a bit of songcraft

Well, I've been playing catch-up the past few days. Returning e-mails and phone calls that have piled up over the past month of my sabbatical. I think I'm about done now, or at least am at the point where I just have to wait for the returns to my replies. You know how it goes...

I've written a couple songs in the past few days. Two are aimed at an upcoming project that I'll hopefully get to tell you about really soon, possibly later today. I'm really excited about both of the songs.

I told you last month about that Tom Petty documentary we watched. It has so gotten under my skin and inspired me to keep aiming for simpler, catchier ways of saying things. "Don't bore us, get to the chorus." It's been a good exercise, trimming every unnecessary thing so all you hear are the things about the song you love.

I used to think this kind of stuff was all tricks for dumb, lowest-common-denominator pop music. I'm realizing now that a lot of the great artists I love learned these tools, and it's what has allowed them to reach so many people. It's not selling out when Springsteen gets to the chorus quickly or when U2 repeats it eight times. It's poetry to say the thing you want to say and not clutter it with things that don't contribute to your point. And this is as much musically as it is lyrically.

I first dabbled with that aspect of songcraft on the Letters EP and I think I learned a lot from it. That's the first solo project I've done that I still consistently listen to, just because I enjoy it. Here's hoping for more of that in the future.

I love my job.