I’m always amazed at how much music talent there is out there. Last week the Twitterverse reminded me once again. We asked our followers and friends to tweet out a song they’d written lately, in celebration of songwriters everywhere and our course, The New Songwriter’s Workshop, and you did not disappoint! These are my favorite tunes from #SongwritingWeek on Twitter:
Song of the Week
“Habakkuk” by Starr Busby
How have I never heard this before? Starr Busby has this beautiful voice which brings a distinctive new vocal quality to the sort of layering techniques made popular by tUnE-yArDs and Kimbra. The main background vocal layer is not the most compelling I’ve ever heard, but she makes up for it with some stunning vocal gymnastics over the top. The melody dives, twists, glitches, and swells — not settling into anything predictable. When the full vocal complement comes in about 2 minutes in, I’m all in. From there on out, it’s just plain power that drives the song home.
Most Fun I Had Listening to a Song
“Warpaint” by JDVBBS
This song is pure joy. It comes out of the gate with classic Motown-influenced guitars, making me think I’m in for a Michael Jackson dance party or maybe Archie Bell and the Drells or something, but JDVBBS (pronounced j-dubbs, for those not in the know) really throws down in the chorus. It totally disrupts the flow, but in an awesome way — pulling you out of the 70s and into the 21st century. By the end of the song, he’s got it all — rap verse, wandering funky bass line, altered chorus, and background vocals in a round. Dance to this one!
Best Use of Saxophone
“What a Day” by Ben Thompson
The saxophone that kicks off this hip-hop track overcomes my senses like cilantro — echoes of David Sanborn and the Lethal Weapon soundtrack ringing in my ears. The beat kicks in, but luckily that sax never leaves us, like a comforting blanket of 80s goodness. Also, great rhymes and a good, if understated, chorus. Add the tinkling piano line toward the end and I’m a happy listener.
Most Creative Entry
“Oh Dear Rue the Day” by the Dead Rat Orchestra
No surprises here. Our good friends the Dead Rat Orchestra entered the fray with their reinvented and highly dangerous Australian lullaby “Oh Dear Rue the Day”. Yes, they actually create music by slashing at a piece of wood with hatchets. The audience is in danger from flying splinters, the performers are in danger of chopping off their hands, and I’m in danger of running away and following this band for the rest of my life.
Best Alternative Folk Track
“Escape” by Jacob Seeger
I’m a sucker for a falsetto chorus, what can I say.
Most Soulful Jam
“Daddy Issues” by Rat Habitat
This song is rich, reflective, cool, and most of all, soulful. The background music sounds like it’s on the verge of total chaos, overflowing with wash and reverb as if you’re submerged in a bowl of water, and I kind of love it.
Best Team Entry
“Beauty and Nature” by Aarhus
Soundfly’s own Kelly Leprohon just produced and debuted this track — and it’s got a big sound. It’s the song you’d get if you commissioned Blonde Redhead to write the next James Bond theme song. Listen to it. Love it.
Find more great music in our monthly What I’m Digging Lately series!