16 Years Running – How (not?) to write a song
I just released the studio version of this song over the weekend. This is a live video that I had the pleasure of making with the students at the Nimbus School for Recording Arts a couple years ago. If the song was done then, you may ask, why did it take this long for it to be released? I’m not really sure. Slight improvements the more a song gets played maybe?
Sometimes I’m almost embarrassed to realize how long a song took to write. “Hold you” began as a two chord jam for my first project, Spark that Screams, way back in 2002 or 2003. We were University kids obsessed with Radiohead. At that point it was in 10/8 and sounded a bit too much like “Morning Bells”. The song didn’t have words or a name yet, just notes that rubbed together in a way that I liked.
The lyrics and a couple more chords came while I was in my next band, The Painted Birds. I’d had a series of dreams about my parents that were so vivid that when I woke up it took a good while to convince myself that they weren’t with me anymore. ‘Hold You’ sprung out of that moment where you realize this is all a dream and you want to hold on so badly because you know that as soon as you wake up it’ll all be gone. The Painted Birds being more of a rock band, ‘Hold You’ started leaning in that direction and had the misfortune (or fortune) of not making it onto our album.
Then for a few years nothing. She lived in a notebook dormant until one night at a campfire with The Folk Road Show and our then producer John Paul Smith I was urged to sing a song that they’d never heard before. Playing the song the guys all asked where I’d been hiding it all this time. A year or so later with the acquisition of a new keyboard and the accidental creation of a beat on my loop station, the song was back in action. When I went into the studio with Dave Vertesi at the producer chair the song made the cut this time, and of course further changes and improvements were made before it got to you today. Maybe you can hear the many subtle differences between the studio version and this live version?
Thanks as always for your support,