Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Counting Down

Listen to The Counting Song:

Not quite a record lapse (pun intended?) in publishing here, but a nice solid 5 month break.

And I still have two songs from Good News for Love about which to write...

So let's get after it.

First off, we're at six months since Good News for Love was released digitally, which is a good point at which to take stock of how things are going...

So: significant national college and AAA radio play, a kick-ass CD release show at Schubas in January, nice press, licensing opportunities (to Old Navy for in-store play, PBS, and more)... Good News for Love seems to be connecting.

Also interesting for me is that because I came back into ownership of the Days of Getting By masters, I've been able to properly work that record as well for licensing and other opportunities, including a trip to New York to perform Tell the Kids on the great Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter Showcase.

So it's almost like working two new releases or at least two sides of a record (hmmmmm... file that one away for later).

Anyway, the response to both has been really, really encouraging.

I have the next Paper Arrows release written and demoed... and there's a lot for me to say about the plans for that but... let's finish Good News for Love first.

The Counting Song is the penultimate tune on Good News for Love (get it on iTunes!) and I don't play a thing on it... a distinction is shares with (I think) only two other Paper Arrows recordings: Things We Would Rather Lose and Near.  I only sing, which is pretty neat.

There's some wonderful playing by the crew, and stylistically it occurred to me just last week as I was watching the incredible Muscle Shoals documentary that we went after a kind of Fame Studios 6/8 soul-thing with the production approach.

Here's the original (pretty grimy) demo for comparison (and to show how fucking brilliant the musicians are and production is):

It was pretty fun singing this one... it was the first one I did in the whirlwind 3 or 4 hours on Sunday afternoon I cut the vocals for the record.  I remember being relieved I got the first one done.

As far as the composition... this was the last song written for Good News for Love.  I had Why We Work, What Changed, Wrap Your Arms Around, and Close (and a couple songs that wound up being jettisoned), and one week in September of 2012 I set the goal of writing a song a day to try to finish up the group.  The first day I wrote Sing It Out, the second day I wrote a song we didn't record, and the third day I wrote The Counting Song.

I remember I wrote it really fast, like got up early and had it essentially laid out and done by 8:00 a.m.  Which doesn't always happen.

Lyrically, it's straightforward and hopeful.  Maybe a little vague.  Is that a contradiction?  The chorus is actually the background vocals from the song Light Out (from Days of Getting By).

So there's that... enjoy...


There's a candle I light
And hold as the flame burns bright
And pray that it lasts through the night
And on and on

And wonder what has been saved
What survives and what fades
And all the songs left to be player
And on and on

I'm still counting...

One for sorrow
Two for tomorrow
Three for the show
Darling leave a light on for me
I promise I'll be home...

As the days drift away
As the blues become grays
Regret is a cage
That goes on and on

So look for the sun
And know that I'm the one
Who will fight til it's done
And on and one

I'm still counting...