In life generally I am sentimental about milestones and with the Junior Chills blog this is no different. The milestone here is that we have reached 100 followers to this blog. I know that I follow other people who have thousands of followers but we all start off somewhere (I am definitely not suggesting that we will ever get 1000’s of followers hahaha). I am not too sure if there was even 100 people at the Battle of the Bands where we played, so to be able to reach this many people with several posts about our songs and the stories behind them is truly amazing.
I know the quality of the recordings is not great and the stories behind these songs are quite scattered brained but it is what it is. Hopefully by looking passed these things; the true beauty of the songs can come through…
I have been reading quite a varied range of other bloggers reviews of books, their own posts regarding Mental Illness and short stories created from the depths of their imagination. There is an abundance of talent out there that I never would have discovered if I hadn’t taken that leap to post my own creations online…hopefully others will take that leap of faith too…
I had set up a SoundCloud page for Junior Chills a few months ago in order to register for the Battle of the Bands competition we entered. Unfortunately this fell by the wayside as I wanted to concentrate on creating our own blog page where we could upload our songs along with a blurb about the thought process behind the songs. Fortunately I have just been reminded by a very kind blogger about the power of using SoundCloud for people to hear our songs…it’s all well and good creating a wee music video to go along with the song but people may never get the chance to view it and simply want to hear the song. As such I have updated our SoundCloud page with our music and intend to upload both a YouTube and SoundCloud link to relevant posts in the future…
I think the most frustrating thing about SoundCloud is the inability to upload songs straight from the mobile app. It takes a bit more time sending the song through to my email address or saving it onto the cloud and then uploading them all via a laptop computer – it would be great if SoundCloud could sort this one out…if they’re listening!! Haha
Nevertheless it is an excellent site which hopefully will allow me to reach more listeners who may appreciate the songs which we create. Here is a few of our songs….please visit our SoundCloud page to hear more: https://soundcloud.com/junior-chills-official
When I started recording my original songs, whether it was solo or with Junior Chills, I recorded using the voice record feature on my tablet and phone. Not realising (pretty stupid of me) that I would still be using the same microphone of my device, I downloaded Garage Band in the hope that I would be able to make my songs sound better by editing and mixing them up a bit. Although the recording quality itself for vocals wasn’t great, the different instruments and the effects you could use was, for a novice, excellent.
I remember faffin’ about with the app for ages and I made a few instrumental tunes (such as Head of a Weasel and others which I will put on the blog at some stage). However I inadvertently decided to put together a song using only the instruments available in the app and putting my own lyrics to it. I think it was born out of playing with the guitar instrument in the app and getting some nice sounds from it. I slowly but surely put a varied mix of instruments into it including a strings section, drums, hip hop drums and an electric piano…pretty random to say the least but I think that they come together nicely. I have only recently revisited playing the song as I was finally able to connect my Shure microphone to the tablet to make the vocals a bit clearer with less interference. A word of advice…it was an absolute nightmare finding the right app to allow me to build a video with this song. A lot of the apps wouldn’t play the file for whatever reason despite multiple attempts at converting the file to different file types. Fortunately in the end I got a free app called Viva Video which worked perfectly!!!
The song is made up of two verses which are repeated. It wasn’t so much of a laziness thing but rather I liked the two verses I had and thought that if I was able to put a bit of a beat into the song it would sound good.
In regards to the lyrics of the song itself I like to think of it as a bit of a haunting song. The abyss of life in a way can itself be haunting. Deep in your life when things aren’t going great you can see a light…the light at the end of the tunnel which so many people talk about. It is haunting as although you can see the light at the end, you also see the other things which are all around you. These maybe are the things which have made times difficult for you.
I am a fan of staring into the cloudless sky at night time and looking at the stars and searching for satellites as they move (I saw a shooting star once before which was pretty amazing!!). Maybe there has been a lot of influence from the likes of Predator, Event Horizon, Alien and Interstellar where I wonder what the stars can hold…a species which can wipe us out? A species which wants to wipe us out? Is there just space? Or maybe is there an accumulation of all three? I don’t know…it is only a song at the end of the day.
‘Hoops’ is a wee romantic number I wrote a while back and is the song I used to enter a singer-songwriter competition in Belfast. Needless to say I didn’t get into the competition. There is a wealth of musical talent in my local area so I was up against some serious musicians. They were also only taking 60 people through to the competition…but I am fairly confident that if it was 61 people going through I would have been the 61st person no sweat! Hahaha
There are a lot of different things discussed and / or alluded to in some way in this romantic number. The one I like the most is probably ‘I need to tell you while I can you’re my girl and I’m your man, it’s one of those things that doesn’t really need saying’. It’s the whole idea of whenever you start being in a relationship and reflecting back to the day when you started going out, did you have the conversation of now we are boyfriend / girlfriend? It’s one of those things that doesn’t really need saying but we say it anyway.
I also like the whole idea of chivalry. It’s a done thing that if It’s cold outside you give your other half your jacket…it’s a nice thing to do and because of that you do feel warm inside for doing it but in your head you like ‘for fuck sake now I am baltic’: around her shoulder I place my coat, there’s warmth inside even though you’re arms are freezing.
Finally ‘when pain hit hard, you hit pain back, you never tired and never slacked, worked so hard now the benefits you’re reaping’. This line was written for my wife who, at that time, had a very difficult and stressful job. You are allowed to have shitty days, you’re even allowed to have shitty weeks but it is how you deal with these days and weeks which is key as now she is reaping the benefits of persevering and working things through. This goes for everything and not just work. With relationships there is obviously going to be speed bumps along the way but if you work with it then you come out on the other side stronger.
As I was entering this song into a singer – songwriter competition I recorded this at a Recording Studio. Again the click track wasn’t working for me (maybe the click track is perpetually broken and not me) so it was another raw recording. I think there is a bit of reverb on the vocals and, in parts, there is a double up of the vocals. I think it sounds really good…well obviously since I wrote it! Took a bit of time to develop a video for the song again where the images reflect some of the words spoken… so check it out and see what you think.