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New one: Highway Drugged Eyes


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Decided to try something a little different.

 

This is my "first draft" recording so to speak.

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1136938&content=songinfo&songID=10384451

 

Lyrics:

 

Highway drugged eyes watching white lines pass

Middle of the night, foot never leaves the gas

Life never happens out on the interstate

Only people looking for their escape

Barreling down the road trying to break top speed

Not the arriving but the leaving I need

Blow through a town before they catch my name

Gone so fast I leave a cloud in my wake

 

Try to hit the state line before I see the sun

Passing other headlights, I know I'm not the only one

A race against my self to see where I end up

Try to make it there before I run out of luck

I'm Lewis I'm Clark or maybe try Kerouac

I don't leave with much but I try to bring it all back

You think bad of me you might think I'm a bum

But thats still better than waking up stuck

 

Life of a drifter is a life of solitude

The only way I'd have it I'm always on the move

Trying to find an answer I'm trying to find me

I'm trying to make sense of everything I see

I can sense your tragedy like you can sense mine

You don't understand well that's just fine

Sure I'm lost but I don't want to be found

And I never hope to be homeward bound

 

 

 

 

That third verse especially needs a lot of work still in my opinion. Though all of the lyrics could use some editing and fixing up, I feel I might be repeating myself through out the verses.

 

Comments, suggestions? Have I got a start here? Any glaringly bad parts I'm overlooking so far?

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Free-flowing thoughts

 

Get to the guitar a little quicker. If you like it being extended, perhaps fade in the guitar so it begins early but not at full strength?

 

Really like the gist of it once it gets started. With tighter phrasing and percussion it could be easy to sink into. Strong first verse, especially the "not the arriving" line. I normally don't like such akward word positioning, but it works well here.

 

Not a fan of these lines, either lyrically or how you phrased it.

 

 

You think bad of me you might think I'm a bum

But thats still better than waking up stuck

 

 

The verses are a little tedious as currently constituted. When you layer it, consider doing things to make each set evolve a little, not only between them. but within them as well. Introduce another guitar (or any instrument) midway through, or a heavy reverb "oh" with a seperate melody. A few times when the percussion/phrasing changes the pattern slightly wouldn't hurt either. Just stuff that reenergizes listener interest.

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Free-flowing thoughts


Get to the guitar a little quicker. If you like it being extended, perhaps fade in the guitar so it begins early but not at full strength?


Really like the gist of it once it gets started. With tighter phrasing and percussion it could be easy to sink into. Strong first verse, especially the "not the arriving" line. I normally don't like such akward word positioning, but it works well here.


Not a fan of these lines, either lyrically or how you phrased it.




The verses are a little tedious as currently constituted. When you layer it, consider doing things to make each set evolve a little, not only between them. but within them as well. Introduce another guitar (or any instrument) midway through, or a heavy reverb "oh" with a seperate melody. A few times when the percussion/phrasing changes the pattern slightly wouldn't hurt either. Just stuff that reenergizes listener interest.

 

 

Nice feedback, Oswlek! You hit a lot of points that I agree with. I really dig the feel of this song. It's like Man Man meets Tom Waits and the lyrics are certainly a strong point. I agree that you should get to the guitarjo quicker, although I do like starting with just the percussion. I actually think sticking with the finger picking when you start singing rather than the strumming might make for a better sound, and I also agree with Os that at times it feels a bit busy, so paring things down some with his suggestions would do wonders. All in all it's a really solid song. I kinda have a thing for the road/drifter songs too. Nicely done.

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Oswlek: After I had it done I realized the intro was too long. On the next recording I plan on having the percussion intro just a measure or two and then getting to the banjo part, because I still like a bit of percussion intro. Might that be too much though with the ending just being percussion?

 

When you say tighter percussion what do you mean? I know they stuff on there isn't exactly metronome precision, but I kind of went for that, trying to get almost a prison chain gang work song kinda feel, but maybe it just ended up sounding sloppy? I do hear it getting busy at parts, especially that instrumental break in the middle.

 

The line you quoted WAS pretty awkward. This is a very early draft of the lyrics and I just wanted to get the general idea down. I like what those lines are trying to say, but I definitely fell short on getting them to say it.

 

For the verses, I just thought of maybe having the finger picking part for the first verse and then switching to the strum on later verses? Or maybe keeping that and having another instrument add some chord strumming. Maybe mandolin? hmm....

 

 

 

 

 

MellowMateo: I never heard Man Man before, just checked them out, these guys rock! Thanks for bringing them up. And yeah, I love some Tom Waits.

 

I love the road songs too. Between that and cabin fever kicking in HARD right now, the drifter idea has been coming out in a lot of my lyrics lately. Almost too much.

 

 

 

Other thoughts: How does that Kerouac line sound? I always feel a little weird name checking in a song.

 

Does the song work without a chorus or bridge type of thing? I know it's kinda repetitive now, but even after I fix those I'm not sure. I had an idea that could be music for a chorus, but I couldn't find words to fit. Maybe a wordless vocal melody?

 

 

 

Thanks for the advice. I already have some ideas on how to change it (hopefully) for the better.

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Yeah, I had never heard of them either and my roommate took me to a show of theirs on Halloween and they blew my mind. Really great, original stuff. You should check them out live if you ever have the chance.

 

As far as the Kerouac line, I don't think it sounded cheesy or anything. I would stick with it unless it bothers you. And I think the song kind of works without a chorus or bridge simply due to the theme of the road. The road is long and ultimately unchanging. The scenery may change, but you and the road don't.

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http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10401384

 

Newer version. I'm pretty sure I will keep the music the same now, maybe one or two changes.

 

New version of the lyrics:

 

Highway drugged eyes watching white lines pass

Middle of the night, foot never leaves the gas

Life never happens out on the interstate

Only people running toward their escape

Barreling down the road trying to break top speed

Not the arriving it

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Is there more compression on the vocals? I really like it as an opener, though I'd be interested to hear how it would sound with less of it as the song goes along.

 

Regarding my earlier comment about the percussion - I'm on board with your intention. Too much precision would sound phony. It is just that there are a handful of beats that were noticably off and it distracted me.

 

My favorite part of the song is the 3:10 (and repeated) with the soft xylophone. That is cool. You definitely have something here, though I wish it could build even more. Cello, maybe a 2nd guitar that comes in. That said, I'd keep the ending the same, anything else would have dropped off by then. Just the perc and xylophone, that was damn cool.

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Newer version. I'm pretty sure I will keep the music the same now, maybe one or two changes.

 

New version of the lyrics:

 

Highway drugged eyes watching white lines pass

Middle of the night, foot never leaves the gas

Life never happens out on the interstate

Only people running toward their escape

Barreling down the road trying to break top speed

Not the arriving it

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