hello.music round three — We Sang Modern English

hello.music Here is version THREE of my newish song from this weekend:

We Sang Modern English v3


I think I’ve made some progress on this and I like it this far in. Obviously choruses still yet to be recorded, and some mixing\mastering needs to be done, etc etc but its getting there. I like that the song is so stripped down as my natural tendency is to add too many layers and that can really ruin a song like this. I want it to come across like that personal moment that people can relate to.

I’m sure there are ways to blast it open and reinvent this this song, make it fatter or build to a fatter sound. Thinking about adding more subconcious level guitars and atmosphere to give it some more warmth, but at its heart, I think it works best as being a bit more open and raw.

Really some of the best lyrics I’ve written I think because they are both personal and universal in some way, but also not completely trite and played out. They sort of allude to these little things the guy is attracted to and the feelings he has in this little moment; this exposed feeling or sentiment of wanting to tell a girl how you feel, but being unsure how she feels back.

I will try to get some more progress on this, the rest of the week and maybe be done with a full song for next week. Something about having the whole house to myself lends itself to more creativity for some reason.

UPDATE: For comparison’s sake, here is We Sang Modern English version TWO.


Not much is drastically different in these arrangements besides the double tracked vocals in the verses.

6 thoughts on “hello.music round three — We Sang Modern English”

  1. I am noticing some similarities between yours and greg’s singing style.. could be that you are both going for that pained indie voice or you are just trying to steal each others thunder.

  2. I obviously want to BE Greg. Who wouldn’t?

    In actuality I think this style is fairly close to an actual singing voice for me. One thing that is difficult is finding real voice. Another is singing for first time and finding that confidence. Especially when there are neighbors, roommates, etc to try not to disturb.

    And yes part of that style of music is that hushed vocal quality.

    (I could go on an on about your copped faux Brit Beta Band accent voice you do ;)

  3. ha! good one.. I know what you mean about having an empty house.. that could be why I have been dry as of late, since I have been working during the day and at night I am not alone. Maybe i will take a music lunch and start recording throughout the day. Or I could quite my job…

  4. Just read this article on Pitchfork with Shins singer James Mercer… I think this just expressed what I was saying about finding voice…:

    Pitchfork: …Right. Were you more comfortable recording vocals in your own space?

    James: I suppose I have developed some confidence. I’m willing to let my freak flag fly sometimes. Sometimes I feel like the songs just demanded it too, though. [For] Oh, Inverted World, I was in a little studio apartment so I always felt self-conscious about the singing because I knew my neighbors could hear. On Chutes Too Narrow, I was not quite as confident, and now I guess I’m getting a little bit better about it. But there’s always that risk you take of being a little too earnest or passionate and it being uncomfortable to listen to– somebody spilling their emotional guts out on the floor or something. So hopefully I landed just shy of being embarrassing to hear.

  5. Great lyrics- can’t wait to hear the chorus. I think the earlier version of this i heard didn’t have the double tracked vocals. You might take a listen to that again- can you post a version with just one Mike for a comparison?

    Are you going to add any more instruments to this? It’s so nice with just guitar and harmonica.

  6. When you listen, you will hear two verses and then a blank spot where there will be the chorus, then intsrumental interlude, then two verses. The next blank spot is the spam spot where there will be chorus and then it changes to the V chord for a vamp from V to a ii chord.

    I think at that point I will bring in more instruments b\c people are telling me they think that is where it needs to build and climax. On some level I like the stripped down nature of this whole thing. But it does need to sound more filled out in a few spots. The chorus vocal melodies will provide some of those hooks, but perhaps more guitar and melodica as well.

    For inspirations, I sort of latched onto Wilco’s “Muzzle of Bees” from A Ghost is Born. Halfway through, that song starts a vamp that builds to a nice intensity with a minimum of instruments and such. I might try something closer to that realm, than ROCKING OUT or going electro with synths and such because that doesnt really fit with the mood of the song. I want to be subtle and beautiful with the instrumentation, nothing over the top…something Jim O’Rourke’s production style will add.

    What do you think I should add?

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