Sea! Did you like bty? What are your thoughts on it? Where does your mind go when you listen to it? I just find your posts so fascinating and they always open up a world to me, making me enjoy a song even more. I don't even mean the meaning of it (unless you want to talk about that), just like your genuine opinion of the song. Whenever you have time, of course. Xx
I love this song– it has all sorts of great song-writing and performance tricks!
I hear a few things, which, if I have time, I will go into a bit more.
1. The overall sound. It’s very lean, which focuses your ears on the “air” in between the sound. The synth bass & the snapping fingers that start the song establish a “dialogue” or dialectic that is the basis of the song– so economical and clever, right? It’s a push-pull between highs and lows, good and bad, love and hate, escape and return. It’s a very lean song harmonically too, only four chords for most of it, and the entire song is based on these four chords.
2. The way the verse is like telling a story, starting with a very static line, like a calm conversation. The musical intervals get bigger in the pre-chorus (“you fuck me up, you kill me”), and even bigger in the chorus (“I love it, I hate it”– see the dialectic there?) because THE EMOTIONS ARE GETTING BIGGER TOO. And then– it all winds down when “I keep on getting back to you”– when the song returns to the root note, the tonic.
3. The 4 chords that the song is based on has a hidden surprise. Listen to the very beginning. Most songs progress IV - V - I; this song goes IV - V - I - VI (modulates a third down)– it has that chromatic, Beach Boys key modulation that tells us the song isn’t a normal pop song, but has some classic rock roots. Doesn’t it sound a little bit like “I Get Around”?
4. “I just keep on coming back to you,” has a descending scale sequence that reminds me of “Even when the night changes, it’ll never change me and you.” And guess what– Night Changes has a chromatic modulation too (“Yooooo” @ 2:28). You know what? I don’t care if Harry likes singing SOTT more. Night Changes was a performance masterpiece– listen to the melisma.
5. The distortion of Louis’ voice when he sings “And I guess you’ll never know/ All the bullshit that you put me through” (2:00 the bridge) and then contrasted to Bebe’s “you can cut me up and kiss me harder/ you can be the pill to ease the pain”– the roughness of bullshit, the softness of kissing. That contrast is so delicious!
Anyway, I’ll try to think more about the song when I’m not as tired. I appreciate this song so much. It shows Louis trying something new and exploring, and I’m so enamored.
Quick fact. Ready?
The typical person has 4 vocal chords; two are true and contain actual muscle, while two are false and are only connective tissue. The false vocal chords cannot normally contract and therefore do not contribute to one’s voice.
Recently I have been hearing a bunch of really talented songwriters who have a lot of potential, but they fuck up on super easy rules that make their songs fall flat. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned from someone who inspired me and helped me become the songwriter that I am today.
Rule #1: MAKE LOVE TO YOUR CHOURS
Think of a song like a novel. You have the intro, then the story line begins, then you slowly rise up to the climax, and then the resolution. (Something like that idk). Well, when writing music, make sure your chorus is the CLIMAX of the song… Meaning it must be the strongest part of the song. The chorus is the most important part of any song, so you must have a catchy, easy melody line that will stick in the listeners head all day after only hearing it once.
Rule #2: CAPTAIN HOOK IS YOUR MAN
If you want to write a hit, you must include a hook, or else your song will most likely never be played on the radio.
Rule #3: PATTERNS ARE THE WAY TOGO
Make sure all your verses follow a melody pattern. Don’t just start making up random melodies that you pulled out from your ass. YOU MUST stay in a format. If your first verse sounds a certain way, your second must match up exactly to it.
Rule #4: GET THE RIGHT KEY, OR NO DOORS WILL OPEN
I can’t tell you how much this frustrates me the most. When songwriters write a song that is TOO LOW or TOO HIGH for their voice. If its too high or low, change the key, IT’S YOUR SONG SO YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO IT. If it’s too hard to sing, then get someone else to sing it for you and you will get the royalties.
Rule #5: YOU ONLY NEED 4 CHORDS AND THE TRUTH GRASSHOPPERS
Using the same 4 chords over and over again is completely acceptable, don’t listen to whatever anybody else says. Look at Taylor Swift, almost all of her songs are the same 4 chords throughout, and she’s making a lot of money off those songs.
Rule #6: THE BEST SONGS ARE WRITTEN FROM REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES
Now this is my own advice. I find it EXTREMELY hard to make up a scenario in my head, and write a song about something that never happened. In my opinion, the best songs that you will ever write, are the songs that are written about your experiences. So therefore, songwriters should always live their lives to the fullest and take risks, trust me… the best songs will come out of it ;)
Rule #7: The melody is what hooks you in, but the lyrics is what will make you stay.
The best songs have strong melodies with meaningful lyrics. The songs that have catchy melodies but shitty lyrics are not the songs that you will be listening to in 10 years.
Anyways, thats pretty much it for me. I was getting really frustrated from hearing songs that COULD be hits, but AREN’T because they miss KEY things.
… & Special Thanks Hua, my mentor & good friend, for inspiring me so much :)
left feeling empty - game got weak its showin - psychic defenses barely holding - felt like i wanna walk away from - the one place that i almost fit in - said my goodbyes early - even a tight hug barely got thru - without out saying it she knew (i think)- will u be here next week? - good i will see you - (fuck im not even tryin to rhyme) - she never comments on my performance - tho one time she said she liked it when i sang instead of only playing instrumentals - sometimes if not 2 bizzy bartending she rings a bell to show she listening and likes it - performers who know - its the highest compliment - no itz not a romance
took the bus home cuz i needed to decompress -
kinda feel like i strayed from my vision - but the lyrics arent flowing lately - and my playing is sub par often - a few songs i outgrew and dont even like much anymore - 1 i never play -(sorta jammed it once w bass on a slow night w few performers without singing ) cuz itz tricky and the lyrics unfinished i keep thinking inspired i’ll play it and free flow -
my intro verszion is showin - no panic attacks just the always slightly uneasy - and i forget that its ok - messy and realz how i roll - i told someone tuesday - who is afraid to play - a bad note wont kill u - fuck then i forget it myself - but i hatez playing bad notes and wrong chords and 4 get words - theres a line in jim jarmusch move - “its a strange, sad and beautiful life” - or something close -i keep forgetting - for 20 years nobody heard me = cept my cat and my wife and 1 guitar student who couldnt pay me - i didnt need the money anyway - u only as good as ur last trade is trope - that part of me believes - i got 3 trades on right now - 2 short term too small to move the needle - but if they worked out some needed cash flow - right now they a wash - 1 working out the other not - 1 long term might take a year or more to play out - either a big win or complete loss - its the only way to play this one - the loss wont be major but a win could be big - and the 1st one in a long time
we r only here a short time - but - tout le matin du monde (its a movie - all the mornings in the world) are waiting
- he doesn’t know what to do
- I mean look at him
- but he learned like 4 chords
- and plays this outside your window:
Side note: please click it it’s such a good song, and fucking perfect for Jared
- what a loser
- you say yes
I rather only be able to listen to closer by the Chainsmokers for the next year than hear slow hands one more time. both of nialls songs are embarrassing af. This town is 3 strings being plucked over and over and slow hands is 4 chords at most with a joke of a riff. The lyrics are basic and cliched at best and nonsensical at worst..with a TEAM of writers. I just find everything about Niall cringey & its def suspect that both Demi and Katy Perry have said he's clingy af & doesn't take hints
tbh closer was lowkey good lol…. that’s an example of an average song that made it big because of a good beat