We're back up in the Sierras for a few days.  It's a bit toasty, but gorgeous and clear.  The air tastes just right.  It feels like each breath increases my life expectancy by 30 seconds.  How much damage does the foul LA air do to my lungs?  

I wrote a new song which might work well with the other nine I have for the new record.  It's tentatively titled Habit of Force.  I didn't bring my acoustic, bass, or stuff I need to record vocals properly.  Only brought up my electric guitar rig, a few electrics (les paul, tele), and a 57.  So I put down a rough, working version with synth bass and scratch vocal through the 57.  Not sure I've landed on the final draft of the lyric.  We'll see how it sounds when I record everything properly.  The rough mixes of record feel incomplete as is and perhaps this song will close the loop.

The new stuff is guitar oriented, organic, and melodic.  I imagine I ended up at this place because playing live has caused me to focus a lot of attention on improving my guitar playing and knowledge about the technical side of getting tones and the like.  Even though I have been the playing the guitar since I was 10, I still think of myself as a keyboardist.  I feel at home with keyboards where it's far easier for me to translate what's in my head into something listenable.  I still feel like it's a bit of a struggle on guitar unless I'm playing a rhythm part.  But I have certainly improved a whole bunch.  And I've always written quite well on the guitar.  I'm far more limited on what I can do harmonically on the guitar and play simpler chords than on piano or keyboards.  So, writing on the guitar makes me focus more on melody and lyrics and conveying a simpler musical message.  That tends to results in songs that people connect with more immediately.  

When I produce my own stuff, I usually want a somewhat unusual atmosphere in the song.  I'd like to think it's what makes my stuff unique and interesting.  So I typically try to avoid straight ahead type of production for the most part.  The new record, though, is not based as much on unusual atmospheres.  It's more about the writing and performance.  Still sounds like me nonetheless.  The lyrics and melodies and hooks are the threads that link the new stuff to my body of work. 

So there you have it.  Rambling musings from a songwriter.  Happy Labor Day!

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