On The Lonesome Road (original album)

Junior Chills – On The Lonesome Road (original album)

With the onset of fatherhood and a return to education I haven’t had the time I once had to regularly update my WordPress page. However I have been endlessly writing new songs to keep ‘stress’ at bay. I find that writing my songs are the easiest part but finding time to record them is quite tedious. Nevertheless I got a few hours today to upload not just one song but a handful which I have put into a wee album.

The songs explore a lot of different topics well the usual ones that I explore anyway. Although I love playing all the songs I write, I particularly enjoy Daydreaming, Stress and Ireland Bound.

So check it out. Give it a listen to. Find out a song which sticks out for you and let me know. Any and all feedback is greatly received and appreciated.

Hope you enjoy it.

D.M.

Junior Chills – Emerald Isle (Original)

Junior Chills – Emerald Isle (Acoustic Original)

It took me quite a lot of time to decide whether or not to put this song online…and the songs which are to follow. It was a decision I made on the basis of history and my love for history and I didn’t want to miss the chance due to the significance of 2016. This year is the centenary of the Easter Rising, which was an event which took place throughout Ireland in 1916 with a focus on Dublin City Centre. It was an event which triggered a whole series of events which would transform the political landscape of Ireland forever.

The song itself is a brief, maybe rushed, synopsis of Ireland’s history. There are a lot of different events alluded to in the song and the order is quite disjointed. I think that this is because when I wrote the song different periods of Ireland’s history were coming to me at different times and I liked the way that it did not flow chronologically.

Although academics would frown on this being included here, if you want a brief history of Ireland check out the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ireland

All in all, the message in the song is one of hope for Ireland. Hope and peace.

I hope you like it.

D.M.

Ale n’ Dreamboats

Ale n’ Dreamboats

For those of you that have watched the movie ‘This Is England’ by Shane Meadow’s there is a line, which you may or may not have overlooked, which is said by Woody to Combo when he has just returned home. Woody asks ‘who the fuck’s he?’ in relation to finding out who a random person in the room is. This line has fallen into common usage amongst me and my friends to question anyone who we don’t really know…and it only works if you say it in Woody’s accent! This was supposed to be the original title of the song.

Junior Chills – Woody

A post shared by junior chills (@juniorchillsofficial) on

As with the majority of the songs I write, the music has come first. I got the chord progression wrote down for an introduction, verse, chorus and interlude and then played these chords until words came to me and fit relatively well to the music. When I broach a subject within my song, it is rare that I deviate from that subject, however, with ‘Ale n’ Dreamboats’ I did just that. I threw in ‘who the fuck’s he?’ ,without the ‘fuck’, and, fortunately, it fit with the song.

I think the song is quite self-explanatory. It is a story from the male perspective but it is not a story solely defined to males. Women experience the same story on equal amounts of times as men…and maybe I’ll write a follow up from the female perspective…like that shitty song that was out years and years ago where the guy and girl are slobbering to each other!!Haha

In regards to some of the lyrics which I have put into the song there are three or four which I particularly like.:

‘Another member of my team walks by, a secret rule by which we all abide’ is from a single person’s perspective and the whole idea of being on a night out knowing that there is other people out too who have been with the girl you have been with. However it’s a secret rule that you don’t actually talk to each other about it, you don’t even acknowledge each other but you both know that, in a way, you’re competing for the same person.

‘A text you sent had me feeling fine’. This looks more at before going on a night out and you’re texting a girl thinking that on that night out you will be able to hook up…sometimes it happens…maybe sometimes ‘another member of my team’ gets there instead…

‘He’s standing making fighting eyes at me’. Again this whole idea that if you get with somebody in somewhere like a bar, chances are there will be someone else there that doesn’t like the fact that you have pulled. Wee jealousy number maybe. It is because of this that they stare at you like they are going to beat the shit out of you…but sure…such is life…

I tried to link the video, which is pretty random, as best I could with the lyric. If you listen to the lyrics and watch the video you will be able to see the very random connections I have made. I have flipped the video, in parts, on its head compared to the lyrics as the second part of the video has very destructive, natural elements to it which pulls away from the lyrics as in the second part of the song  the lyrics suggest that the person gets the girl this time…this can be seen best in the last chorus where the two men are on the stairs with the lady and the next scene is of a flooded town. This reflects the one who is rejected by the woman. Maybe that’s what this song is about…rejection…the last scene sets the tone for the whole song though and for the ultimate message.

Hope.

Give it a watch and see what I mean.

D.M.

 

P.S. I do not have any copyright over the featured image. It is a very cool picture that I just had to use. Apologies for stroking it off the net!!

Milestones – Junior Chills

Milestones – Junior Chills

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…

Thank You.

D.M.

Junior Chills SoundCloud

 

Junior Chills SoundCloud Page

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

Junior Chills – The Abyss

 

Junior Chills – Last Night (The Strokes Cover)

Junior Chills – Hello (Adele Cover)

Junior Chills – Goodbye

Junior Chills – 40 Nights (Acoustic)

Hope you like them.

D.M.

‘Hoops’ – the song that never was…

Hoops – the song that never was…

‘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.

D.M.

Adele – Hello (Cover)

Adele – Hello (Cover)

‘Tell me Michael, how can a billion Chinese people be wrong?’

This line, from The Lost Boys, comes to mind when I think about some of the different reactions I have read about Adele and her music –not that I need a billion people to tell me what I should or should not like but I think it’s pretty safe to say that with the following that she has it is because she is good…very, very good!! I won’t begin to lie and say that I have heard even a quarter of the songs she has made but of the handful that I have heard I think that she is far more than a crooner for Grannies…

If you have listened to some of the songs we have wrote, this song is definitely not built for me to cover. Try to visualise me belting out the chorus full on Adele style? It wouldn’t happen and never did. Instead I tried to make it my own and it is pretty different from Adele’s version (hopefully in a good way).

D.M.

‘Head of a Weasel’

An iPad created instrumental song which differs from the norm

I bought Garage Band for my iPad last year in the hope that I could semi-professionally record my own songs within the confines of my home. What I wasn’t told when I downloaded the app was that I needed an i-Rig to link my guitar to the iPad to actually begin playing and recording (unless I wanted to use the built in iPad microphone to record my guitar which wouldn’t have sounded great). As such before I was able to get my hands on this i-Rig I had time to faff about with the app and see what was what.  Before long I was using the drums, piano and guitar pre-sets to make my own instrumental song…I think my attempts to keep time in the song are pretty shit, with the whole click track fiasco it is not surprising either, but the song is what it is.

It is called Head of a Weasel. To be honest I am not 100% sure where I got the title from…maybe it is about someone who finds the head of a weasel in his Kentucky…I don’t know…give it a listen and see what you think!!

D.M.

‘As soon as we found Stuttgart, we got the wagons in a ring’ – Setting Up

I just wanted to take a quick break from putting up some of our material and let you know about the equipment that we are using to record. We are essentially raw recording. All we are using is a camera, a shure microphone, guitar and an amp:

 

My experience in the recording studio has showed me that I have the great misfortune / fortune not to be able to use auto tune for my voice as apparently I sing between keys…which is fucked up… but I’ll claim this as a nice uniqueness to my voice.

We have not been using an interface but rather complete old school method of microphone in the middle and amps tilted towards the mic. This is because the mic is connected directly to the camera…as the quality is a million times better than the cameras mic.

The set up is quite funny and reminds me of a Christy Moore lyric ‘As soon as we found Stuttgart, we got the wagons in a ring’. We sit around the mic and try our best with what we have. Sometimes being minimalistic is easier…and hopefully sounds nice…

‘When The Time Comes Round’ – Our Song Which Was Omitted From 28 Days Later Soundtrack

‘When The Time Comes Round’ was our first song which we put onto Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook. A Battle of the Bands was taking place in our local area but in order to register to perform you had to send in a song which your band had recorded. We had a few different recordings made via our smartphones but nothing which sounded ‘professional’. We then had to delve into the world of the recording studio…a place which the Arctic Monkeys in ‘Teddy Picker’ made out to be a fun, happy place where you can chill out and make music and have the craic and what not. It is a fuckin terrifying experience………..at the beginning anyway!

Don’t get me wrong the studio itself was excellent. It was situated in a converted room in a house and was owned by a friend of my brother. We went to the studio to jam before we decided to record a song and were told that we could make as much noise as we wanted which was like a red rag to a bull as, during our usual house practice sessions, noise had to be to a minimum – I suppose I didn’t actually having to keep noise to a minimum as quite a lot of the songs I was writing at the time were just nice wee acoustic songs. The addition of a bass and an electric guitar changed the dimension of the songs…for the better!!

So why was the studio a terrifying experience?

For two reasons to be precise. It was one thing singing in front of your friends in a room in the back of your house, it was another singing into a microphone in a studio which amplified your voice ten fold. I had never sang into a microphone before and this was a baptism of fire for me. My voice isn’t strong but listening back to some of the first recordings I made on my phone it sounded as if a light breeze would blow me over. There was no strength there at all…I suppose this is part and parcel of my fears of singing but I think I am slowly but surely overcoming this fear. I knew that I would need to get used to singing into a mic and hearing my voice boomed back at me. Following the session, and after a bit of research, I purchased a Shure SM58 microphone…to be honest I hadn’t used anything else so cannot compare it to other microphones but I’ll say this. It does the trick.

The second reason is as follows. I have told you that I have played the guitar since I was thirteen (and left it down for quite a considerable amount of years). I used to be able to read sheet music but now I read tabs if I am practicing a cover song. I know a few chords. I have forgotten all my scales. I sometimes have difficulty changing strings. Some of these things may be universal problems which others experience or have experienced. When we went into record our song for the Battle of the Bands I needed to be able to play to a click track…I didn’t even know what a click track was.

Having now been schooled in it, a click track, for those of you that don’t know, is a form of metronome which you keep time to which allows for easier editing in garageband, for example. We wanted to record When the Time Comes Round but if we wanted to add in drums to our song, which was advised and is quite an essential instrument needed when you don’t have a drummer, we needed me to be able to play to a click track. After two hours of start, stop, rewind, record, and over and over again I didn’t get it. I couldn’t get it. For whatever reason I could not play to the click track on time. Don’t get me wrong I am good with time in that I can tell time and I am punctual so how hard could it be to play to a metronome…pretty fuckin hard let me tell you!!.

As such we abandoned the click track and made a ‘raw’ recording of the song which I really liked (probably because I wasn’t under any pressure then). For our first professional recording I don’t think it was wise that we chose a 6 odd minute song but we did and we submitted it and we got into the Battle of the Bands (another tale for another time).

‘When The Time Comes Round’ is one of those songs which has very little in the way of meaning and more in the way of convoluted things thrown together. It doesn’t follow a story or anything but has one or two small messages contained in the lyrics. I think one of them is a reflection of myself in regards to writing music and now, in hindsight, writing this very blog – “write your story about your life, end on a high or start afresh its your own tale its not a test”. There are no right or wrong answers in what I type into this blog about me, my music and my collaborations. There is just me, my music and my collaborations so I shouldn’t be afraid to write away…and I will try…

Recently a friend said to me that he thought that the song sounds like it is off the 28 Days Later soundtrack…I’ll take that…

D.M.