Silver & Gold

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« on: August 02, 2017, 02:27:52 PM »
Hi Guys and Gals,

I've been off the forum for a while; needed a break but I couldn't stay away! I have a new post on Soundcloud:


Thanks to Boydie for mastering my finished mix - you're a star:-)

It's a song about how chasing wealth can lead to an empty, bitter life.
As ever, all comments and critiques gratefully received.

Sun is on the whiskered wheat
Roll your windows down
Breathe in the August heat
Turn your head around

The one that you loved
Has blown away
Dark ashes on the wind
Only you know what remains

You have your silver and gold
But you can't bring a life back
Running on the wrong track
With nothing to hold

There's a devil chasing you
Dry and hard like a whip crack
Bleached bones in a tin shack
Freight train howling through

When you were a child
Caught in the chromium shine
You looked at me and smiled
"One day all this will be mine"
And now you say
You've seen behind the mask
Sat in the dark all day
While the light slipped from your grasp

High on the hill
Grey markers mock & lean
Tilting to the pull
Of somewhere we've never been

One day you will see
A shining black parade
Seven horses and an old man
Seeking shelter from the shade


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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 04:14:26 PM »
I always write these as I listen
I'm digging the intro on acoustic guitar. And the bass is giving me John Paul Jones Vibes. The singings got that 70s vibe and I'm digging it. The layering is very very good. I'm just seein this as a 6 minute song and we already have harmonica, drums electric, acoustic guitar, and organ and bass a minute and a half in . Maybe slow with the layering. Let it build.
Your singing is giving me Johnny Cash vibes and I'm digging it. However the harmonica solo seems a bit out of key at times. Is that on purpose?
I like the lyrics and the lines like "Finding shelter from the shade really stick out." And when you sing and the instruments drop out, it's very powerful, would you consider having your voice get a bit more gruff there. Sing a bit louder.
The guitar solo is very minimalist and I dig it. It fits the song. Is that done on a dobro? I feel like you should have kept acoustic guitar through the fade out.

Good song man
It has all the right vibes, just some minor things in composition could be improved on a bit for the next song you write but thats always the case.
Good work


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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 06:21:50 PM »
Really evocative stuff.  Love the lyrics... they felt just the right side of cryptic - loved 'chromium shine' and 'seeking shelter from the shade' in particular.  I'm guessing the last 2 verses are about a funeral but not sure - it is terrific imagery you use, zero cliches.  Musically I liked it a lot too, especially the harmonica and the reedy organ, they lent it all a sense of space.  I imagine myself trundling through some lonely wide open plain when listening to this... you've transported me.  Big thumbs up.
It's all too beautiful.


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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 06:33:54 PM »
Nice tone on the acoustic, and the bass sounds good too, some interesting lines in the lyrics, I thought it was a bit too long though, it may have worked better if it was shorter, good track though



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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 08:10:34 PM »
I like the message in this a lot! I'm taken by several of the phrases..."Sun is on the whiskered wheat", Dark ashes on the wind", "Running on the wrong track", "Caught in the chromium shine"...there's more. On different journeys through the song, different parts stand out.

There are a few bits I might do differently, but I'm not sure it would make them better...one is "There's a devil chasing you", where I might make do with "A devil's chasing you". A couple things like that. And I would probably use "cleaner" diction (eg, a clear "that you" instead of "thatchew").

This is great as poetry, in my opinion. Setting it to music adds to the ambiance. I enjoyed the production, also.



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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 09:12:23 PM »
Hi Alan and welcome back. I always read the lyrics before listening to the music and can empathise with you. Lovely acoustic sound and vocals sounding very good. Of course a song of over six minutes  is going to get some crit. I enjoyed it but maybe the vocal breakdown section could have been shorter / enhanced by solo instrument. Overall a very good song


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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 09:39:57 PM »
Yo Alan,mighty good to see you back.  :)

Captivating and powerful lyrics on this one.

It has a desolate,melancholy feel which compliments the dark prose perfectly.

I'm seeing some of the desert scenes in Breaking Bad with Walt and Jessie brewing meth in their camper van. That's the kind of places the song takes me. I found it wears it's long black,dusty coat of 6 minutes very well.

Love the guitar in the closing stages. Mood music For sure.  8)
New album 'Flying Solo' by Davy Vance available from bandcamp


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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 07:13:52 AM »
A standard Monty excellent song....paints an evocative picture, very well done, great lyrics, I think the arrangement is wrong for a track this long...everything comes in way too early and makes the song start to drag towards the end.....the first minute and a half should have been only voice and guitar I reckon..then slowly build towards the end...

nice to have you back my friend :) :) :)


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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 07:27:01 AM »
Great to have you back, Monty.

I love the lyrics and the theme, there's some lovely poetic imagery. The melody and chords are nicely done, a few nice little choices of chord and melody in there. A fine song.

I didn't really enjoy the arrangement, if I'm honest. The guitar sounded a little harsh to me and there was way too much going on for me a lot of the time. The lyrics suggest a much more melancholy and stripped down feel to me. But that's all arrangement stuff, not song stuff. There's a cracking song here.

West Country Country Boy


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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 10:34:53 AM »
This was a game of two halves for me...

I read the lyrics yesterday and thought they were really great...but I didn't think the music took them anywhere. It just seemed to be meandering really, without any direction.

Very nicely done, though...and everything sounds great, it just kind of washed over me, I'm afraid.
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 11:05:30 AM »
Great to have you back. Heard this quiet a few times from your LP so heard to be too objective.
I too heard a juxtaposition of sharp lyrical imagery set against a wistful musical background but thats fine by me. It ebbs and flows between the verses which feel more observational and the choruses where the vocals sound more personal.
Nice one.
songwriter of no repute..


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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 11:33:27 PM »
I loved this. Excellent and interesting arrangement and lyrics. And the vocal only section was indeed powerful. Could be a bit more gruff or extra reverb or harmonies or something there to make it stand out even more. And more contrast in the drums throughout maybe, but that's just me.
 A really fabulous listen. Going for another... :)
Find me on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cazyardley


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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 12:16:36 AM »
Hi Alan

Nice to hear sth from you - it's been too long man!
Evocative lyrics - good job there.
Cool chord progressions - unexpected melodic twists esp on the harp work.
Of course you can predict I'm going to mention length, so I won't  ;D

Think you could delay the bass until the drums come in and really get epic at the end with strings et al, oh and you need a greek chorus too while you're at it  ;D

Good song!


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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 10:17:22 AM »
Nice work monty.

I was nearly scared of by seeing 6:24 but although it did feel long it didn't feel that long.

I love the overall feel of this and there were lots of little twists and chromatiscisms to keep things interesting.

The blend of instruments was well thought out,,particularly liked the harmonica and organ.

One thing I have to mention that didn't quite work for me was the quite staccato nature of some of the instruments, particularly the bass and at times the organ. It felt like it was being played by someone who was learning to play this instrument and needed to cut notes short in order to get to the next one in time. if this is the case I apologise for mentioning it but I had to as I think a more legato feel would fit the song better.

Just my thoughts but overall a very nice track.


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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2017, 10:38:49 AM »
Hi Monty

I like the song. Great lyric.
It isn't too long. I let my songs dictate their own length and feel that you've done the same here. I like the structure; each part has its place and plays its role. How could it be different?

The E to Em gives character to the chorus - I like the whole chorus progression in fact.

Then there's the arrangement or more specifically the sounds. It's quite ambitious.
I think the guitars are ok. The harmonica is the perfect sound for the song but the key not being quite right jars for me a bit. More reverb on that would be good too.
Not keen on the drums.
The organ is OK but, as YD says, the part could be better - I understand it isn't your instrument. It's also not sitting in there nicely i don't think.

The verse before the dropout - the last verse in fact, the poignant death one - is where you could begin to come down I think in preparation for the dropout. This is where a better drum track might have helped to create some dynamic changes.

As PJ says I wouldn't drop everything out but the vocal. The contrast is too harsh I think...maybe keep your acoustic going there.

Atmosphere is at its best during the final section with the reverby dobro/guitar whatever it is and the mournful harp coming in.

Somehow I was getting the Doors....maybe some of the feel and those changes to minor. Has the feel of some of their stuff - no, not just because of the organ - and other 60s bands of the era...don't know who.

Anyway I like the song. I'd love to be able to arrange something for this as I hear it. If that covers competition ever comes off I'd have a crack at this...with your permission of course!

Please don't forget to vote in the July song of the month competition.


That goes for anybody who might be reading this. Your votes are needed!
Take it easy.

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