monday song #12: swept away



[special note: i hope to see all of you seattle-ites tonight at the pub at vios. 65th st and 20th ave in north seattle. its free. kids welcome. i start at 7pm. see you there.]

with number twelve, we complete the first album. and free at that.

i couldn’t make up my mind between two song ideas this week. then i realized that one fragment opened with the line “in the summer sun, praying for the rain.” since last week’s song ended with emily jane praying for rain, i figured i’d pick up the thread in this latest song. instead of the manic enthusiasm, we have the stewing resentment and a wish to be somewhere else.

i think this is my first ever bossa nova. i tried to get the laid back somewhat flat vocal of astrud gilberto, but she’s way cooler than i am. there’s a bit of steely dan in there, and a bit of duke ellington. the opening melodies remind me of “in my solitude.”

the track took on a life of its own, and the stylistic clash of the second half was sort of an echo of the first half. her desperation gives way to a romanticism and emotionalism that she hides from the world. having tasted the highest high, her depression is all the more intolerable, and she can’t help summon dreams of flying again.

the high flying vocals at the end were very fun to do. i played in a hard rock band in sf for many years. we called ourselves called walrus and described the music as “helmet beats the beatles.” seems like every song we did had a break where I “sang” at the top of my register, song after song had a big finish. well, since this is the last track of the first twelve, i figured i’d give it a big finish. nice to know i can still hit a C. (thank god for reverb!)

the main two chords in the song, both in the verse and the ride out – Fmaj7 to Fm7/Bb – owe a debt of gratitude to the song “kreen – akrore” off mccartney’s first solo album. it was one of my favorites in college, and i loved the way the two chords worked together. also, my old pal blake’s band, papa’s culture, had a tune called “fire” that also used a similar modulation. I should ask him if he was also thinking of mccartney.

next week we’ll start a new record…


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5 Responses

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  • jon rubin on

    yeah baby! I got my Pina Colada out for that one. I’m digging this project Andy and it seems to have been really productive for you. Keep it up my man.

  • kristin on

    i don’t know why this one of all of them kills me, since they all stand tall on their own. it must be the confluence of smooth exterior (bossa nova groove, pretty singing) and rough content (madness, booby hatches, disappointment). sad! gorgeous!

  • Dana on

    Yes, the meltdown being the most beautiful. …desperation hangs on to melody for sheer life.

  • G on

    Thanks. You are….


  • Davey Holmes on

    Yeah, I love the different movements of this. Love where you took it. Really interesting idea and shockingly great musicianship. As always.

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