Well my friends, it's been a few Mondays since I last posted my lil' homemade iphone music videos. You know I intended on it, but...
Too much, not worth the explanation, but the good news is I'm back in business with JAMM... and yes I am just going to shorten it to JAMM because Just Another Music Monday just takes too long to type:)
Apparently I have this reputation for being... long winded, chatty, descriptive, redundant and possibly over communicative. Now, I'm not saying that I am going to go drastically changin', cause I like the details, however I am going to attempt to say more by saying less. I know we don't have time to scroll down through my novelish length posts all the live long day. I mean, who reads these days? (ha!). So If there is a way to write with heartfelt efficiency, and for you to read and connect with heartfelt efficiency then that would be super duper for all of us.
Back to JAMM... I've been a'waitin' (in the words of Buddy Holly, needless side note? totally needful in my book, this less is more thing is gonna be tricky) to play you this song that I wrote back in March just after I got the call to play the roll of Desiree Banner, however I had to wait till the movie aired (Btw, a big thanks to all of you that tuned into the Hallmark Channel to watch Banner 4th of July. Also a necessary sidenote. I want to say more, resisting). Any who, I read the script before I was officially casted, thought it was cute, hoped I would get the part. Weeks later I had a conference call with the director, producer, writer and EP of the movie, and they informed me that they would like me to write a few original tunes that I would also sing. With great excitement they explained that I need to write "the Banner Project's big hit" they would really love something "kinda mumford & sons-ish meet's Phillip Phillips Home and a little bit Lumineersy". I had to chuckle, if I knew how to write songs like that I'd probably be wearin' a rolex and drivin' a Rolls, but let's be honest, I'm wearin' a timex and driving a Honda (which is honestly my preference) By my own personal standards, I'm successful, but not that successful! :) Sarcasm aside, I really wanted to take on the challenge, and the reference was quite helpful, so I told them, YES! I will do it! Oh, and I supposed that meant I got the part? :)
When it comes to writing songs, I rarely sit down with such a specific concept, or think "write a song that sounds like this". So I felt like maybe this wasn't something I would be able to pull off. Generally I feel at the mercy of whatever song wants to present itself to me. People always ask me "how do you write a song", and I always give a confusing long non-answer, cause I really don't know. Obviously I write lyrics, and pair them to a melody that sings over an arrangement of chords, obvious I know, but how? The songs write themselves, I just try to make myself available when they are ready. Cause believe me, I try to write songs all the time, and a lot of times it is a lot of staring at a blank sheet of paper. I put in the time, I write down stuff, I play a lot of stuff, and a lot of that stuff is, pretty much crap. However, I do wonder if all that stuff is just necessary priming for the real thing. The work precedes the inspiration? Like I said, I really don't know. Honestly, every time I finish a song, I wonder "will I ever be able to do that again?". Writing a really good song sort of feels like winning the Lotto. It feels lucky... that being said, I've never played the Lotto, so I definitely have never won the lotto... lame comparison?!
Ah! Trying to make this short(er), so I wrote this song, I was very surprised. The whole "write a song that sounds like this" thing totally worked! And no it doesn't sound like M&S or PP, but it was my best original interpretation that felt right for this story. Best of all, they were happy, and I was happy. And let me tell you, I love acting, it is really interesting and challenging and fun, and I don't do it very often for complicated reasons, but being able to write the songs as a songwriter, and then sing them in the movie as an actress was really really rewarding. In the final scene of the movie, we (the banner project, me and my bros. Mitchell and Johnny) sing this song to our hometown. It was about 30 degrees that "4th of July" night and it was raining, you could see our breath, and we literally sang sun up sun down, from sun down to sun up. We pulled an all nighter, along with a couple hundred of the most enthusiastic group of extras I've ever seen. Seriously the citizens of North Bay Ontario deserved an academy award for their level of commitment to being the most believably energetic, excited crowd I've ever seen in all my time on stage. Granted they were "acting" but they sang along to every word, and danced and shouted so joyfully, to every single take. It was pretend, but it was real. It was kind of amazing.
So here it is, this is how every song begins, just a guitar (or piano) and a voice...
Oh, If you like it, you can find it over on the iTunes. Up next Monday... Fly Fly Fly, the other song I wrote for the movie.
*A shout out to Christian Campbell (who plays Mitch) for singing a great vocal on this track. And one more shout out to Kevin "Kedge" Haaland for producing and playing a lot of instruments on this record, so great.