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Everything posted by mbfrancis

  1. Hey everyone-- I haven't been active on this board in a number of years, but I used to be, and I wanted everyone to know I finally put out debut EP of indie pop, many of the songs on which I workshopped here. It's called "Port Streets" -- kind of Dawes meets Best Coast (maybe). I'm not sure who's left from the old crew, but I'm really grateful for the help this board gave me, esp. LCK, Lee Knight, Justin D, Craig E (stickboy) and others. Craig actually co-wrote the first track. I'm super proud of the music, it's available on all formats, I'd love to know what you think: https://songwhip.com/port-streets/port-streets Here's a preview video of the songs, you can see if you like it. If you dig the music, please follow us on Facebook or Instagram and get on our mailing list - links here: https://linktr.ee/portstreets. If anyone has any questions about how it was recorded, I would be happy to answer here or directly. Although I haven't been super active lately, I've always been really grateful for this community and how helpful everyone is. Hope you enjoy the music. Cheers! Martin
  2. Hey everyone, sorry I've been totally AWOL, had a ton of family and work stuff. But check this out: my friend and I just released a Christmas EP...yep, 3 days before Christmas. We recorded these songs with a large group of friends - and even a kid's choir - over the Summer, but only just finished them (life, work, health, babies). We figured better to get them out there now than wait another year. I co-wrote one song, arranged and produced and mixed, and played most of the basic parts. Full credits on YT. Let me know what you think! Happy Holidays, everyone! iTunes: http://apple.co/2CSyaNW Google Play: http://bit.ly/2zcfFBL
  3. Hey-- I have a lot of thoughts about your track. I'll focus on criticism as this might be the most useful. Obviously this is opinion, take or leave. I think musically it does have a cool 70s folk throwback vibe, somewhere between America and Love maybe. It does sound a little frozen in time, but you're clearly not trying to storm the charts here. Great, great guitar playing....I'm jealous. I think there's maybe a disconnect between the airy wistful folk vibe of the music and melody and some of the hard drinking, down on your luck lyric, which feels more like a bluesy rock thing in places. I think the lyric could be tightened up a lot, there's a lot of fluff and cliche (e.g. "I took to strolling round the block"). Your title, which you need to repeat I think, is "Falling Hard Both In and Out" - that's a unique phrase. You have a few more (drink of crutch). I think the second verse is mostly a throwaway and provides literally no new information that would make this song more interesting and engaging...how were you "had"...how is walking a mile around a room a competition, between what and what? how did you fall, why did you fall, why did you love her so much you were so blind? You never say, you just tell us a bunch of stuff about you and your feelings vs. show us any detail that would make it real, so I get bored...why should I care? And I check out. Very cool, thanks for posting. My $.02, take or leave. Hope this helps.
  4. Ugh. Worried chorus is too confusing. Hmmm...
  5. Hey LCK!! Thanks for the detailed feedback. You nail the weakest line (walk out the door) - I'd love to find a replacement, shouldn't be too hard. I added the words "I say" deliberately (wasn't there originally) to the chorus so it was more clear at the hook (out of ways to lie) that *these* are the lies I'm out of. Does that make sense? This is part of my struggle around the chorus, is it just too confusing argh... Thanks again!!
  6. Hey everyone-- Sorry I haven't been around as much. I've been writing a lot, just haven't felt the need for feedback until now. Here's a new acoustic track, I like a lot of it, but I'd love some specific feedback if possible. If possible, please listen to the track *first* before reading the questions. Thanks everyone, hope all are well!! https://soundcloud.com/martinbfranci...o-lie-acoustic *** Key questions I have below the lyric *** "Out of Ways to Lie" This is where the party ends We'll never call but say were friends Avoid the clubs we used to go Dividing up the friends we know Chorus And I say your bed don't feel like home And I'm probably better on my own I say a whole world feels brand new But I'm out of ways to lie and say I don't love you Tell me where we go from here Because you and I seem to crystal clear And I used to sound so sure and strong Now everything comes out all wrong Chorus Bridge And who cares what we say I can't hear anymore And who cares what we do We are the same as before And who cares who was wrong or right tonight? This is where the party ends We'll never call but say were friends But I'm not crying why are you walk out the door and we'll be through Chorus Key questions: * Am I ripping something off anywhere? * Is the the title confusing on first listen? So many negatives: out of ways to lie I don't love...the misdirection is intentional, but does it impact the song? * What do you think of the bridge? I'm on the fence, esp. the melody...it was written very quickly. * Any suggestions for improvement? There are a few lines I'm not crazy about. Thanks!
  7. Depends...since you're in NYC, best call might be to find a local jazz trio or quartet, book a studio for a day (maybe not in the city), and have them bust it out. The engineer can co-produce. You may want someone in the group to be musical director if you don't feel comfortable telling musicians what to do, or translating what's in your head. Also who's singing - this will determine keys. You may want to record vocals at a later time, and you will likely want to rehearse w/ the vocalist at some point. At the end of the day you'd have a professionally played and recorded EP. ~$5k maybe, depends on the musicians and where you record. As an option, you could find a studio *first* that has a big jazz network and ask them to help produce/coordinate. I of course would be happy to track some piano for you, but my jazz chops are limited. You could do everything remotely and find people for ~$100-150 per *part* (assumes a 4-5 song batch rate), but then you'd have to know exactly what you wanted, and arrange in pieces on the fly...hard to do with instruments (easy with drums). Hope this helps.
  8. Hey LCK, good to see you, thanks for the feedback. I get it. On v1, yeah "why's it feel" feels rushed to me (also hard to understand). I've been leaning into extended metaphors as a way to bring in concrete *stuff*, nouns, without actually writing about *stuff* like muddy water. I usually start with the first line - "if we're so high" and then what's the opposite metaphorically and go from there. Yeah, it's more an exercise than something visceral, but it's saying something I hope. "Here we are, supposedly happy, but our love feels cold, and when we kiss, I feel suffocated, when I try to examine what's going on, it's all hazy, unclear...I can't even really remember why I'm with you." Second verse isn't as strong, but paints a picture of the woman. Not disagreeing with you, I just don't know where I'd start (other than maybe a new massive chorus ha). Thanks again, good to see you here.
  9. This is strong as is. There aren't any lines here which blow me away, or really stand out, but it's all solid. All the sentiments are fairly conventional, and said fairly conventionally. I would want to hear the music, though. Music could make this a cool standout or insipid. Hope this helps.
  10. Hey OGP! Thanks for the feedback. That's funny, I heard the total opposite, I was *trying* to get busier as the chorus went on, kind of like working into a pitch until the end. But I could totally see a smoother melody on "you don't have to be alone" to break it up. Hmmmm....good stuff. Thanks again!
  11. EDIT: Tweaked lyric, retracked vocal Hello, I hope everyone is well...here's a song I wrote to a deadline and now I'm looking back and trying to clean it up. I've already got some good feedback (e.g., the 'chorus' is really a pre-chorus and it needs a bigger hook), but let em know what you think of the melody/lyrics. The vocal recording is awful, I'll improve as I tweak. https://soundcloud.com/martinbfranci...me-home-wip-v8 “Follow Me Home” “If we’re so high,” she said “Why’s it feel like the bottom of the cold cold sea instead We open mouths to kiss and water rushes in our heads (to our heads?) We open eyes to see and everything’s a muddy blur -- Like everything we were” When the whirlpool pulls You can take my hand If the word’s come wrong I’ll will understand Don’t you get it, man? You don’t have to be alone You can cast yourself out Or you can follow me home "If we’re still alive," she says, "It feels like we’d be happier if we died," she says Everyone would talk about us while they cried, cried," she says, "And right now no one talks aloud to either you or I but they will to say goodbye" When the whirlpool pulls...
  12. Thanks LCK-- Yeah I think it works as is, although I have some ideas that might make it stronger. Just not crazy about the current title.
  13. Hey now...it's almost done, just needs female vox and maybe violin. And maybe B3. And gang vox. Damn...
  14. Hey Nat I like that a lot, you're right I may be overthinking it. A friend also proposed making the chorus a straight up choice...this or that. I think something like this might work, thanks!
  15. Woah, sorry I haven't been around a while. Have been doing a lot of recording, not a lot song writing. Here's a new song I like a lot, but I'm a little stuck on the lyrics. Love the music. I like the first verse and a few other lines, but I'm not crazy about the title and other lines. https://soundcloud.com/martinbfranci...irl-decide-wip [Edit: I bolded lines I think are weakest.] “Dream Girl Decide” She says we go – Right out the window And fly in slow mo Across the sea I scream, she stands Knee deep in quick sands And strains at tied hands she’ll never free CHORUS Dream girl decide Are you my trauma queen Self-doused in gasoline for me let’s stay alive I’m too tired to make a scene Too old to act 19 For you No matter what you’ve been through When she’s high I’m low Shivering in her shadow but she knows I know she'll soon come down I scream she sighs And shifts to overdrive If we get out alive I’ll kiss the ground CHORUS Let’s burn the place down Then do it again Let’s burn like we won’t see daylight again Let’s burn the place down Then do it again I’ll still be your friend If we do it again I’m waking up for you CHORUS
  16. Some really lovely lines here, Lee, works great as is. V2 is perfect. My only thoughts: I agree that there is tension between the consciously classic/retro language "we're through/barkeep/inkling" and newer elements like cell phone. Maybe add a few *more*modern touches so it becomes more deliberate? Don't think there's any way to address this, but I wish there was a way you could get through the chorus without using the word 'dream' until the title. Just feels the setup to the title could maybe be stronger. (I could be wrong.) Feels like the intro should not reference "seeing" nothing but you, but rather "dreaming" of you, to send us into the song. But that means the blinded line doesn't work. Lovely stuff.
  17. Nice, thanks LCK! Your suggestion repeats "down...sand"...which is both good/bad. FYI I re-wrote the first lines since: I walked you ran escaping down the sand The waves must have drowned out your laughter Better fit, and more my meaning.
  18. I think time will tell. We think of the songbook as being time-bound, but I'd argue that something like Send in the Clowns should be included, and it's from the 70s. I could be wrong, though.
  19. I think this is lovely, I love the dissonances when the melody and chords fight. I hope the ceremony was lovely as well.
  20. If you wrote the melody and the words, you wrote the song. If you need help arranging it, help finding chords, you may want to give the collaborator songwriting credit, it depends. Why not share credit...then it's music by [you] and x, lyrics by [you]. Don't worry about credit too much, though. You wouldn't say poet or composer or songwriter or melody though...music and lyrics are fine.
  21. Love this, still. So many cool parts, and such a fantastic hook.
  22. ^ This. Almost all jazz is rooted in ii-V-I. Sometimes though this means ii-V-I of a different chord in the scale. So in C ii-V-I is Dm7-G7-C, but you could also go Bmy-E7-Am, which would ii-V-I going to the vi. On top of that where jazz gets gnarly is all the substitutions, like all the b5 chords. As an option, you may want to write your basic songs and then have a jazz player literally 'jazz them up' with chord substitutions. WOuld be easier than trying to master jazz theory from scratch.
  23. Thanks, lads - all great points, all of which I considered believe it or not. Doesn't mean I'm right, though. I thought the blatant simile set up the verses better, considering they carried the simile through the whole verse. Didn't want any ambiguity about whether it was symbolic or real. (First draft was "like *this* traffic jam"...i.e., 'we're just like the traffic jam we're sitting in,' but that got confusing.) I'm not rhyming 'out' with 'out,' I'm rhyming 'out' with 'sout,' as in 'work thi-Sout'...that was the idea anyway, which is why I sang it that way. Perhaps unsuccessful. [Only thing I really don't love is use of 'heart' in v2, which is unnecessary and makes the subsequent choruses confusing (how can his heart be full if he doesn't need it).] Really missed you guys.
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