you never really saw me anyway

Additional Thoughts on “You Never Really Saw Me Anyway”

Right off the bat, I think the most nagging thought I have about “You Never Really Saw Me Anyway” is it needs a banjo and mandolin. Two instruments I do not own (but would definitely like to own). To fill that void, I ended up using a capo and playing a C major chord structure in G major (which is the key of the song). I think it was largely successful in this instance (although I mixed it way down to mask it), but if this song makes the cut for the album, I’ll definitely want to do it up right.

Another interesting thing about this song is the tone. I believe I would want to add more spite to the vocals, but the bluegrass feel almost makes it seem MORE spiteful due to the fact it’s an angry song with an upbeat sound. I can’t quite put my finger on WHY, but that’s what I’m getting.

Finally, the length of the song is noteworthy. When I embarked on this weekly song sketch project (which, yay me, I’ve maintained for one whole month without missing a week) I decided to actively work towards shorter, punchier songs. The shortest song on Hold Still is under two minutes, with the rest clocking in at three plus minutes. While I like Tiny Crab > Big World, six minutes is a long time for a song to last. So, when writing these songs I’ve been looking at the structure and thinking what it actually needs. Does the song NEED three verses? Does that solo REALLY have to be there? When I wrote the songs for Hold Still, I was very much stuck on the standard song structure because I was learning how to write songs. Since then I’ve become more comfortable with writing and can (at least I think) better say just as much in fewer words/musical phrases.

As an artist it’s important to continually grow/learn and actively work towards self improvement. If you STOP trying to grow you’ll stagnate and eventually wither as innovation is the lifeblood of art. Don’t worry about what your fans will think. If they’re truly fans the’ll appreciate your work regardless of how different it is from everything else you’ve done. So keep moving, keep changing and keep innovating.

Song Sketchbook #4: You Never Really Saw Me Anyway

song sketchbook 4 you never really saw me anyway

This week’s song sketch… It kind of came out of nowhere when I was processing the Black Lives Matter movement that has (rightfully) been brought to the forefront of everyone’s attention. It’s a breakup song, and the euphemism of black Americans being in a toxic relationship with white Americans clicked when I heard an analogy made between an impromptu song sung by the artist/national treasure Jean Grae from the perspective of her cat and the centuries-old struggle of the black American population. Her line “why isn’t anybody looking at me” as a euphemism for the struggle is very apt. Just look. They are your friends, neighbors and loved ones. SEE them and SEE their daily struggle against the systematic racism that is so ingrained in this country. As a white dude I can’t even pretend to begin to begin to begin to understand. But I, and I hope you too, can SEE and ACT. Everyday. Because white America never really LOOKED at the struggle until it was thrust onto the national stage. And it’s long past due we did.

I do have notes on the song, but I will hold off on posting those so the above can sink in. In the meantime, check out the song below then feel free to go here and do some good.