What is a podcast season?

When I started this project I was like OK this is the beginning so this is season 1. I didn’t really think (purposefully) about what S1 would be, and how I would know when S1 was over and it was time for S2. I say purposefully b/c I learned a lot time ago that when I am inspired to start a project, my best bet is just to start it as quickly as possible, with as little brain investigation as possible, otherwise I am likely to overthink, overcomplicate, and maybe even never actually even start.

I think somewhere at the back of my mind there was a vague plan in place, however undefined, related to the calendar year, since I started this idea early in the year. S1 would essentially be me doing however many songs i could get through each week in the winter, spring, and summer, and then the fall would be spent cleaning up the best of those and putting out an album by the end of the year. Something concrete to tie it up nicely.

I’m not sure I really want to do that anymore. like 85% sure I don’t.

Factors include:

  • it was way more difficult to finish a song a week than I anticipated. A song every 2 weeks was a more realistic goal in theory & hindsight, except for ~life stuff continually throwing wrenches in that plan.
  • The songs are kind of all over the map. I’ve explored different moods/styles/etc based on things I wanted to teach myself, things I wanted to learn on the back end of music production. So now when I look at the songs so far I don’t see how they form a cohesive set.
  • A lot of the songs are frankly not worth exploring further. I think if pressed I have 5 (out of 13 so far) songs, maybe, that I’d be happy to open back up and tidy/finish up. So, yeah it’s an EP. but I’ve put out EPs before and I feel kinds of unenthusiastic about it. maybe i’ll change my mind about this. maybe not!
  • When I say “tidy/finish up” in some cases it would mostly likely have be a full re-recording. Redo all the vocals at least, since I’ve made significant strides in that area. But the keys and drums bug me on literally every song, so.

My cat Tilly just hopped over and started licking my arm. I love her so much.

I’m working right now on what is Song 14. So I’m sort of eyeing Song 15 as being a good natural stopping point for A Season of a Podcast In Which The Point is Not the Podcast.

I think I’m more excited to think about S2 would be, and keep learning, keep applying what I have learned, to doing better in the future, then I am in tying a bow on any songs from S1. Because I can still only improve, and so who’s to say at some point after/during S2 I would feel better about applying what future me has learned to those same songs, and making them even better.

So what would S2 look like, how would it different from S1.

S1 was just: Start doing this and see where it goes. I learned a lot, I identified a lot of knowledge & skills gaps, and started addressing some of them. I got comfortable with the tools, although I still don’t feel super comfortable with them, and developed a process (and improved said process significantly.

I think the main thing that frustrates me at this point is the process of choosing sounds when I’m recording. I need a bass here, but WHAT bass sound. I need drums but which drums? I need a soft pad in the background – there are hundreds of soft pads and I guess I have to go through all of them to decide which I like best? I’m sure there are people who love clicking through all the options they have at their fingertips every day when they sit down to compose, but I am extremely not one of them.

So: constraints, my baby, my friend, my savior.

The new constraints for S2 should be related to the instrument sounds. Just pick them in advance and force myself to use those, and see how that affects the music I write, the ideas I chose, the things that happen.

1 keyboard sound, 1 bass, 1 drums, leave a slot for guitar, and leave myself 1 wildcard for color depending on the needs of the song. Voice and overdubs/background vocals: whatever I need based on mood. That feels creatively constrain-y but not restrictively constrain-y.

Some of the constraints from S1 will stay: try to get 1 song done and posted every 2 weeks. Don’t overthink it. Use the same hardware & software.

When should I start this, where is the break between S1 and S2. I think I’ll decide after I post song 14. I might do a 15th, or maybe 14 is fine and it’s time to move on! This is what my gut tells me, and I see no value in not following my gut, in just about everything.