The quest to write, record, produce and release a brand new song each and every week.
It's best if you listen to the song whilst you're reading, (which you'll get sent directly to you before it's released if you become one of my patrons!) but you can also listen on...
It's also available on all major streaming and music stores worldwide, so just search for 'Tom B. Cooper YOU, ME & NOTHING IN BETWEEN' and it'll show up!
Anyway, welcome to Week 14 of the A Song A Week blog. I'm going to dive straight in with how 'YOU, ME & NOTHING IN BETWEEN' came to be...
April Month Is Simple Month
Right then, I’m gonna lay it straight out for you here. April is simple month for A Song A Week.
I’m on tour with Lux Lisbon (we’re hitting Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Brighton and finishing off at Scala in London! If you’re in any of those places, come say hi – I’d love to meet you guys) and not only are we doing the tour, we’ve got intensive rehearsals and we’ve also booked in a whole bunch of recording time too (which I’m producing and engineering) so yeah, April is crazy.
But, not one to be deterred, A Song A Week is ploughing on and it’s actually given me a good focus for a song a week.
So far, I’ve just done what I wanted – any genre or style I fancy writing in, I’ve done it. No rhyme nor reason, just whatever I do at the time or whatever brief/limitation I pluck out the air.
But not now!
By the end of April (and the end of what looks like my busiest month of the year) I’ll have a lovely little folk-pop EP.
I’d started by thinking ‘Oh I’ll just do acoustic songs’ but I can actually utilise the guys in Lux Lisbon and hopefully I’ll have them featuring on some tracks too. Super.
Now I’m not talking traditional folk here, I’m talking folk-pop like Peter Doran, Covenhoven, Galapaghost etc. (As ever, I highly recommend checking these guys out if you haven’t already. They’re all ace!)
So not only are my songs going to be of a simpler and more focussed nature, but I’ve realised my blog and my podcast is going to have to be too.
But, that’s a good thing, right?
Focus, time management and most importantly creativity. What a mix!
You, Me & Nothing In Between
So with You, Me & Nothing In Between, I very deliberately sat down with my acoustic guitar and thought ‘folk!’
I played and I tried and I played some more. Would anything come?
Would it folk! (I’m also going to try for a ‘folk’ pun every week too…)
So I did what I usually do in times of minor personal crisis, you guessed it – I embraced my Britishness and made a cuppa tea.
I picked up my phone as a distraction whilst the kettle was boiling and found myself going towards my shamefully unorganised recordings on my phone.
But there, gleaming like a beacon of hope was one titled ‘Folk-y idea for brief’… all the way back from July 2015.
I can’t remember what the brief was (I was writing a lot to briefs at the time) but it was there, laid out for me in full. Every guitar part you hear, played much faster mind, but still. I nice folk-y finger picking pattern and some good sounding chords too.
So rather than go back and pick up the guitar to work out what I’d been playing, I instead drank my cup of tea and I can honestly say I came up with 90% of the lyrics and melody within about 5 minutes… my tea was still too hot to drink so it really didn’t take that long!
Now, this happens every now and again and I sometimes feel kind of guilty or lazy when it happens, but really, it means you’re probably on to a bit of a winner.
How so? Well, those of you who have read these blogs and listened to my podcasts before will know only too well that I go with my gut every step of the way and if my gut is telling me something needs changing, I work damned hard to change it until it feels right or I’ve exhausted myself to the point of confusion (at which point I leave it until later in the day or another time… usually yields a result within the first 5 minutes of coming back to it.) If it feels good and right at that step of the writing process, why over analyse and change it? It’s probably good.
That’s my very simplistic view and I’m sticking to it anyway.
Now that’s not to say things that felt absolutely right at one stage of the process doesn’t change, that happens a hell of a lot once you introduce new elements or you’ve lived with the song for a bit. There are so many reasons something needs changing that felt so good before.
So I never ever get too attached to something. Firstly because an idea might need ditching and reversely an idea might need resurrecting. Either occurrence is absolutely fine.
Just a recommendation though, no matter what your idea, you should document it. After all, I could’ve easily just deleted that ‘Folk-y idea for brief’ recording on my phone – I know fully well I hadn’t thought about the idea until now and maybe even thought it wasn’t worth pursuing at the time, but it blossomed into You, Me & Nothing In Between and I’m damned pleased about that.
TTFN (Ta ta for now!)
Right, I told you this was gonna be short.
You, Me & Nothing In Between was just one of those easy songs (although a slow start) and I’m really pleased with it.
I could’ve maybe added in some more instrumentation, but I wasn’t feeling it at the time.
My role as a producer is often to rein artists in and hold them back from adding distractions and that’s exactly what I’ve done for myself here.
It’s a funny thing being my own producer and with a song like You, me & Nothing In Between I think it’s really important to disassociate the writing and production stages. So I’ll write the song first then produce it, I’ll almost certainly not use production as a writing technique for the entire month of April whilst I’m so super dooper (duper?!) busy.
I’m really psyched for the results that it could yield and I’m genuinely excited to have a focus and know that I’m going to have a coherent collection of songs as an EP come the end of the month.
Thank you so much for reading. The absolute best way you can support me and this blog is by listening to and sharing 'YOU, ME & NOTHING IN BETWEEN' (which you'll get sent directly to you before it's released if you become one of my patrons!) but you can also listen on...
And it's available on all major streaming and music stores across the internet, just search for 'Tom B. Cooper 'YOU, ME & NOTHING IN BETWEEN' and it'll show up!
I'd also love it if we connected via social media, so hit me up on...
Peace and happy music making.