously that I tend to work on songs in batches of two or three at the same time. Sometimes an idea splits in three, sometimes I’ve loads of little ideas that start to link together resulting in some different songs. With this one, I was working with a really basic straight-forward chord progression, and I was trying to write something that was musically quite simple and direct. Perhaps because the other song I was working on at the same time was the opposite of that.

I’ve never been so sure of this song, but I like some parts of it. I guess I’ve been playing it so long that I’m just used to it. One of my old housemates surprised me one day by saying it was her favourite of my songs. I think I have a music-snob idea that because it’s simple it’s not as good as some of the more musically complex songs. I’ve managed to completely over complicate the piano line as a result though, and I definitely fuck it up in this demo. I’d go fix it up before posting it, but my piano has been out on loan all weekend, and when it comes back I’m gonna finish off the new demo I start for “is this what they call romance?” instead.

my first true love [demo]
my first true love [demo] by misterebby

(lyrics after the jump)
(more…)