Songs of the Lost
'Songs of the Lost are not true but fair
bound up with fire and forgotten in air'
-Shadeaux Bros. / The Last Song (unreleased)
Here at SPR we write songs. Dumb ones. But also kind of awesome ones? J does the music, I do the words - with a healthy bit of overlap either way. We plunk ourselves down, pick a direction and jump out into the strange and wonderful crossroads where human brains and the cosmos entangle. Songwriting is a craft - some work their entire lives sharpening their skills, honing their melodies. But at the same time a rank amateur will sit down with a Fisher Price xylophone and lay down a truly SICK jam first try. Ask anyone who wanders down these roads - it requires skill, it requires time, it requires endless toil - but sometimes it requires nothing. You just open your guitar case, open your notebook, open your head and something just falls in.
Right there, fully formed - a hook. A riff. Sometimes a whole phrase, or even a whole movement. Some would like to claim that this is your sub-conscious or some sort of latent intuition working in the background of your mind's OS - but I don't agree.
The songs are already there. They were there from the beginning. Not every song you've ever heard - but the great ones. The ones that lock into your bones. The ones that you can remember in the middle of the night when your heart is empty. The songs that you hear on the radio and Time unwinds and you are yourself again at every point on the calendar where you heard it before. I've said in other places that 'in the end the only magic will be music' - the high art, the invisible wonder, the sacred craft.
And we use it to write songs about demon butts.
All of us songwriters, in one way or other, are hunters. We're hunting in the wilds for those fragments, those hidden cities. When you listen to me and J stumble around on the podcast writing the song du jour - you're listening to a holy thing. We're explorers, pilgrims - and on a very, very good day we stumble into something that was waiting for us, some signal waiting for an instrument to transmit it. There's a lot about the craft of songwriting that merits discussion -but this is the true part, my favorite part.