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Can music feel like fall?


Taylor Swift - Folklore (2020)

Off the bat, "the 1" feels SOOO SLOOOOOW?

Weird. I've listened to this album multiple times and it's never felt this way...


"the last great american dynasty" - I'm a fan of the little electric guitar lick. I'm working on developing these under-licks/melodies in my own work to make sure that there's something memorable in the production. It's frickin hard!


I love "exile" so much. Bon Iver is amazing. Also, the use of ooohs between verses/ words is something I don't make use of as much as maybe I should. I love it, but I think it is a delicate balance. The chorus is cool - he sings the low part as the melody & higher for harmonies on his chorus, and she does the high part for melody and low part for harmony. Cool contrast. There's a slight tempo increase through the song -- from 72ish to 76ish.


I usually skip "my tears ricochet", the melody doesn't catch my attention like the others. Lots of use of EQ filters in this one for the instrumentation and bg vox. Creates the ghostly feel that she's looking for for sure. The percussion build at 2:30ish is cool. SPACE *AGAIN* this keeps coming back in my listening... space is so important to create tension and release. I need to get better at this.


"mirrorball" has a moment around 2:20 where everything gets super dry (no reverb/echo). Very cool but I'd never noticed it before.


"invisible string" is one of my all time faves off this album. So perfectly crafted in every way.


"peace" is another honourable mention.. man I honestly love so many songs from this record. The pulsating synth in this one makes the song instantly recognizable and kind of disappears throughout as more instruments are added, but keeps the momentum of the song and comes back at the end to remind you where it all started.


Throughout this album I didn't notice much panning. I don't know if that's because I wasn't listening for it or if everything is pretty much balanced in the stereo field or straight down the centre.


The songs produced by Jack Antonoff feel like they wrap you in a big blanket of sound, compared to those produced by Aaron Dessner, which feel much more textural and layered percussively (is that a word?)..


post-it: EQ filters on BG vox


I think I could easily add every song on this album to my favourites playlist because each song is so unique and has so many production ideas that I'd listen over and over.


Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher (2020)

I never got on the Phoebe Bridgers bandwagon if I'm being honest. Her voice is beautiful, her songwriting is super unique and she seems like a very relatable person. Just never got into it.. Maybe that changes today?


"Garden Song" just makes me think I need to buy the Little AlterBoy vocal processor, especially if I want to make pop music.


"Kyoto" is one I've heard - the most popular from this album I think.. The melody is good but VERY repetitive, which I guess is how pop music is, but this one feels like it is more-so. Maybe because the lyrics are kind of unpredictable in the verses I'm focusing more on the melody?


"Halloween" is cool. There's lots of atmospheric sound throughout which fits the theme of the song. I like the dissonance at the end - very subtle.


The first notes of "Moon Song" and I LOVE the guitar tone. Is it a rubber bridge with reverb and delay? A classical? The snare on this is really cool - all the highs are cut out intentionally.. very cool. The reference to Eric Clapton's song Tears in Heaven brings me back to my childhood, camping out in Sophia's treehouse, listening to that record on repeat. Yes we slept in a treehouse. Also in the playhouse which her dad Daryl built. It had a front porch and bunkbeds (I think four?). Though I don't know if we ever made it a whole night in the playhouse. Kina (their golden retriever) was keeping watch and I remember clinging for dear life to that dog as we walked back to the house in the pitch dark at what felt like 2am, to sleep inside, because.. monsters.


"ICU" - I'm a fan of the space they created in this one using delays. They're very pronounced but it works really well.


"Graceland too" - I like the instrumentation on this one - feels very folky but pushes boundaries. Reminds me of Moira & Claire's "breathe it all in" with the harmonies and vocal timbre.

Overall this album is good, but I don't think I'll be adding it to my listen again pile. Takeaways: be more flexible with lyrics, push boundaries of genre more, and process the sh** out of drums to see what they sound like when they don't sound like they "should".


Noah Kahan - Stick Season (2022)

From the first 10 seconds of this album, I know I'm going to like it.


The mandolin tone at the beginning of "All My Love" is great. When the drum comes in, it reminds me of those suitcase kick drums like Braden Lam plays. So folky.


"Everywhere, Everything" - I love the production on this one. Super chill til the first chorus hits. SPACE. I think I'll reference this track a lot.


"Orange Juice" - awesome guitar tone. When the beat changes at 1:25 I'm hooked. The pulsing bass line at the build is great too. Simplicity can be so impactful.


"Halloween" is pretty repetitive but I really like the background vocals as a way to build texture. The little violin parts are great too. This one really takes its time to build, creating tension throughout and only giving you that release in the last 30 seconds.


"Homesick" has some great lines - I was NOT expecting him to say "mother fucker" in the song though ha.


"Still" - another repetitive song with really great background vocals.


Overall this album has great vibes. Is it weird if I say that it feels like fall?


Green Day - Dookie (1994)

Off the bat, the drummer (Tré Cool) is great. I had to Google his name.


"Longview" is a song I've heard countless times, but I've never noticed how the drums were mixed before. The toms seem to be panned quite heavily (listening in my monitors, not headphones). Also the electric guitar is only in the left which creates a cool picture of how the stage would be. I'm a fan of the very sparse BG vox.


"Basket Case" is another one with very harsh panning. I like that everything has its own very obvious place to exist in the mix.

"Sassafras Roots" I love the drum intro and the changes in pace throughout the song. Still with very sparse BG vocals - and always the same third interval that is so perfectly punk rock.


Observations:

There aren't any sound effects on this record.

Everything sounds like the instrument that it is.

The instrumentation is the same in every track. Bass, guitar, drums, vocals. Seems obvious but in pop music the instrumentation changes in every song on an album.

The drums ... everything really... is super tight/dry (almost like you're in your friend's basement with wood panelled walls, green shag carpet, two huge pullout sofas and a couple beanbag chairs thrown around).

There's some push and pull in the timings & I like that.

Sometimes less is more.


This album is a stark contrast from the other 3 I listened to this week, but definitely boosted my energy going in to the weekend!


Don't forget to follow along on Spotify - you might get a glimpse into next week's albums!


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