So here we are…the final week. Who’d have thought we’d get here?
Instead of talking about what I’ve done this week, I’m going to the delve right into the song. And then talk about my ONTAW highlights. I knew this song had to do a few things to finish this project off properly. My friends told that they wanted something epic and not just like a normal week. I thought about some of my favourite albums and how they reach their climax(giggidy). I also wanted it to reference as much of the project as possible. I suppose the biggest influence with this song is song called ‘4 Simple a Words’ by Frank Turner. It’s a song that starts on piano and goes to a rocky section, then has a breakdown and ends loudly with a singalong. That was the template I wanted to use.
The intro of the song is based around my song ‘Last Man Standing’, it’s a similar feel and instrumentation, the melody itself is also kind of similar. Towards the end of this section, I’ve done something that I’ve never done. There’s a tempo change, but it’s gradual. The tempo of the next section is around 15bpm faster, so I sped the song up gradually over the Chorus repeat. The hardest thing about doing this is that all the instruments and vocals have to be in sync together or it doesn’t work. I think it worked?
The second section is the main bulk of the song. It’s the same chords as the first section but rockier. All the lyrics in this section reference songs from ONTAW. The only one I didn’t manage to squeeze in was ‘Last Man Standing’ but we’ll get to that. I did mess up with the recording of this part as I recorded it a little too fast so it was almost impossible to sing. I had to record it line by line. I only discovered it was too fast after I recorded and edited everything.
The section of this song is where I decided to get a bit fruity. All year, I wanted to do a sort of Motown type song. I never got round to it for some reason but this song NEEDED it. Originally, o never wrote lyrics or a melody for this section. When I was recording the vocals, I just looped the section and ‘freestyled’ until something suck. I did this with a song called ‘Waiting for the summer’ as well but that didn’t come out as good. To interlude this section and the next section, I became a geek. One of my favourite finale’s to an album is on Abbey Road by the Beatles. The song is called The End. There’s a drum solo in it, which I have always found quite iconic. I decided to emulate that but within the means of the song. It also lead nicely into the sing along ending.
To end the song, I became a geek yet again. The chord sequence used is similar to ‘Home Is a where The Heart Is’ by Mcfly. That’s the end song to their album ‘Motion in the Ocean’, which is my favourite album of theirs. I also thought it was a perfect end to the album. There’s a dialogue over the top. A few years ago, I was mixing a band called Soul Circus, and they they asked me to put a speech in one of their songs. I used a sample from a John Lennon interview at the time and I always loved the way it gave new life to the song. I knew that I wanted something like that at the end of this song, but I thought that if it was me speaking, that’d be lame. I went through some royalty free speeches but they didn’t fit. When I was writing ‘Last Man Standing’, I was watching a lot of interviews with Ryan Tedder. In one he mentioned that he will be the last man standing. That’s where the inspiration for that song came from, I thought it was only right to put that speech in. I loved the way it sounded. To me, this was a perfect way to end the project and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
So that’s it, 52 songs in 54 weeks. I’m really annoyed at my self that I didn’t manage to do it on time. It turns out that trying to do this while working and doing a few tours is pretty hard. I probably could’ve tried harder as well, but there’s a lot there to be proud of.
In that respect, these are my favourite 5 songs that I’ve wrote this year:
- Too Proud To Say
- Let Loose
- Strong Enough to Take the Fall
- Last Man Standing
- Don’t Worry about Me (I’m actually OK)
And from that…to my least 5 favourite:
- Waiting for the summer
- Did You Catch The Sun?
- Out of my depth
- Camden nights part 1
- Protect yourself
It’s not that I think these songs are bad, they just didn’t come out the way I wanted them to.
Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)
I’ve been so blessed by the support shown to me this year during this project. The biggest thank you goes to Joshua Bunting Elms, who has provided me with unique artwork every single week. A lot of people have been more interested in the artwork than the song and that’s completely understandable. Josh stormed it absolutely every week. He never asked for a penny from me during all of this as well. I’m almost certain that last time we were out, he bought my drinks as well. So as a thank you, all the money from my bandcamp sales now go to him. So please be generous!
He’s also set up an online with prints available from ONTAW. Check it out:
Being able to tour these songs 3 times this year has been incredible. It’s been mad playing them and people knowing them. The most overwhelming gig for that was when I played Newcastle in October. I played a few songs that I’ve never played live and some people knew every word. It was incredible. I’ve never had a feeling quite like that.
Again, thank you. Thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you.
So what does 2016 hold? After my tour with Ryan Hamilton in March, I’m taking 6 months of performing my original music and going to write and record an album. Who knows if it’ll happen or not?
Again, Thank You. Without people caring, the project would’ve been almost pointless.