May 8, 2013

Sun, Intention and Result

Sun shining, radiate your own mind
Choose right you might find another life
you might find another
woman don't you know me
woman don't forget your mine

What is a song without a chorus or hook? It is often considered the most important part of a song. The part everyone wants to sing with. The identifiable. Usually names the piece. The face of the song that should dictate the mood and production. Everything hinges on the chorus or hook, so what is left if you take it away?




That is the question Loud Is The Night is built around. Sun is completely devoid of a chorus or proper hook, but not of form. There are a lot of examples of this form in the folk-blues world. Though the more popular songs will repeat one singular unchanging phrase at the end of each verse. But what makes it unique and oddly beautiful is its brevity. It is an idea broken into two thoughts. One to the other, one to the self. Sun is a musical statement. The words could easily be a conversation more than something to be sung. That is why there is no chorus. And why there is no hook. I wanted to make something that was less of a production and more physical.

In the evolution of our three albums, and my songwriting, it is probably the biggest change linking them together. The first, I avoided choruses. Feeling them to be the most contrived and boring parts. The second album grew from the experience of the first. I learned that no matter how good the song is, without a strong chorus, people have far less to hold on to. To identify with. They are less likely to pay attention. I felt like we were tipping the balance. The third was a complete focus on the chorus. Moving the song around it. Really trying to find those moments and flush them out as best we could. 

It was different for me. A new way to approach the craft. I think for the future we will continue in this direction. I don't want to lock us down into anything but I don't know if I'm ready to try that idea again yet. The band is alive and life means change. I don't have a definitive destination, but I know I don't want to be stagnant. Each album. Each song, a stop on our way to the next one. 

Bird calling, makes you wonder why you can not fly
Home told me, you can fly if you want to hide
you can fly if you want to
woman don't you need me
woman don't forget your boy

*
The solo for Sun is one of my favorites. The whole song sways beautifully and the solo with it. It was recorded on an old tack piano Dan had in his basement during the first album. I think he still has it but the tacks might have been removed. At the end of the song, after the final vocal refrain, there is a subtle change in the bass that just adds a huge relief to the groove. I always enjoy listening for it.

So again: What is a song without a chorus or hook? Some might say it is wrong, or incomplete.  I would argue against that and I believe Sun to be good evidence. It is wonderful to have songs of all varieties and forms. There is no right or wrong in music. Only intention and result.

A purple morning, for a few minutes the birds bleet
and two dogs, gruff and snort across the street
and leave all dreamers' stories incomplete
from the kiss that never again will be, 
or the crash of a flighted-girl beneath
some truth she always wished to see.
No, this cant be the same room, 
the same bed, that last took me to sleep

-rene



*image from: http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/706436main_20121114-304-193Blend_M6-orig_full.jpg