Week 15 - Almost There

Hot blooded euphoria to bittersweet lament in three minutes…I hope I hooked you with the lead.  This one started a few weeks back with the ‘eee eee’ part over a finger picked capoed guitar.  The musical idea came mid-week while I was working on another song.  So as I’ve done before, I filed it away for another day using the handy iPhone voice recorder.  Well, another day came last weekend. 

As I sat down to develop this one, the first item on the agenda was continuing the musical fishing.  I wanted to get a sense of chord structure and melody.  It didn’t take too long to arrive at the basic twelve bar structure that forms the basis of the song and the melody that sits over it.  The first words to stick as I played with that melody were ‘…Cause I’m almost there.’ 

The music had always had a euphoric urgency to me and as I started to write some verses, it was clearly going in that direction.  All along, I was imagining an upbeat song with a character who just couldn’t wait to reunite with his old flame.  I essentially wrote the entire song (minus the bridge) with this in mind.  As I turned to flesh out some bridge ideas, I started thinking about what sort of lyrical interest I could add.  That’s when I had the thought of making it about a soldier returning from war. 

Now, it might have been the ‘perfumed hair’ line or the fact that I’ve recently seen some episodes of the HBO series ‘Band of Brothers’, but in my head the song’s soldier was always a World War II veteran returning from Europe.   Once I decided to introduce this idea to the story, I went back and reworked the lyrics to include some allusions to the war situation.

As for the recording process, there was some trial and error and a little bit of panic as it got late into the week and I still felt like I wasn’t ‘getting’ it.  In the end, I did use some new instruments including strings and the mighty shaky egg.  I’m not well versed in either, but you’ve got to start somewhere… 

I also spent a lot of time playing with reverb which left me - at several points - afraid I had made things too muddy.  The best I could do with my still learning ears was listen to the song played back in a variety of settings (speakers, headphones, car) and make adjustments.  In the end, I felt like I could have use a little more time to tweak but the clock mercifully ran out.

That’s it for now.  I need to get this blog entry finished, the song out and return to civilian life.  Thanks for listening and have a wonderful week!