The Concept

The Concept
An AI-generated example I gave to an artist as a starting point for the REAL cover art

The idea of sitting down to write a song can be incredibly daunting, much less an entire record. My brain jumps way past chord progressions and melody and starts thinking about EQ, stereo field placement, sound design, and all the other details that can be dealt with much later. In short, I try to see the final product right away instead of starting simple. To combat this, I almost always have to create a set of constraints or boundaries for myself to focus the writing process.

My first EP was an exception to that rule, but it was really just a collection of the first four songs I put together after deciding it would be fun to record and release something with friends I had been playing and recording with on projects for other artists for years. When I started working on a second release, I knew I needed more structure. It was also going to be an LP so I needed more material as well. So, I defined my starting constraints as follows: I would write the song names first in the form of a poem, then write music to fit. I set additional restrictions per song such as working within a given key, but that was the main idea.

Several years have passed since What Do You See When You Dream? came out and I have the urge to write and release music again. I picked the name Slow Release right around a year ago with a high-level requirement that all songs would be at or below 85bpm. I'll set other challenges for myself as I work on individual songs - for example one I just started writing will make use of modal modulation (a concept I just recently learned about and want to experiment with). I also want to pull in more electronic/noise/synthwave elements, so I've typically been writing on a piano instead of a guitar.

At the end of the process I hope to have an EP I can enjoy listening to and that demonstrates a step forward in my writing, recording, and production.