S01x05 – bury me offline

hoo boy. 2 weeks with a song is too long, but there was all kinds of technical and life drama in the middle so what can you do.

This song was in 6/8 for the first 2.5 weeks and I am really growing to detest 6/8. Definitely too many songs are in 4/4, but something about 6/8 inevitably leads to the same moves over and over, and I could see it happening in real time. I like where that landed, at least.

My motivations going into this were to use guitar & bass, and try to come up with some semi Grouper-ish, combining very reverb-y guitar with very muddy keyboard sounds. I had a small playlist of music with piano chords I like/felt inspired by, which I’ll screenshot here:

A screenshot of a Spotify playlist with the songs "piano aquieu" by stars of the lid, "timeless" by josephine scwartz, "doldrums" by franz becker, "gramma ruth at the grand canyon" by elijah fox, and "together again" by stephen rennicks.

None of those chords or phrases made it into the song, but you get the idea.

Anyways my vocals are never going to be able to reach Grouper caliber so the plan went quickly and decidedly off the rails, especially once I added drums on a whim and decided to leave them (this had zero drums until 2 days ago). It ended up in a very Wrens-y place, which is interesting. Interesting in terms of the journey the song took; not sure how successful it ultimately is. But who cares, that’s not the point!

I uncovered an annoying but obvious in retrospect GarageBand quirk. GB lets you change the tempo of something after you’ve recorded it, but it doesn’t work that well for vocals & guitars and analog-things with sound waves originating outside of GB. This song went from about 90 bpm up to 100, down to 96, then down to about 94, and I had to record some guitar to make it work. Note to self: do not change tempo mid-way through unless you’re really sure and feel like redoing half your work.

Similarly I need to figure out what keys I should be singing in, this was too high for me, but by the time I figured that out it was too late to start again.

Anyways, I learned a lot about recording guitar & bass & vocals. I still dread mixing vocals every single time. It’ll just take more practice but I haaaaate it.

My last thing to add is that I really like streaky guitar string noises.

Here are the lyrics in case you’re curious:

this is how you hold the data in a bottle
this is how you feed a growing language model

this unlabelled text scraped into vast foundations
this training set built for hallucinations
you chain your predictions far below the surface
you memorize the ways you make me nervous
just observe us
from the surface now

tell them that that I’m so sorry
if you log off
tell them that I’m so sorry now