David Taro spends most of his life in a box room in South London either doing his day job in publishing (boo!) or writing and producing music (yay!). #indie#pop#rock & #blues. Influences: the Beatles, Randy Newman, blues (various), Tom Waits, Elton John, Paul Simon, Aimee Mann that kind of thing.
Thanks so much for your kind comments on "Looking For a Place. I'll remember "shatteringly beautiful lyrics" for a while....maybe put it on a note card for when I need a boost. And yes, Tomas did a fabulous job creating the music and delivering a simple, engaging version. I'm glad you liked it and and am glad the song connects across the ocean. Thanks again!
Hey, David - thanks so much for listening to Tooth and Nail. It was so much fun to have @loveonamixtape bring it to life. Felt a little like getting my heavy-weight champion little sister take on a kid on the playground for me. When I listened to your song The Arsonists, I was thinking that for me it stands in a similar space as Tooth and Nail, preaching the message that true love gets kind of messy.
Hey, David - Thanks for listening to Like I Loved You Then. The anecdotes are a mix of things my kids did (like eating cheerios off the floor) and things my I did to my parents (destroying cars). I remember how much I loved your Little Bird song about those tender parenting feelings, so I'm especially happy this one landed for you. I've been promising myself a binge of your stuff, and I'm back from traveling, so hoping tomorrow is the day.
I'm catching up on this week's comments and wanted to say I really appreciated you listening to "When You're Famous" and especially my little weirdo "Blade Runner Blue." In fact, I went back and watched the latter again the other night and thought I really do need to get some synth in there. :)
Thanks man, your comments have been so lovely and thoughtful throughout FAWM and they really really encourage and cheer me on. I'm so delighted you enjoyed my songs this year and I loved our collaboration so much, I've played it to so many people already! I'm so pleased you introduced me to FAWM :)
Oh, David! Thank you so much for your generous comments on Because It Ends! I think you probably understand how scary it is to post your first vocal, etc. and it is so rewarding to get good feedback from you. Thank you! I had tons of help from my collab partner, Dominick. So patient and encouraging and a veritable magician with arranging and production. I needed all that help! And his gorgeous backing track was wonderful to sing to! So thanks for listening and giving us a thumbs up!
Thank you for the congrats - I am actually at 15 now so I will gladly take it! And thanks as well for the kind words about Underneath the Rainbow as well - it’s an 88 key weighted Yamaha I was playing on so not quite the real thing but close!
thanks for your comments of back to the stars. this song was inspired by some things my daughter told me when she was four years old. the first verse is verbatim. it has been so much fun hearing your songs this year, and im so glad we got to write one together.
Much appreciated, David. "Gabriel" might be my favorite collab project I've gotten to tackle this FAWM. I was thrilled to come up with something that helped deliver Stephen's word-smithing artistry in a way that he liked.
David, It means a lot that you enjoyed Never Fall In Love With A Musician. Glad you especially liked the Bridge. I was really pleased with the way Caitlin interpreted the lyrics and how John worked his special magic on the production. And I appreciated your recognition of how those "little things" can make such a difference. Thanks!
Thanks for listen - and yes I’ve done live drums on all my tracks this year - bought an 8 input audio interface on 1st Feb - so been experimenting with mic ing the kit - which it turns out is really hard!!
Thanks for that. I'm always a bit wary about taking potshots at such uncontraversial targets. It doesn't really seem earned. Especially as - in my neck of the woods anyway - that ground seems to have been largely ceded. At least in public.
It's a fake-alele - specifically the LABS fingered mandolin. If I had a uke I think I would have tried to perform it for reals, as this song seems to lend itself to that kind of sad trombone kind of presentation. I'm not sure what I'm doing in the bass on the chorus either, it gets a bit annoying not understanding any music theory whatsoever. I just don't know where to begin.
Ha yes, the autotune for some reason seemed important; maybe, as I was saying to @richaaaay , I kept it because I love the verses on SFA's "Justaposed With U". From a problem solving POV, I thought it did a good job of giving the verse a different "voice", and in a song about a group of different characters it seemed to make sense. It may well not. (The reason it was there in the first place was that I was trying to find the best melody by manipulating my thumbnail sketch recording, and I kind of liked it.)
Not sure what this one is about really.
Mrs Brisk's parents used to have a little mural set into the ground in the garden that said "BE DON'T SEEM TO BE" and I've been pondering what that might have meant for a couple of decades. Anyway, this song is probably about following someone blindly, and trying to change yourself to please them... and then having the realisation that you were probably following them because you were drawn to parts of them that weren't really "them" either - they were putting that confidence or whatever on. Maybe? I've certainly always thought that one of the coolest bits about the books was that the emerald city wasn't really emerald at all - everyone just had to wear green glasses before they went in. I guess they ditched that in the film for various reasons, but I wish they had kept it.
And that is the end of my TED talk.
[edit: glad you liked the title. I had the title before I had the lyrics, or the idea for the lyrics as happens 95% of the time. I thought it was a good verbal/cultural hook, but one that worked best out of context. I'm not sure what kind of a song I would have written if I had done it "straight" - errrmm if you know what I mean]
Hi, David. You are amazing. I'm beyond lucky to have you check out so many of my offerings and to receive such encouraging words from you. Thanks a million--I am having a blast! Sorry to be slow getting around to this. Took a few days off from FAWM, but I'm back in action, including doing some listening. Looking forward to hearing your newest pieces.
Cheers for having a listen to ‘We Don’t Belong’, and really happy to hear you like the layers of vocals! I think I was reminiscing about my Indie/Britpop roots with this one, so that’s cool it comes across. 😃🎵
thanks for letting me know you sent me an email concerning the shore leave song. it went straight to my spam folder so i missed it. just sent you the lyrics to the song. im so glad you are interested, and i hope you like it.
You're suggestion of harmonica would have been ace on Leaving You. Though I'm not sure I have the chops to deliver that blues harp sound. If I have a moment, I'll give it a try...or maybe it's something to try in 2024 😉
Hi David, If you are up for a collab, I have a lyric about a sailor on shoreleave who is having a lonely, dull night. In the morning, he returna to the ship, where fellow sailors are hugging and kissing their girlfriends and saying goodbyes before shoving off to their probable demise. the guy wihses he had somebody to say goodbye to, and the last line of the song is the title, "I just want to kiss a girl," if that sounds like something you would like to put music to and sing, send an email to BWhi51@yahoo,com and Ill send you the lyric.
Oh and meant to say - the regional accent thing was kind of a fluke when I started singing. It just felt right for the character I guess. But damn it I do try and stick to the standard transatlantic nowhere voice as much as I can.
I can't overemphasise to you what a formative influence "Without A Sound" was on me. For me it is one of the premier alt rock-ish records of the 90s... and the irony is that it is almost universally agreed to be one of Dinosaur Jr's worst, or that's what seemed to be the consensus the last time I checked. It was the first I'd heard by them, so I didn't really have any idea of what they were meant to sound like. None of their other records lived up to it. But anyway, there's some great lead guitar on that, including at least one song where there's just two solos happening at the same time. Unless I'm misremembering? Thanks for the very nice comments by the way.
Yes, you are right of course - why would oddbod have even the vaguest idea what I was talking about? In my defence I'm still only making babysteps in understanding this whole "theory of mind" thing, so if everybody, everywhere can bear with me a few more decades while I get that sorted out, I would appreciate it greatly. (and @oddbod , here's https://soundcloud.com/david_taro/cannibals-dont-think-twice - there's nothing worse than blowing your own trumpet, but at least this is a shared trumpet - and the chief triumph is the words wot @davidtaro wrote, so I'm giving myself a free pass.)
Thanks for your comments, David - They're well appreciated!
The opening chords on "Carry Me Home" are all the bluesy weirdo stuff. I thought I could handle them the whole song, but the more instruments kicked in the more I had to substitute by triads.
So you ask me how I do the guitars? I imagine I'm a metalhead, and forget that I shred a nylon. That's all! The lower bassline has been played by Robert, the upper bassline is me rocking the lowest strings.
David, You always manage to say such gratifying things about people's songs. Thank you for your comments on If This Is Love, I Don't Like It. I was so happy when Gwyn wanted to put my lyrics to music. I think he did a great job!
Yeah they are. Helix native is great for getting quick sounds for demos etc. It can be a double edged sword though due to the amount of options. If I went too far down the rabbit hole I’d never get anything done 😂
Thanks a million for your beautiful comments on I Miss You. I always value your feedback and truly touched at how moved you were by hearing it.
I'm a little under the weather at the moment so have some listening and catching up to do after the weekend.
Thanks for listening to "Love Me Like I Love You". I appreciate your kind comments. I was in headphones working on it all day yesterday and I think my ears were fatigued by the time I decided that it was done. When I listen to it with fresh ears today, I agree that the drums are too heavy. I will either pull them back in the mix or get rid of them, as you suggest. Either way, there's no way to swap one mp3 for another in FAWM, so anyone who stops by will hear the version you experienced.
Thanks for your very kind comments on I Miss You. I have to tell you in the spirit of full disclosure, that the lyric I sent to @sunnymae said, "You gave the impossible its deserved death" and she rightly suggested we change that to "a well-deserved death", which sounds much more poetic. Anyway, the music and vocals that Sonya came up with are so stunning, I'm still wiping tears from my face. Thanks again for giving it a listen, David.
Thanks for the comments on New Dark Age. "A switch with 7 slits" is a reference to an old school switch for spanking kids when they get out of line in a kind of old time religion "spare the rod ,spoil the child" kind of sense. Some hardcore would cut holes in the rod or "switch" to cut the wind resistance to make it move faster through the air. This would give it a whistling sound whenever you got a whoopin, hence "whistling Dixie" cause it's kind of southern discipline.
Hi, David, You are very welcome. LOL to storming. I only have 1 complete song, the rest is either instrumental or a lyric so I need at least 4 pieces of mine which might be count as 1 full song :) To be absolutely honest, I don't care for the numbers. My aim is to create something I'd be happy to listen to in years time and not say "Yak" lol. Your songs are always special. Thank you for your beautiful work and for your kind support.
I know! Rich's electric sounds otherworldly! I did nothing to that, btw, aside from just passing it through the general plug-ins on the mastering bus. It was that breath taking the moment it was imported.
I'm thrilled you mentioned the acoustic. I stumbled on a simple workaround. In the past, I would record mic and DI at the same time and use the DI to get a little more brightness. When putting this together I tried a setting on Cubase's multiband compressor for acoustics. It was pretty lousy, thin, brittle, overly bright. But when I blended it with the original track it sounded heavenly!
Thanks for your comments!
I'm amazed how great certain sounds and pedals work with my guitar, but for some reason chorus and flanger are a mess. Maybe its also my way of playing?!
"Right side of the road" is a part of a morph challenge. Most of the lyrics came from my predecessors and I'm curious about the next version.
"Pay it forward" will get some vocals and a proper mix as soon as possible.
This year I'm not sure about the future of many songs. I created some for fun, and I still lack of self consciousness to release something with my vocal. It feels so... absolutely not me... you know?
Definitely disgust is the feeling you should be experiencing - though in my defence that has been a period of at least five years in there where I didn't even open the case. But I realise that's a defence that probably wouldn't hold up in court...
Ah, Superior Drummer is great. I think most people would struggle to tell it apart from a real kit. I've had my eye on it for a while but don't do enough music with 'real' drums to justify it right now.
Hey David, just wanted to say thanks so much for taking the time to listen to my songs and leaving such kind words. I'm touched!
I'm listening to your stuff again as I write this and thoroughly enjoying it - The production quality on everything is so good. Hoping your throat fixes up soon so I can hear more of your blues rock goodness, but I'm sure whatever you bring to the mix will be great!
You're more than welcome David, and thanks for the welcome! And yes, I'm settling in nicely :) Really enjoying myself here so far, it's great to be interacting with so many music lovers and to hear what everyone's creating.
Ha ha, perhaps Sing To Me is a bit much even still. It was fun though. If you want your ear REALLY bent then I left a link to the five minute version on mctown's soundboard yesterday. I'm not sure I'd recommend it though, as my go-to solution when finishing a two or four line section was to come up with a different tune for the next bit. I think it got quite confusing.
David, Thanks for your enthusiasm for Always You. Jeff does that "smooth as molasses" voice, doesn't he? I was delighted he wanted to pick this up. And thank you for the nod to the lyrics. Means a lot.
Thanks for your comment on "High Noon". I just wanted to jam some blues and somehow it reminded me of a very dry desert... and I played around with percussion. Your comment helps me to decide about the future of that song.
Thanks for your comments, David! Re: prose, I don’t write much outside of lyrics anymore, but I used to write short stories and poems long before getting into writing songs—but turns out it’s fun to make the poems or stories go to music, so that’s mostly what I end up doing these days. Adds that extra spicy element.
Hi David, don't have an email address for you but mine's on my page. I've uploaded an idea to my Soundcloud page (The Pannacotta Army) called Fading Away. Just a sketch verse/chorus with mostly nonsense lyrics. See if you think it has any legs. No problem if it doesn't float your boat 😎
Thanks, my dude. Arsonists has been downloaded and will be on my new mixtape this week. And without bringing judgement on myself, is that Valhala a free plugin? Is it part of a production suite? And thanks for the pro ears comment. Ever since I heard Around the World In a Day album through headphones, I've been marveling at how studio recordings are made.
Heya, yeah, collabs! I'll do my best to come up with some words. And stuff. Honestly, I came into Feb with no ideas, so I'm pleased to get through the first weekend with a few songs on the board. So I guess I can relax now and turn my mind to Funner Things. Any subject in mind, or are you good with my subconscious's current surprise super dark morosefest?
Thanks for the kind words about giraffes! :) So amazing that your kids love it too! We’re not forcing the kids theme, but we’ve just been listening to a lot of kids music recently so it seems to be on the brain…. Who knows how far it will go!
Yeah, it's almost surely in lots of other places. That one just jumped out at me. 🙂
Have you ever written anything that was even more of a rip off? I once was really excited about a piece until realizing it was basically "Midnight Blue" by Lou Gramm. Not just one notable motif, either, pretty much the whole song!
Ha ha, I'm still not sure.
BTW, I'm super busy and I'm sure you are too, but if you have anything that we might collab on it would be great.
If you're up for it, similarly, if I have anything I'll give you a shout - but no worries if it's all getting too much - let me know.
Weird synthy sax! I'll have you know I trained at Juilliard for 6 months on a vintage Selmer alto to bring you that solo (erm... https://plugins4free.com/plugin/2513/ ). Yes. Thanks for the very kind comment - "bursting with hooks" is what I want in a comment - it tickles the "trying to win people's praise and commendation" bit of my amygdala.
Ah well it was a cool image - someone adding the melodica at the end! I appreciate your insightful comments as well, and you always point out something in the song that I did not really think about. Thank you!
Yes, FAWM 2023 is the FAWM of the shiny title for me - titles are easy. Hopefully any musical or lyrical shortcomings can be glossed over by title excellence... but that's enough of that. Thanks for listening to XYU I mean YRU - I started with just the drum part and went from there. I didn't feel like it was uploadable until I had the tag at the end of the chorus ("YRU... going away"), that was the last bit. And it didn't occur to me that it was in any way Paul Simon-y musically: I was thinking purely of Cecilia, but I admit there was no reason any reasonable human could know that.
It's all about streamlined workflow for me, a lot of what I have learned over the years can be immediately applied and I know it works, at least in terms of production. I also do not shy away from using technology where it can improve on areas I am weaker on. In the end songwriting is about the the words and the melody, that has to be right , but the presentation also important, and in some ways is shiny window dressing.
Feel free to make a forum challenge if you like, but hot damn my first whistlin' solo o' the season has descended upon us. I'm going to celebrate with a plant-based beverage! (Apparently, this applies to beer, as well!)
Hello, thanks for the lavish praise, you fine fellow. After I decided that the chorus words had to be "Clissold Park" I found out on the Clissold Park wikipedia page that there are at least two songs alreayd called by that name. So much for my flash of inspiration. But whatever! Onwards!
Hey, David! Thanks for the kind comment about Backstage Blues. The next trick is to try produce a handful of songs during my FAWM tenancy. Sorry to see that your throat is bothering you. This will be your opportunity to bring out your gentle side. Good luck!
I will send you some lyrics suitable for whispered indie folk music. RE PINK FLOYD. their song, colonel clegg, featured a sax solo and they had no sax player in the band, so they asked the audience if there was a kazoo player in the crowd. i raised my hand and they threw me one, then motioned for me to come on stage. where i was quickly briefed on where i was to solo. i was pretty thrilled. only a bit disappointed that syd barrett was no longer in the band. because his were the songs i really loved.
Welcome back, David! I'm sorry to read about your voice but maybe it's interesting to hear you on less heavy music. You still got the rasp, don't you?
Re: Workload. Strictly speaking, it's a bad idea to join FAWM with two albums in the making, but I feel like it's even worse to miss out. So I wrote a list of minimal FAWM experiemces: some challenges I enjoyed, FAWM 2022 composition leftovers and 3 wildcards for collabs - and poof they're gone! Who knows what will really happen, but I don't hope for another album of full band collabs that I cannot maintain right now!