I feel like I should be more familiar with Billy Joel. I know only a small number of his songs well enough to sing along, but the small number I know are some of my favourites. In that way then it’s a nice twist that we wound up getting one of his song requested, might light the fire to make me get more familiar with his material. If we do cover another of his songs though I reckon we’ll go for one that’s in 4/4! This was an interesting and enjoyable challenge to record though. Initially I had sat down with just the guitar to try and come up with a solo arrangement. Neither of us are overly prolific on piano so that was out of the question and no other instrument seemed to gel with it all that well. Then Peter sat down at the drums. We had never looked to utilise drums on a slower, quieter track before and I will admit I took a little convincing. After a few run throughs though – and a united decision that we’d be throwing a bass track over it too! – we’re quite happy with the results. Drums aren’t the only change and we’ve a fresh face behind the camera too. We’ve done our content extremely low scale until now and decided it was time to move on from filming on a variety of smartphones. So please welcome Vicki onboard who did an awesome job for us on our most recent videos and you can follow her on Instagram @ikcivanderson As always, watch, like, share, subscribe.
Taking a break from covers and requests for this week, we decided to dust off another of the originals. Castaway was one of the easiest songs to write out of any of my efforts…lyrically that is. The bulk of it all arrived in one go while I was sat idly by waiting to meet up with some friends, in those glorious days before we had so much to easily distract and whipping out a notepad was an acceptable way to pass the time. Originally, it was a very lively bouncy number and I was quite happy with it. As time went on though I felt it didn’t really fit the lyrical content, at least how I intended it. To me the song was about the desire to go and do the things in the song, rather than someone actually in the process of doing them. The endless debate about writer’s intention versus listener’s interpretation is one I frequently find myself in – do we seek the writer’s interpretation of the song or our own? Everyone is different, I usually can’t decide myself, but I wrote this with a specific intention while at the same time I love hearing different interpretations.
Whatever your interpretation might be I hope you enjoy it, and as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!
A little bit of me is somewhat shocked we’ve actually got this one done. Opening the floor for requests is something we were quite excited about and then we got a great response with loads of great songs. Then we decided to start with an elaborate arrangement on a multitrack recording. Basically we went right outside of the comfort zone we’ve established on our YouTube page! Suffice to say we’re quite happy with the outcome though and believe we’ve done a good job of suitably niallon-ing this song. Far Away has a special place for many due to its inclusion on the Red Dead Redemption in-game soundtrack, playing over a somewhat epic moment in the 2010 smash hit. As with so many songs that gain their notoriety from soundtracks, sometimes it’s easy to ignore them being good in their own right. I’ll be honest, I’d actually forgotten it was from the Red Dead soundtrack when I first saw the request come in and the process of learning, arranging and recording the song has left me a bigger fan then when we first began. José González’s original arrangement is more than a little haunting and in our take on it we tried to retain that, whilst branching out in very different directions musically at times. We hope you enjoy and as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!
When Kings Of Leon released they’re massively successful album “Only By The Night” a strange thing seemed to happen. All of a sudden they had a legion of new fans after years as indie darlings and I can proudly say I was one of those fans. At least I was a fan of the album anyway. Many say they “sold out” (whatever that term really means) and what resulted was incredibly accessible tracks like Sex On Fire, Revelry and of course Use Somebody.
The first time he heard it my father described Use Somebody as a ‘real rock song’ and I don’t think I’d even attempt to find a better description. It may be a bit generic, a bit straightforward, but it incredibly efficiently succeeds in conveying a central point while never sacrificing intellect at the same time. There was a more straightforward way to write this song, a way to make this a song more appropriate for a plain Jane pop act but it carries enough smarts to rise above that. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!
I’ve gotta be honest, covering Ed Sheeran is a terrifying ordeal. The dude is just ridiculously talented and more terrifyingly – wildly adored. To say the the pressure is on when covering one of his tracks would be an understatement, but here we are, on what I’d say is roughly the fifth attempt at this particular track in 12 months, and we think we’ve finally got one we’re happy with! Peter remarked around the time we recorded this that Thinking Out Loud already has a feeling that it’ll become this decade’s Mr. Brightside. Sure, they’re two very different songs with very different applications, but the era defining nature of both and the timeless qualities shine through massively. Thinking Out Loud is an old school love song the likes of which we don’t see anymore, taking all the best element’s of The Beatles’ When I’m Sixty Four and Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are and finding an ideal home somewhere in the middle. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!*
*Also we swear, the requests are coming! Expect movement on that in the next few weeks!
We’re now up to our 3rd track from The Killers on this page and it’s safe to say this is the big one. Mr Brightside was an instant classic when it released back in 2004 (though it technically released in 2003 to little or no fanfare!). Since then it has gone on to become an anthem for so many significant moments in mine and many other’s lives, ever present in the background in moments of sadness, joy, romance, tragedy and the rest. That might sound like a gross exaggeration of a song’s relevance, but this truly was the soundtrack to a generation, and still continues to be in some ways. So when it came to covering it, these thoughts were front and centre in our heads. In its original form, this song is timeless excellence and there are also a huge number of more than decent acoustic covers of it on YouTube already, so what were we gonna do? What we settled on, and what I believe we’ve pulled off sits somewhere between acoustic cover and putting a different spin on things. Mr Brightside has an anthemic quality and does nothing but get people buzzing when it lands on a night out or at a gig, but behind that the lyrics tell a different story. Mr Brightside lyrically paints a tragic picture that’s all too real when you’re a teenager (and older) – you love them, they don’t reciprocate, worse still you have to watch as they go on to impart that love on others but yourself…..Jesus, it’s brutal stuff really. Unrequited love has always been a massive driver of lyrics and has led to the creation of some of the best songs in existence. We hope, through this spin on it, that we’ve done a good job of bringing Mr Brightside into that fold. And, as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!
I feel like highlighting how long it has been since we uploaded is a little repetitive at this stage but, yeah, it’s been a while. The good news is that some backroom changes mean we should get far more consistent once more (basically, I’ve learned how to record myself) and we do have a very big project on the way soon that we’ve been working on for months now. But that is all down the road, right now we’ve got this.
I’m not gonna claim to be the world’s greatest Disney fan. I do like the majority of their output but I tend to be one and done, rarely re-watching their stuff. I do however regularly share the company of some Disney diehards and this particular tune seems to be one of the constants as far as favourites are concerned. We had been toying with covering a Disney track for a while and this one became a no-brainer (though there will likely be more Disney covers down the line). One final note I would like to add….this song is deceptively tricky! I won’t say exactly how long but suffice to say this vid is a long time in the making and I hope you’re pleased with the results, especially those aforementioned diehards, you know who you are! If you are, watch, like, share, subscribe!