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are my songs too quirky? Northern Irish acoustic alternative folk Gary Greenwood


dankepig

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hey everyone i am a 25yr old irish solo musician. The songs here are my own.. written recorded and mastered by me! i am often fearful that i have made them a bit too quirky (what with the four part vocal harmonies!) and that most people wont get them after just one listen.. anyway take a listen and see what you guys think of them.. any comments or opinions are welcome.. My equipment isnt great and so the sound quality isnt perfect.. tho good headphones help! hope you enjoy!!

 

http://www.myspace.com/dankepig1

 

http://soundcloud.com/dankepig .

 

please let me know what you thought... :)

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Welcome to the forum, Gary!

 

You can read the forum guidelines here: Resource List :: SW FORUM RULES (read BEFORE posting!)

 

We try to keep threads for discussions of works in progress or simply discussions of songwriting craft or other songwriting topics, but I'll give a quick listen.

 

I'm listening to "Camino Nights"... it has an engaging neo-folkie sound. (Some might be turned off by the electric acoustic sound. Others may like it.) The verse has a familiar folkie lilt. It's a bit hard for me to make out many of the words easily, and that can slow down folks' appreciation. At the same time, if you can get them to come back at least once, a slow revelation might work out for you. The rush of the chorus or bridge is an intriguing element that may help to hook more folks in -- but it kind of sounds familiar to me, somehow. Is it possible it sounds like a similar section in an Elliot Smith song? That can be problematic, if the echo is too obvious.

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thanks blu2blue for having a listen and also a big thanks for your comments; a very good interpretation and analysis! i am also glad you likened it to elliott smith, he is one of my biggest inspirations. I did not attempt to copy him or any of his songs tho, i just let what was there come out. The electro acoustic sound is simply due to the 6track recorder, i only own 1 guitar and its a big beautiful acoustic! again thanks a million for giving a moment of your life to help out a stranger! kind regards, Gary

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It's not an unpleasant or unappealing sound, mind you. But it does have a bit of an electric edge.

 

The Smith inspiration thing: it's hard not to be influenced by folks we really like and I don't think it's really a problem unless it proves to be something the artist just can't get out from under. But if echoes of influences pop up, that's natural. Even a guy like Dylan had lots of influences kicking around in him, and when he started out, they seemed more noticeable, I think, but as Dylan grew to fit his skin (as they say) I think he came to make those influences more part of him. (I'm only using Dylan because he's someone most folks know, and someone a lot of copy has been written about, and because he is now, like him or hate him, someone that people have a very strong sense of identity about.)

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You are really really great. I've listened to Camino Nights and currently listening to Words. I really like your style. I'm not sure if it's quirky to be honest. Apparently I'm not good at determining quirky from "normal". But who cares? If it's good it's good and your stuff is great.

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Are you too good?

 

Awesome. Keep it up, man. Don't worry about any of that crap. Quirky? Naw. You could be great though. Gotta brush up on fundamentals. At your stage though, fundamentals aren't boring, they're your ticket to artistic bliss.

 

But really, you're already there. Except for the stuff that the producer of your choice is going to flog you with.

 

Nice work, just don't go lazy. Stay a perfectionist, and when you learn more, stay a perfectionist.

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thanks again blue! i no what you mean on both counts.. tho dont worry i could not possibly mind you talking about elliott smith and me in the same sentence! its always good to hear an honest opinion cuz as you know friends in the 'non internet world' (real world lol) will always say its good without really listening.. so thanks man and keep those opinions coming!!

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thank you cocklehocker! cant believe you describe my music as really really great!! thats the most positive sentence anyones ever said about my music! im very glad u liked them.. i have heard your music on myspace and ur pretty darn impressive yourself! thanks for adding me ;) where are ya from?

 

leonard i am really glad you picked up on the harmonies.. im really into writing these contrasting harmonies.. its just so much fun.. yet pretty challenging to reach some of the notes ;) the guitar sound was more a lucky mistake than anything else.. but ill be keeping that sound in future thanks to these comments!

 

Hey Lee thank you! I know what you mean about the fundamentals.. i am a completely self-taught musician and i no that i've probably skipped a few of the basics along the way.. imj very appreciative of your comments, until abaout 5 days ago no-one had ever heard any of my solo recordings cuz i didnt think anyone would understand what they were.. so it means alot to me to hear honest people saying "gary, youre aleady there"!!! im very glad you like my music man.. oh and i have just turned 25.. you?

 

thank you all for listening and commenting its really is greatly appreciated!! :)

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Hey Lee thank you! I know what you mean about the fundamentals.. i am a completely self-taught musician and i no that i've probably skipped a few of the basics along the way.. imj very appreciative of your comments, until abaout 5 days ago no-one had ever heard any of my solo recordings cuz i didnt think anyone would understand what they were.. so it means alot to me to hear honest people saying "gary, youre aleady there"!!! im very glad you like my music man..
oh and i have just turned 25.. you?


 

 

I'm 51, my friend. But I dig what you're doing and the reason I asked your age is because sometimes people find their target at an early age and some later. I do believe you've found yours. Just curious of the when. Nice. edit (I see you mentioned your age. Sorry. Got lost in the music after reading you...

 

Print out some lyrics?

 

I love your bassline on Chokin Town.

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Honestly I think this is great, I hear so many influences in there while not copying any directly, it is presented nicely. Spit'n'polish will happen (don't let it destroy you), but man this is good stuff.

 

I'd like to hear the vocals more, so because I really want to hear your lyrics so I can care about them (if I can't pick them out, then I don't actually care about them and I really want to care). . I like the guitar. I second Lee, I want to read some lyrics.

 

I would never say too quirky, but quirky enough.

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thanks alot man its really refreshing to hear someone say they think i've found my target instead of "gary stop wasting your time" lol.. chokin towns one of my favourite sounding bassline also.. my favourite bassline to play is Nail Thru :) As for lyrics.. why yes fine sir that would be my pleasure! but it must wait til morning.. its 4:10am here and i must get up for work tomorrow!..

 

thanks again man, add me on myspace if you like :) goodnight lol

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Seems a bit long. (Camino Nights). At about 3:30 I thought it was over (a natural break), but then it picks up and carries on. And it doesn't break any new ground in the last 2 minutes. I'd say it's probably too long.

 

Really sounds interesting. I'd like more clarity on the vocals. But that's just equipment and technique. Didn't pick up enough of the lyrical flow on the first listen to comment about lyrics in any way.

 

Nicely done.

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thank you cocklehocker! cant believe you describe my music as really really great!! thats the most positive sentence anyones ever said about my music! im very glad u liked them.. i have heard your music on myspace and ur pretty darn impressive yourself! thanks for adding me
;)
where are ya from?

 

 

You are very welcome. I mean it. I will listen to the rest of them soon too.

Aw, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. They're pretty rough. Just ideas really. I appreciate you listening though! I'm from Longford actually :D.

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Nothing wrong with quirky in my book - quirky = original - as long as it's 'good' quirky.

 

I'm listening to Camino Nights and liking it a lot. The guitar style is really interesting - a bit Nick Drake - lots of interest in the song - a very nice song and track. A few question marks on the mix/mastering, mainly concerning the volume of the vocal, which I think should come up in the mix and maybe a bit forward (take off the effect a little to bring it forward. Aside from that, it's nice to come across someone with/developing their own stye - keep it up.

 

Listening to Words now - another distinctive melody that holds my interest - again, bring up the vocal, don't be shy - you have a good voice. Also sounds a little muddy - maybe the use of some high pass filters would help?

 

Nail Thru on now - another good track.

 

So, some nice songs - enjoyed listening very much.

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sorry this took so long folks! i9ts been a hectic christmas period lol.. but here are some lyrics.. i hope you like em and there are obviously 6 more sets of lyrics.. if you would like me to print the just let me know..

again thanks for listening and sorry for the delay!!

 

Camino Nights

we catch the sun play in the rain

and just as quick its gone again

The morning frost-bite in the spring

still hiding under winters wing

But hurry up and choose

and i'll be on my way

Because its my turn to lose

but we'll meet again someday

Just a memory of your youth

and the games we used to play

I'll meet you at the end my friend

Until the end my friend

We watch our old friends pass us by

live in a world thats yours, not mine

that no one else can penetrate

a private mind, in such a state

Please hurry up and choose

so i'll be on my way

Because its my turn to lose

and we'll meet again someday

Was a memory of your youth

and the games we used to play

I'll meet you at the end my friend

Until the end my friend

We rise and shine before the sun

before the light wakes anyone

Then we bring the moon outside to play

and chase it back to yesterday

But hurry up and choose

and i'll be on my way

Because its my turn to lose

but we'll meet again someday

Was a memory of your youth

and the games we used to play

I'll meet you at the end my friend

Until the end my friend

 

Words

Re-tracing footprints so you'll never see the steps i've made

Because their always buried in the shade

and they always lead to second place

Now i see that i'm pretty much a stalker

at least its like that in my mind

while i force-feed you pretty lies

so you'd always stay by my side..

But one day you got up and you walked away

Said it was the biggest decision that you ever made..

The time is perfect if im ever gonna be found

but all i do is follow you

around and around..

I stumble through the landmines

and walk up right through enemy fire

and now im losing track of the times

that i seem to return just fine

Until i go downtown on my own

to find myself the next war zone

and then i'm chilled to my bones

when i see that you're not alone..

And then you came up to me and said you'd forgotten my face

Said the memories are long gone now you found a better place..

Your words are weapons though their only made of sound

They knock me from the air into the ground, the ground..

So i go back to sleep

where i like the company

im making best friends with my dreams

where you cant pick at the seams

but there's another challenge ahead

and i wont get out of bed

I think i'll stay, and get out of my head

i'd prefer to do that instead

Forgotten to live life so i'll just have to make pretend

its not that i dont try but i never really found a friend..

The time is perfect if im ever gonna be found

but all i do is follow you

Now your words are weapons though there only made of sound

they knock me from the air into the ground

The time is perfect if im ever gonna be found

but all i do is follow you around and around..

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A lot of perfectly nice, well meaning non-musicians seem to think the only reason people make music is with the dream of having a big hit and becoming rich and famous. (It doesn't help that some of them think that having a big hit must be easy because look at some of the stupid people who have them. ;) )

 

Sometimes it's almost worse if you've actually had some tiny bit of that kind of 'success' -- gigging, maybe putting out a record or two. That seems to confirm to some folks that you're just in it for fame and money.

 

So, when they hear your music and it doesn't sound like the stuff they hear at the top of the charts or on TV, they measure the distance between your heartfelt efforts and Britney Spears' or Kanye West's latest hit, cluck their tongues and say, Too bad, mate -- maybe you could get a few bucks/quid for the guitar...

 

;)

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