Monday, May 3

My New Best Friend

I think I was just out of university when I wrote this song. We're talking at least 15 years ago, anyway.

I met Nick through Dave M. and for a while we all hung out together. When Dave moved away to Montreal, Nick and I became closer friends, mostly because of our similar tastes in music and our mutual desire to create music. Then Nick moved away, to Montreal, and on the day he left, I wrote this sentence "My new best friend left town this morning." Nothing awe-inspiring, but I thought it'd make a neat lyric.

So, I used it as the beginning of this song, and in fact, the whole first verse was pretty much about his leaving.

However, being one who finds it hard to allow personal emotion or truth enter my writing, I couldn't continue to have it be autobiographical. God forbid somebody actually see me...hear me...feel me.

So, I thought I'd try to turn it into a kind of menacing, creepy, obsessed stalker kind of relationship song. Make the singer out as somebody who's rather delusional about this relationship he's singing about.

I rather like the structure of the song, in the way that it's revealed slowly, line by line, just how flaky and deranged the guy is.

Production-wise, I think the double-tracking of the voice adds a nice "voices in his head" element. I also like the way the song builds in intensity, especially at "I like the seashore..." where the harmony/higher octave singing gets accentuated. Which brings us into the little guitar solo. If I were a sensitive man, I'd have to lie and say that the 'off-colour' notes in the solo were on purpose, and represent the character's descent into madness. But we know that's not true. I just can't play a lead on guitar to save my life, is all.

As will be readily apparent and obvious if you choose to download and listen to the song, here's what I don't like about it: one of the greatest tragedies of my life is my inability to sing harmony (some might say my inability to sing at all). Still, I giver a go on this song. But, alas, it turns horribly, horribly wrong. At a couple of points in the "I like the seashore" verse, I am quite literally tossing my voice from note to note, hoping that it catches on any note that will somehow form some sort of semblance of harmonic pleasantry. Of course, it doesn't. Again, I could say that the dischordant notes in my singing are to represent the off-kilter craziness of a madman, but if that's the case, what it really means is that the off-kilter madman can't sing harmony.

I'm guessing I left it that way because I figured that any other attempts at singing harmony would bring about results just as bad, if not worse. So, if you listen, I apologize for that.

Download My New Best Friend (3.7mb)

1 comment:

dave m said...

funny. reading the story reminded me of a song nick wrote around the same time. (which may or may not have been inspired by his friendship with you).
It went, as I recall:
There are lots of people in my head
and they're talking about me...
Talking about all the nice things that I do for them.
They're very generous with their compliments.
I'd be a rich man if I had five cents
for everytime a person in my head
said something nice about me.