Abram’s wife joins the party

These are exciting times indeed!  Nicole (who plays Abram’s wife) just got back to me and shared a couple of rough cuts! She spent some time with track 3, provided some ideas for harmonies, and took a first crack at singing the melody. Have a listen below.

I like where she is going with the harmonies, and I think they will be a nice highlight here and there in the song. However, until we have banjo and perhaps some other strings in the mix, I’m not sure the harmonies will fit.  I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see!

Nicole and I have already discussed the melody for the lyrics as well.  (“I don’t know what you mean dear, but you’re clearly drunk” in the first verse…)

In this draft, she mimicked my original version (where I pretended to be a girl.) We have all agreed, however, that she should instead explore her own interpretation of the melodies, and also bring the range down a bit more.

I think having each artist comfortable with their parts, and owning them is extremely important.  The expressions will be much more genuine and the quality that much better!

Vocals from Brooklyn

Pat and his brother Dan are just starting to learn their characters.  They both have some acting experience, so they’re no strangers to taking on a new role and developing it.  I’m excited to see where they take this!

pat and dan tuning up to jam

Anyhow, they did a draft recording on what appears to be a tin can, but it’s still pretty cool!  I can tell that they had a good time recording it.  Wish I could’ve been there!

The parts definitely need to be tuned up here and there, but they have a great dynamic on this track.  I’m so glad to have them on board!  Now, they just need to get a better recording apparatus…

Anyhow, I’ve sent some feedback their way, and hopefully we’ll be able to iterate this sometime soon.  Meanwhile, I should probably work on the rest of the lyrics for this song. For some reason, the phrase UNSHEATHE THY BANJO! is floating around in my head, let’s see what I can do…

Updated Mandolin Parts

Trying to set a record for shortest blog post yet…

Rob made some changes to his mandolin in track 6, and it’s really sounding nice!

He added some strumming to the first verse, and took the solo up a notch.  Adding some reverb helped mix it in, and I’m liking where this is going.

Have a listen below.

Now if only we had some banjo to go in there… what’s this project called again?

Lyrics for Half of Track 7

I took some time over the weekend to think about what should be said in Track 7.  I have to admit some inefficiencies, however, as I was only able to tackle the first half of the song!

Right now, it starts with Abram singing to himself.  His condition is worsening, as he has just murdered his family yet still does not feel satisfied.

…their grave marked with stone

Luckily for Abram, the lynch mob is on their way to his property to try to seek justice.  This inspired me to write two parts for the vocals, going between Abram and the mob leader.  At one point, they both sing harmonizing parts.  You’ll hear this in my version below, but it will be much better when Patrick and Dan take over the vocals!

The version I recorded is a little funny… I was trying to record these vocals late at night, and when you live in an apartment building, you don’t really want to annoy your neighbors.  Therefore, the vocals are done with very little volume, and my voice sounds kinda weird at times.

Just roll with it.

Also, you’ll notice that I took the angels out, just so I could focus on the the intro.  Don’t worry, I’ll put them back in later!

Press play, and read the lyrics below.

BLUE is Abram, RED is the Lynch Mob Leader, Black is together

i sure do hope my work impresses
whoever is watching up above
but either way i see no reason
to end my crusade
when i’ve just begun

my children buried, their grave marked with stone
who might be next, well i’m just dying to know
what’s this? i think someone is outside
maybe they want to be next in line

abram stone!
we’ve surrounded your home
we have your axe in possession and know you’re alone

come out and join us, we mean you no harm
we have a few things we’d like to discuss

you all must take me for a simpleton
that is quite the length of rope for a friendly discussion
i’ll have you know that i have god on my side
and i’m warning you, i’ll win this fight

the end is nigh
you must answer for your crimes (FOR YOUR LACK OF FAITH)
when you die
we won’t pray that your soul be saved
the end is NIGH!

So far the lyrics are pretty literal… I don’t spend much time elaborating on elements such as setting and emotion, but I am trying to tell a story in only a few songs!  Am I taking the right approach?  I suppose we’ll see…

Track 2 gets a serious upgrade

I bet you had almost forgotten about track 2.  Not me.  It had some serious potential, but if you recall, it was only half a song!  This was the previous state of affairs, from 4 months ago.

Pretty rough… but the drastic contrast between the genres will certainly be useful in telling the story.  (Remember this song is when Abram learns the horrible truth.)

When we first discussed this song, I mentioned that I wanted another bluegrassy section in the beginning.  To do this, I used a very similar chord progression to the ending, but I gave it a more minor tonality.

I also put in some finger picking here and there to make the song a bit more dynamic.  This will allow me to dramatize some key lyrics, and provide the opportunity for some interesting vocal highlights.

Have a listen below, and I’ll keep discussing…

Because this song will be the first time we go from bluegrass to metal on the album, I decided to make the transition at 1:22 very gradual.  This will also likely be the first time “Jesus/Satan” sings on the album! (If you’re new to the story, read up)

not relevant to the story…but still awesome

Anyhow, the gradual transition is currently not mixed well at all, so I’ll have to work that out.  The transition back to bluegrass at 3:20 is also a bit rough.  I’m thinking we’ll get the banjo going for a few lead-in notes, and that should smooth it over.

Personally, 2:30 might be my favorite part so far.  It’s fun to play too! I wonder if I’ll ever get any live shows out of this…