#onesongaweek

One song a week, for the whole of 2012.

Week 52 – ‘Week 52’

Can’t believe I’m about to write the words ‘week 52’.

What a year and what a way to end it – with the ‘The Best of #OneSongaWeek’ album still bossing the top 10 of the iTunes S/S chart (18 days after it hit #1).   If you’ve bought it and talked about it then it’s basically all your fault – so thanks!

I’ll keep this brief because it’s the last song and I’ve had another one of my silly ideas…

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I want YOU to bring this whole #OneSongaWeek thing to an end by making the last bit of noise on the last ever track… so if you fancy it, here’s what you need to do:

Gather as many friends and family as possible into one place (the quieter the better) and find a recording device (anything from a laptop to a mobile phone or dictaphone).

Record yourselves clapping. LOUD and RAUCOUS to start with (feel free to cheer and wooooo), before slowly petering out over the course of 10/15 seconds or so.

Submissions now closed.

UPDATE:…and we’re back!!  It’s Friday night/Saturday morning (1:05am) and I’ve just finished the last ever #OneSongaWeek!!

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Thanks to the 35+ of you who sent in some claps.  I’ve tried to make it sound coherant so some of you are quieter than others but rest assured you are all in there!!

The Blurb:

This weeks song is free.

It might not change the world but I really like it (or at least I think I do – it’s less than 48 hours old)!

The chorus is for anyone who’s even given two-hoots about #OneSongaWeek. I cannot thank-you enough.

 

In all honestly I’ve really struggled with the song this week.  The post-gig comedown and Christmas festivities took me out of my comfort zone and made it hard to write… and it wasn’t until 4am on Thursday morning (when I was sitting on a bench in my village back home, overlooking the flood plains) that I finally stumbled upon the last in a series of 52 ideas – 53 if you count the one I had in the first place (362 days ago).

Anyway, for the final time… here we are, with ukeleles, guitars, accordions, whistles and some words I wrote for you.

 

Favourite Lyric:

“I’m so happy I could smile but I won’t

I’m so tired I should sleep but I don’t”

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Week 51 – ‘Just The Same’

It’s 3:05am on Thursday night/Friday morning and I’ve just got home from the first and last #OneSongaWeek live show.

I’m tired, hungry and feeling pretty ill so I’ll keep this brief and tell you all about this weeks song another time.

For now, here are a few photos of last nights gig (that I’ve stolen from Facebook and Twitter)….

MASSIVE thanks to my special guests: Newton Faulkner, Lauren Aquilina, Ryan Keen, Mark Grist, Helen Ruocco, Danica Hunter, Jonny Wright, Pete Marshall and Mixy.

MASSIVE thanks to the best band in the world (who learnt SO many songs in the space of just a few weeks): Ollie Davies, Jose Vanders, Alex Karban, Jacob Attawooll and Sean Kelly… and of course to our wonderful man behind the mixing desk, ‘sound man Kev’.

…and finally the biggest thanks of all goes to you lot. You sang your little hearts out (to hide the fact I was dosed up on Beechams) and it was lovely to meet so many of you afterwards.  Again soon?!  Speaking of which…

If you didn’t manage to get a ticket this time… I’ve just announced another show in London (on May 3rd 2013), for which you can get tickets here.  FYI this date will be part of a tour so don’t panic if you’re nowhere near London… chances are we’ll have some news for you in the next week or 3.

Onto this weeks song…

 

‘Week 51 – Just The Same’, written with, featuring and produced by the absolute gent that is Newton Faulkner.

I’ll tell you all about it when I can see straight (in the next day or two)…

Have a nice Friday xxx

 

PS: Someone just tweeted me a video from last night. If you didn’t manage to get a ticket here’s (some of) what you missed:

Week 50 – ‘I Wish This Was A Christmas Song’

It’s 12:43pm on Friday and I’m 43 minutes late for an all day rehearsal (but with good reason. We’ll get to that).

I’m currently sat on the Victoria line (northbound if you’re interested) on my way to practice for this Thursday’s show at the Camden Barfly (which is now officially sold out)!

You know you’re busy when you’re sat with your head in a laptop on a crowded tube and the people next to you are playing Monkey Tennis on their smartphone (with the sound turned up).

You know you’re super busy when you’re doing it for the 3rd day in a row and can’t stop yourself from humming the Monkey Tennis theme tune as you sit and inconspicuously write about the people sitting next to you.

The long and the short of it is, this week has been CRAZY… and here’s why:

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I’m not sure I’ll ever be lost for words but this week I came very close.

To the people who were here last week, the week before and the 40 odd weeks before that:   “Crikey. Didn’t see that coming!!

To the people who weren’t here last week and have arrived since ‘The Best of #OneSongaWeek’ went to #1 in the iTunes S/S charts and #21 in the overalls:  “Welcome aboard – better late than never, eh”. 🙂

I don’t want to get to too swept up in all this chart nonsense but it’s all been very exciting and I’ll definitely be boring my childrens children with this story one day…

Have you heard about the time Grandad Frank had a silly idea and recorded some songs on a laptop in his lounge before releasing a ‘best of’, crossing his fingers and somehow managed to (digitally) outsell Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Gabrielle Aplin and every other Singer/Songwriter in the world (apart from Jake Bugg, who just reclaimed top spot) for the best part of a week?!

Anyway, that’s enough chart-related excitement for now… how about some festive cheer?

The Blurb:

Weirdly enough this weeks song was born back in April when I took a 2 day break from touring round the north of England to stay in Manchester and collaborate with my friend Jonny Wright.  We recorded ‘Another Love Song’ (which was released immediately as week 16) and somehow decided it was a good idea to plan ahead and start writing a Christmas single…

Behind the scenes of #OneSongaWeek plans come and plans go.  The plan with this song was to make it my 2nd ‘proper’ single release of the year but somewhere along the line that plan was scrapped when I decided against releasing any ‘proper’ singles at all (for various reasons which we can talk about in 2013 when I start telling you some of the gory details).

Funny then that we’ve come full circle and this is now getting a ‘proper’ release (kind of).

In typical #OneSongaWeek fashion I left things until the last possible moment by waiting until Monday of this week to decide that the existing chorus wasn’t good enough and I should probably write a new one.  I tried and I tried and I tried… but it didn’t happen.

I was due in for recording on Wednesday with the lovely James Earp (from week 21) and managed to write something that wasn’t awful on the way there. After humming my way down Sutherland Avenue I arrived at James’ and had one of those amazing moments where you’re reunited with an instrument (in this case a piano) and something you’ve just written in your head becomes a living, breathing noise. Awesome!

We spent all of Wednesday recording guitars, pianos and a new instrument called ‘me tapping my legs while holding a shaker’ and waited until 5pm to decide that the song needed a female vocal.

After lots of lovely suggestions, a few conversations and much deliberation my manager got in touch with someone else’s manager and we had ourselves a lovely female vocal.

Gang, meet Ebony Day

Recently crowned MTV’s unsigned artist of 2013, Ebony has been doing the ‘Youtube thing’ for a while and is just preparing for her first proper release as a bonafide artiste. What’s more she’s lovely, has an awesome voice and can sing harmonies at the drop of a (santa) hat.

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Ebony came round at about midday and by some freak coincidence Jonny (who was in town playing bass for Paul Heaton for 3 days) popped over to see how it was all sounding.  We tracked Ebony’s vocals and fooled around with some tinsel before everyone left and I spent a few hours piecing it all together before toddling off to the new BBC building for an interview on radio5live (which will be airing soon, i’m not sure when).

I made it back to OSAW HQ around midnight and carried on working.  The files needed to be sent to James Earp by 8am so he could work his magic and I also wanted to put a few subtle ‘bells and whistles’ on there, so I stayed up until 5:30ish recording ukelele, glockenspiel and strings.

Friday morning was hard work.  I woke up around 10 and did a few odd jobs before liasing with James and settling on a finished version of the song (which needed to be sent to AWAL/iTunes in time for a Monday release).

Then I made a cup of tea (to go), walked out of the house and down the escalator to the London underground and here we are (on the Victoria line) – full circle once again.

Favourite Lyric:

“…and this time next year we’ll be singing those words,

Coz it’s so overplayed gets on everyone’s nerves”

Final thought:

THIS WEEKS SONG IS ALSO OUT NOW ON iTUNES AT MIDNIGHT SUNDAY NIGHT/MONDAY MORNING!

Here’s a link if you’d prefer to grab it from there:  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-wish-this-was-christmas/id587797540

Week 49 – ‘Words and Nothing More’

According to the man inside the calculator on my mobile telephone we are 94% of the way through #onesongaweek?! Ridiculous.

What’s even more ridiculous is the fact I’ve only just discovered the keyboard shortcut for a hashtag, having spent the last 11 and a bit months visiting google, typing ‘hashtag’ and then copying and pasting the appropriate symbol into the appropriate place!

Down to business then and those of you on the mailing list will already know that ‘The Best of #OneSongaWeek’ is released this Monday (10th December) and is already available for pre-order.

FYI it’s a 21 track album (one of them’s hidden) featuring Newton Faulkner, Lauren Aquilina, Ryan Keen, Lyracis, Jose Vanders, Jonny Wright & Danica Hunter. and more and is priced at £6.99 for the first week of release.  There’s also a ‘complete my album’ option on iTunes so if you’ve been buying the tracks already already you might want to wait until Monday and you can have the album for next to nothing 🙂

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To tell you the truth I wasn’t expecting to release a ‘best of’ so soon (certainly not before we’d even finished!) but I decided to go ahead when news came through that iTunes had chosen week 45 to be their free single of the week.

Hang on, what!?

True story. The global powerhouse that is iTunes have chosen little old me and my song (which was written about a month ago and recorded on a laptop in my lounge!) to be their free single of the week as of this Tuesday – the week before the week before Christmas 🙂

Another one of the tracks on this ‘Best of’ album is this weeks song…

 
The Blurb:

‘Words and Nothing More’ is about a girl I met last year.  In the space of a few months (as often happens) we’d gone from not knowing each other to knowing each other intimately to not wanting to know each other.  I say ‘not wanting to know each other’ like there was some sort of mutual decision but in reality there really wasn’t.

Long story short she called it off and I was gutted.  I spent a couple of days pining and penned a few really depressing songs before finding some perspective at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels and writing what has now become this weeks song.

Exciting stuff on the recording front this week – the song was produced by the uber talented Si Hulbert, whose recent credits include One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Cash Money and more.  Much like me, he’s having the busiest year of his life (since One Direction went to number 1 in America with a song him and Ed wrote) so I’m massively grateful that he found the time to get involved in all this #onesongaweek nonsense.

It’s been a real treat working with and getting to know Si a little better (we met a few years ago when we briefly shared a manager but  didn’t do anything until recently) and I’m really excited about the results.  This weeks song stands proud as a marker for 2013 and the sonic heights than can be reached when my songs are recorded on something other than a laptop by someone who knows what they’re doing!

My only gripe is that we had one long day in the studio to take this from nothing to something.  Just imagine what we could have done (and could still do!) outside the time constraints of #onesongaweek – with a few weeks rest and some fresh, objective ears.

Then again, that’s what 2013 is for.  That and gigging, you’ll be pleased to know.
Favourite Lyric:

“I have trouble sleeping but I can dream for days
I’ll change my socks but I will never change my ways”

Week 48 – ‘Miles Apart’

1:32am, Friday morning, Week 40-something… and once again I don’t really know where to start.  After a great response to ‘Wet Shoes’ and with this weeks song all but finished I thought I was in for a quiet few days… Wrong!

On Monday we had our first proper, plugged in rehearsal for the #onesongaweek live show.  This was my view:

On Tuesday I woke up early and came home late, having spent the day with Si Hulbert (who I mentioned last week).  Aside from being one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in this odd little industry he’s also a multi-talented producer/writer – and we spent the day working on something which you’ll hear very soon.  Here’s a picture of Si and his new whip – safety first!


On Wednesday I went to see Newton Faulker – which was fun (and very last minute).  His manager called just a few days previous to say that he liked last weeks song and would like to get involved if I still had a spare week.  We sat infront of a large (computerised) fish tank, wrote a great little song and I even left with some (home-made) sushi – a good day all round!


…and then there was Thursday.  I’ve basically spent between 10am and now (we’re still going) recording at home and liasing with Newton, Si and a chap called Lyracis – who came over this evening to record some bars on Football from week 46 (better late than never)!

All of this was geared towards finishing the songs in time to be put on the ‘Best of’ album we’ll be releasing in December –  which will tie in nicely with a little something happening between the 11th and 18th (I’m really struggling to keep a secret here)!

Friday – Wake up early to finish the blog before trotting off to another band practice (something I’ll be doing every Friday and Sunday between now and the gig).

Let’s move on to this weeks song, shall we?  After I’ve been to bed, perhaps…

 

The Blurb:

Morning.  How are you?!

This weeks song was written with Ryan Keen about two months ago – the day after Jemima (my cat of nearly two decades) fell asleep and never woke up.  I remember being in a shit mood and being dragged out of it by Ryan – who presented me with half a pizza followed by a refrigerated Mars bar and a cup of tea – perfect!

As per usual the song is pretty self explanatory so I won’t ramble on about it too much –  but in a nutshell it’s about a long distance relationship and not knowing whether to carry on or sack it off.

We wrote it in an afternoon and I went away to think about/change some of the lyrics (as standard).  The next day we regrouped to record guitars and tidy up a demo before Ryan trundled off on tour with Newton Faulkner (this is all getting a bit incestuous)!


Ryan took his laptop on tour and did some mixing and I took my time recording a vocal at #onesongaweek HQ before Dan Dare got involved with a tasty beat (which was a nice treat!) and we pinged some ideas back and forth before tidying it all up and drawing a line in the sand.

Favourite Lyric:

“Staring at the stars, I know you do the same…”

Week 47 – ‘Wet Shoes’

Week 47.  Six Weeks to go…

On Monday I woke up anticipating a nice, quiet week having already finished this weeks song… my only tasks being to edit a video, write a blog and do a few other bits and bobs behind the scenes.

The fact that it’s now Friday morning (1:46am) and I’m only just starting the blog means one of two things:

  1) I’m really, really lazy.
  2) The phone rang on Monday and suddenly I had lots of jobs to do.

The jobs were exciting but they were also bloody hard work (mentally).  One of them was to make a final tracklisting for the onesongaweek best of – which has seen me go round in circles for the last 100 or so hours.  Imagine having 52 children and being asked to single out 15 favourites?!

More about the phone call soon.  Here’s this weeks song for your ears…

 

The Blurb:

I guess week 47 began all the way back in 2009. November, I think?

I played one of the weirdest shows of my life – in a posh hotel in London as part of the evening entertainment for a music industry conference called Live UK.  Also playing on that day was a chap called Ed Sheeran.

Three random things I remember:

  • There was an expensive coffee machine in the backstage/conference room.
  • We listened to Gideon Conn‘s album and I burnt a copy (sorry Gideon)!
  • We went out for a cigarette and Ed told me that his manager (at the time) had given him a copy of my EP (You, Your Cat & Me) and told him to ‘write more choruses like Frank Hamilton’.

Turns out Ed wasn’t up for that and got rid of his manager soon after, sticking to his musical guns and making plans to forge himself a career (probably not a bad shout)!

Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and I’m glued to the chair in my studio persuing a silly idea I had on January 2nd while Ed is touring the world, selling millions of records and securing himself a tidy pension.

Obviously I’ve been watching Ed’s progress from a-far with great interest… but I didn’t think for one minute that he’d be watching mine…

Then this appeared in Total Guitar Magazine (I only found out because someone tweeted me).

Firstly, lastly and everything inbetween(ly)… what a bloody nice thing to do.

I thanked him on Twitter (though it probably got lost in a sea of ‘@’s) and sent Stuart his manager an email.  Stuart was really friendly but as expected my attempts at organising a onesongaweek collaboration didn’t get very far.  At least not right away…

Our story now darts back to 2011, during which another manager (part man, part snake) got in touch to tell me that because Ed Sheeran was doing so well the climate was finally right for me to go and get a massive record deal.  He sent me 5 songs Ed had written with a guy called Si Hulbert and told me I should record one/some of them (to use as Frank Hamilton songs).  I wasn’t sure but said I’d have a go at ‘I Miss You’ aslong as I could re-write the end of the chorus?  They said I wasn’t allowed and that was that.

Fast-forward back to August 2012 and I remember I’ve got 5 songs written by Ed Sheeran and Si Hulbert sitting on my old harddrive.  Definitely worth a listen…

One of them was a simple but lovely idea called ‘Wet Shoes’ – which consisted of some picky guitar, a verse about wet shoes and a chorus melody idea that I thought was ok but could have been better…

I’d been Facebook friends with (known but not really known) Si for a while when I chanced a call to ask if he remembered the song and knew whether or not it was ever finished.  He did and it wasn’t… and the rest, as they say, is just nonsense on Wikipedia.

For the record ‘nonsense on Wikipedia’ includes:

  • Going round in circles trying to write a great new pre & chorus..
  • Putting copius amounts of pressure on myself to ‘get it right’.
  • Turning it into an upbeat/skiffle track before losing the plot.
  • FINALLY getting it right at 5am… and recording it there and then.

Here’s a picture of me the next day, with tired eyes and coffee.

The weirdest thing about all of this is that I don’t really know what Ed thinks of the song now it’s finished!  The fact that you’re listening to it means he must have said yes to it but I’ve only managed to catch up with him once (briefly) before his show in Hammersmith last month… and the chorus wasn’t even written then!

So there we have it – the story of week 47.  One for the grandkids.

As much as I’d like to spare you the cheesy bit I can’t end a week like this without summing it all up.  Onesongaweek didn’t need Ed Sheeran or week 47 to make it a success but it’s nice to look at the cold, hard facts every once in a while:

47 weeks ago I had a silly idea and started something small but ambitious…

…today I’m releasing a song co-written with the biggest artist in the world.

The same artist who played 312 gigs in one year, worked his balls off to make his dreams come true and helped give people like me (who weren’t doing our upmost) the kick up the arse we needed to see that if you put your mind, body and soul in to something… anything’s possible.

With that in mind, onward to week 48!

(after the video, of course, which replaces the ‘favourite lyric’ section for one week only)!

Shot in my living room on Sunday in the space of about an hour and edited by yours truly (in true DIY/onesongaweek fashion).  Thanks to Gio, Naomi, Barbara and Andy for all their help.

Week 46 – ‘Football’

Week 46.  You’re kidding me, right?  I can’t believe we’re in November, which is shaping up to be one of the most exciting months in #onesongaweek history.

It started with chickens and politicians (Week 44 – Animal Farm w/ Mark Grist) and progressed to duets and houses (Week 45 – Flaws & Ceilings w/ Lauren Aquilina)… and now we’re moving on to football.

Before we put our shin-pads on I wanted to give you a heads up that next weeks song will be called ‘Wet Shoes’ and was written with Ed Sheeran.  If you’d have told me that 46 weeks ago (when I started out with a case full of ideas and a bin-bag full of nerves) I’d have told you that it wasn’t possible and insisted you get your head examined.  Needless to say I’d have been very, very wrong!

Aside from the usual madness behind the scenes (rehearsing for the live show, trying to find someone to do a good job of PR in the next 7 weeks etc etc) this week has been as follows:

Monday: Finished writing and demo’d this weeks song.  ‘Football’.

Tuesday: Woke up early to record, comp and mix Lauren’s vocals on week 45.

Wednesday: Started recording week 46.  A rapper and his manager heard it and wanted to get involved.

Thursday: Not enough time to get said rapper on the song in time for Friday.  Discussed holding back the song until early next week…

Friday: Eventually decided against holding back the song (didn’t want to make you lot wait until Tuesday again).  I halfed the rap section and put a guitar in there instead.

 

The Blurb:

This weeks song is kind of about football and kind of not.  The choruses is like Ronseal (does exactly what it says on the tin) but the verses chat more about the human condition (using football terminology).

I wrote it in the middle of the night and it was one of those songs which just falls out without any real effort.  It’s nice when that happens.

Favourite Lyric:

“I can run… run away from anything”.

Week 45 – ‘Flaws & Ceilings’

Greetings, faithful #onesongaweek folk.

We’re going to treat this weeks blog like a town planning meeting. Here’s the agenda:

1)  Introductions / news in brief
2)  This weeks song
3)  Week 52 – the final #onesongaweek
4)  Support act for live show.
5)  onesongaweek on an advert!?
6)  Frank’s final thought
UPDATE:
7)  ‘Flaws & Ceilings’ featuring Lauren Aquilina.
8) Favourite Lyric

1 – Introductions & News in brief
Hello, hello.  Hope you’ve all had a lovely week.  The news in brief reads as follows:

2 – This weeks song
If you’re a regular Tweeter/follower you may already know that this weeks song isn’t ready for your ears yet.  Let me explain…

Yesterday (Thursday) afternoon at about 5pm the song for week 45 (which is probably going to be called ‘Flaws & Ceilings’) took a slight detour.

Originally it was going to be a solo, acoustic guitar tune but then I decided it might sound better on piano.  Then I realised I’d used a line in it that was actually written in a session with someone else (so I had to check with them) and then I realised the whole thing would work really nicely as a duet (and set about racking my brains and making phone-calls).

I can now confirm:
The song will feature the dulcet tones of someone else, who’s voice you’ve (barely) heard on #onesongaweek already…

‘Flaws & Ceilings’ will be released on Tuesday (which is technically in week 46) so for one week and one week only you’ll get two songs.  This isn’t ideal and I am sorry you’ll have to wait a few days… but I promise it’ll be worth it.

3 – Week 52 – the final #onesongaweek
Some of you have been sending in ideas and concepts for a song we’re going to try and write together… and I’ve decided that week 52 would be a nice week to release it.

Furthermore, we’re currently trying to work out a way of recording this live at the #onesongaweek gig on December 20th – which would obviously involve those in attendance singing along and featuring on the recording.  More news on whether we’re able to make that happen soon.

In the meanwhile get your ideas/concepts/song titles sent in (if you haven’t already) to onesongaweek@mail.com  Nothing too deep, mind… we want to end the year on a reasonably happy note, right?

4 – Support Act for the #onesongaweek live show.
We’ll be announcing this properly on Monday but since you’re missing out on the song you deserve a cheeky heads up…

I’m super chuffed to tell you that my support act for the first and last onesongaweek live show will consist of two chaps who go by the names of Mark Grist and Mixy.  When they go on stage together they become spoken-word duo ‘The Dead Poets‘ and as a massive fan myself I’m delighted to have them aboard for what’s shaping up to be an utterly mental evening.  Tickets here.

5 – #onesongaweek on an advert.
I’ve only just found out about this!! Thanks to Beefeater Gin for paying me some pennies to have a cheeky pop at religion, politics and the queen in one of their adverts.  Here’s the video…

 

6 – Frank’s final thought
Have a lovely weekend… but make sure you come back on Tuesday afternoon/evening x

UPDATE: 7 – ‘Flaws & Ceilings’
I woke up at 8 (EIGHT) am this morning.  So early that I feel justified spelling it out in capitals like they do on the football results when a team defies all odds to score 8 (EIGHT) goals.

The reason I woke up early is because the lovely Lauren Aquilina arrived at my house to sing the female part on this weeks song.  Since working with Lauren back in week 29 she’s released her first ever record (Fools EP) which has quite literally taken over the world (number 1 in Malta, how cool is that?!) so it was a lovely surprise when she replied to last weeks cry for help and offered her vocal services for the #onesongaweek cause.

She was also involved in the writing of this song a tiny bit, too.  Back in week 29’s session a lyric about walls was coined which we both really liked but couldn’t work in to the song.  That lyric (like many others) has spent 15 or so weeks floating around, feeling ignored and unloved… before eventually finding itself a tidy home for life.

 

From a production point of view I’ve really enjoyed having a few extra days to live with the track (while waiting for Lauren’s vocal) and I think it probably shows.  A very important part of making (especially mixing) music is the time you have away from it – in which your ears and brain are allowed recover/de-clutter.  Needless to say this #onesongaweek lark, with it’s weekly Friday deadline, hasn’t allowed much time for that.

Anyway, enough words.  I need to start working on week 46 (to be released in a mere 72 hours). Cripes.

8 – Favourite Lyric
I really like most of the lyrics in this song. The ‘flaws/ceilings’ wordplay, the ‘books/stories’ line, the bit about being calm when someone else is angry, etc etc…

I think I’m just going to write them out and you can choose your own favourite…

“I’ve got flaws, she’s got ceilings,
When she wakes I’m still dreaming
The long days get me thinking
Always get me thinking
I’ve got doors, she’s got windows
I see in but only she knows
What goes on underneath the ceiling
I wonder what she’s thinking
I wonder what she’s thinking

When she lies in bed coz
when I wake up she’s in my head
And i’m thinking in a few years time
will I still be yours will you still be mine.
We can’t build our walls
Unless you knock down yours
So let me in

I read books,
he writes stories
He’s so calm
When I’m angry
And I’m not sure what he sees in me
Won’t tell him what I’m thinking

I wonder what he’s thinking
When he lies in bed coz when I wake up he’s in my head
And i’m thinking in a few years time will I still be yours will you still be mine.
We can’t build our walls
Unless you knock down yours
So let me in

I wanna be inside your house
So let me in…

Week 44 – Animal Farm 2012

Another exciting week in #onesongaweek land…

On Monday some good news arrived regarding the song I mentioned in last weeks blog.  The ‘third parent’ I I’ve been talking about for a while is actually a nice chap called Ed Sheeran…


There have also been exciting developments surrounding the #onesongaweek live show (more special guests and a fantastic support act) as well as some other bits and bobs which you’ll hear about very soon.

Aside from various bits of news, various phone calls and various emails this week has been like absolutely no other in #onesongaweek history.  I spent most of it with Mark Grist

For those of you who haven’t seen the famous Youtube video Mark is a Teacher and former Poet Laureate whose love and understanding of words somehow led him in to the world of battle rap, thus making him an internet sensation.

We met back in week 21 and did some non-#onesongaweek work together before Mark and Mixy (his partner in a spoken-word duo) agreed to ‘Sing for England’ on my Euro 2012 song.

6 months passed and I wrote a bunch of songs while Mark took a critically acclaimed show to the Edinburgh festival and went on tour with the Dead Poets.  Then eventually, in week 44, we got our act together…


The Blurb:

During the first hour of Monday’s session we established that this wasn’t a normal collaboration (pop-songwriter meets poet/battle rapper) and as such we disregarded two lines of obvious enquiry (a song about love and a song about football) before stumbling upon an idea which could and probably should have gone horribly wrong… Politics.

The rest of Monday came and went.  We threw some (not very good) ideas around and resorted to playing a retro football game on the Playstation (ISS Pro – the original).  Long story short Mark’s well-groomed ability to navigate primitive and poorly pixelated games led to him registering my biggest loss (and no doubt his biggest win) of 2012 – 6 goals to 1.  Let’s move on, please.

Tuesday came around and we established that neither of us had (properly) dealt with politics in a piece for a long while… which made us both more determined to make it work but also highlighted that this was going to require some degree of thought.

Firstly, we didn’t want the song to be preachy or partisan.  Secondly, we wanted it to be reasonably factual in terms of it’s content and thirdly (perhaps most importantly) we both wanted to have fun with it.

 

 

Truth be told I soon twigged that this song was never going to make it onto an album in 2013 and for that reason I tried to let myself enjoy the process instead of getting bogged down in some of the things I usually worry about.  It took a few conversations with myself to make that happen, though – especially when it came to using the word ‘squark’ in a song…

Frank A: “I cannot put ‘squark’ in a chorus and sleep well this evening.  No, just no”.

Frank B: “Sure, you can!  It makes sense and it’s not a bloody love song is it?! “

Frank A: “Fuck off.  Seriously… ‘squark’?”

Frank B: “Seriously! Put some chickens in the background if it makes you feel better?”

Frank A: “Erm, Maybe.”

Frank B: “Maybe?  Grow some balls, man”.

Frank A: “Ok, ok. FINE! …Chickens, you say?.”

Frank B: “Yes. Chickens. “.

Frank A: “Ok”.

Frank B: “Your welcome.  See you next week.”.

Frank A: (sighs) “Do i have to?”.

Frank B: “Yes”.

Favourite Lyric / Favourite Name:

A twist on this weeks favourite lyric section.

This morning we realised we hadn’t given our ‘song’ a name yet and so we took some suggestions on Twitter.  Congratulations to @BostjanJerko who coined our favourite with his first idea (we liked the second idea too, but…)

Week 43 – Standing On Your Street

It’s 23:07 on a Friday night and I’m sat in by myself dipping carrot sticks in hummus and stressing about reverb.  What has my life become?!

I’ve just mixed and mastered this weeks song (for the 13th time) and I can’t wait to post it and move on to week 44 but first, I need to write a blog…

On the whole it’s been good and fairly relaxed (for a change) week.

Saturday was nice.  Remember that song I finished a few weeks ago?  The one that has 3 parents?  Well I sent it to the third parent (who was blissfully unaware I’d been tampering with it) via their manager and now I’m waiting to find out what they think…

Sunday was relaxed.  I had a meeting with a lovely chap called Ollie who’ll be drumming for me on December 20th.  Speaking of which I’m hoping to have some news about my special guest support act very soon.  FYI over half the tickets have gone already (which is amazing!) so if you’re desperate to come then get yours by clicking HERE.

Monday was nice enough.  I got back to London (from Southampton) in the afternoon and went to the pub after the Q awards.  Myself and Matt Morgan were very sensible, drank apple juice and resisted the urge to embarrass ourselves in front of Rachel from Countdown.

Tuesday was ok.  I went to try and have an ECG (apparently my heart rate’s a bit lower than normal) and failed because I’d lost the form.  I made it in on Wednesday and this is what my heart looks like on a piece of paper…


The rest of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent going round in circles with this weeks song and trying to smoke less, neither of which really promote the other…

 

 

The Blurb:

It’s a true story… about the time I went to break up with my then girlfriend of nearly 2 years.

It’s all pretty self explanatory so I won’t waffle on too much but I will say that it’s probably one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written.  I wanted to put it in onesongaweek for this reason as well as the fact that I wanted to have some fun producing it.

I won’t say it’s been fun – once again the limitations of my ‘one laptop and one microphone’ set-up have been exposed but at the same time I still like the vibe and can’t wait to get in a proper studio (with a proper producer) and get this tarted up for the album.  It will, quite literally, be epic.

 

We’re all writing a song together and this is your last chance to get involved:

Here’s your final reminder to send in any song / lyric / concept ideas to onesongaweek@mail.com if you’d like them to be considered.  The response so far has been fantastic (well over 50 so far) and I’m hoping myself and Mark Grist (who’s coming to visit on Monday and Tuesday) will be able to work some of your ideas into a song.  If he’s up for it I’ll be facebooking and tweeting my little socks off on Monday/Tuesday and asking you to get involved, so look out for that.

Favourite Lyric:

I’m really proud of the lyrics in this song.  Don’t make me choose…

“I’m standing on your street, babe
You’re standing on my heart.
We’re fighting in our sleep, babe
But we don’t want the end to start
Icicles and fires, babe,
I don’t wanna play this game
I’m standing on your street babe,
but it’s not the same.

I’m smiling less and less babe,
You\re trying more and more.
We’ve given it our best, babe
I’m tired and my feet are sore
Arguments and breakdowns,
Isn’t what I came here for
I’m standing on your street, babe
Looking at your door.  Standing at your door.

There’s voices in my head, babe,
Running over everything.
Just maybe this could work, babe
Maybe we could gamble and win
The memories and the fears, babe
arise as I address this court,
I’m standing on your street, babe
having second thoughts

You’ve always looked so good, babe
And never did so more than now
Let’s try and keep this quick, babe
Don’t wan a hear you scream and shout.
Great escapes and heart ache
A month or two and you’ll be fine
I’m standing on your street, babe
For the last time.