Week 30 – ‘Typewriter’
by Frank Hamilton
It’s 3am on Friday morning so i’ll try and keep this brief.
It’s been another long but very enjoyable week and for the most part there have been three things occupying my mind. Firstly the song for week 30, ‘Typewriter’. Secondly a live session for iTunes and AWAL which took place on Wednesday and thirdly a song I’m currently trying to write/rewrite. Let’s talk about them in reverse order.
The song I’m trying to write/rewrite. It’s not easy and there’s a lot of pressure (mainly from myself) but I think I’m getting somewhere. More on that later…
The live session was fun. I’d been excited about it since they sent through the memo and i found David Ford would be on the same compilation – he was a huge influence on my early stuff (check out ‘State of the Union’ on Youtube). I was joined by Helen Ruocco (of week 15 and ‘You, Your Cat and Me’ fame) and Jacob Attwooll (who you’ll here more about in a moment) and we recorded a song called ‘Words and Nothing More’.
The studio was amazing and the set-up was really stripped back and intimate. Three vocals, a guitar and a piano – all unplugged with only one microphone in the room. Kev the engineer/producer from the studio went through all the techy stuff when we arrived which was quite interesting. I’m no tech-head but basically the microphone had 4 microphones inside and in layman’s terms was surround sound – recording in 360 degrees. Pretty cool, huh?
The session went ok I think. The microphone was very unforgiving (so I dare say there’s a few rugged notes!) but everyone was nice and friendly and there were photos and videos being taken. Good job I wore a nice shirt – Ebay, £4.
Finally, this weeks song – ‘Typewriter’. It’s happy and summery and I’m really excited about it… but it isn’t quite ready yet. Sorry!
It’s just a case of tidying up the BVs and doing some more mixing – so check back tonight or tomorrow for that.
In the meanwhile – the ‘halfway through onesongaweek gig’ on Clapham Common last Sunday was LOADS of fun. Thanks to everyone who came along, smiled and sang (even you, Kele from Bloc Party). Here are some photos if you missed out:
Last week I mentioned how I’d managed to take an old verse and (for the first time) put a new chorus on it that I was happy with. This week it’s only gone and happened again!
‘Typewriter’ was written with a lovely chap called Jacob who I’d met after a show in Kings X station a few months ago. We’d arranged to do some writing on Monday and began by discovering we’d grown up around 3 miles from each other (he’s from Huntingdon, I’m from St Ives). Madness!
As if that wasn’t weird enough… We never knew each other back in the shire but Jacob has been inside the house I grew up in several times! His best friend at school was called Richard, whose family bought our old house in Hemingford Grey when we moved (I was 11). MADNESS!!
Coincidences aside the song-writing came fairly easily. We started at 12 and were finished by 2… and then began the production which has once again given me a few dilemmas (of the good kind). The result is that I have two versions of week 30 for you this week. They’re more or less identical in song and structure but differ in sound and tempo.
The first version is a lot more upbeat and summery. It started in Hoxton with the drum-programming and bass-playing talents of @thisisjaybird and then relocated to Clapham for guitars, ukelele and vocals…
The second version is the demo – which is a lot more reflective and less summery. Most weeks I record the song to see how it sounds before I record it again (this time with more care and precision) to release on the Friday. As you’d expect the final version is generally a big improvement on the first demo but this week things haven’t been so clear cut. In my heart of hearts I know the other version will make the monthly EP (as much I’d like to we can’t have two week 30’s!) but I wanted you to hear this before it goes on my hard drive and gets forgotten about so I’ve made it free to download for the rest of this week…
If we’re having two songs this week then I’m also going to do something different with the favourite lyric…
I had the ‘Typewriter’ idea last week when a friend posted a picture of a typewriter on Facebook and this is what I wrote down on a scrap of paper…
“Typewriter. Type. Right. Her.
You know you’re just my type.
And It feels to right.
Because you’re just like her. “