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I just finished my second album. It's called The Shivers.

iglidanteiglidante Registered User
edited October 2010 in Artist's Corner
So, for the past year and half I've been working on a collection of songs. It's gone through a lot of changes, and many (many) tracks did not make the cut. I've primped, tweaked, and otherwise played with these songs for months in some cases. My ears are tired. My eyes are tired.

But I'm done.

This album is called "The Shivers." I think it's the best thing I've ever done. I feel relieved, uncertain, and joyous at the same time. It's confusing.

Anyway, I wanted to share it with the AC. I put it up on Bandcamp to make streaming easier (and their playback quality is really amazing considering how fast things cache). Some of the highlights are:

Close Your Eyes, an electronic track with buzzing synths and introspective lyrics.

Girl's Got Altitude, a pounding rock track with a catchy chorus.

Going Down, a gritty number with a screaming solo at the end.

Supersonic, a hot mess of swirling synths and booming drums.

What do you guys think?
Spoiler:

iglidante on

Posts

  • KillerBeeGeesKillerBeeGees Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This is already complete right? I'm not sure if crits are what you're looking for, but I guess that's what you're gettin'. All of these tracks seem lovingly crafted (I'm not an expert?), with nice track/instrument balance, some interesting stereo dynamics at parts, and what I assume are drum loops all sounding good.

    Unfortunately, they aren't really my style despite all being pretty different. I was thinking to myself that the first track was pretty repetitive and almost boring, but then the change came in and was pretty refreshing. I think ideally that could come a little sooner, or maybe add a little more meat to the beginning to tide listeners over until dessert?

    I prefer the higher vocals (on the chorus of 'Girl's Got Attitude'), but that's pretty subjective I think. Generally I just assume that people have something to hide when their vocals are super distorted. You have yet to prove that theory wrong, but the effects are pretty neat and have a definite character that I imagine you worked hard to develop. Also, I think maybe the words could use a little breathing room in parts, its just feeling a little rushed. I am not qualified to comment on lyrical content.

    The drums of 2, 3 and 4 are all pretty 80's, as I'm sure you're aware. They seem to fit pretty well with what you're making. Tracks 2 and 3 in particular seem to fall between The Police and Rock Kills Kid for me, hopefully that's a compliment.

    The little interludes of major chord synth/synth+talkbox stuff on 'Supersonic' was the highlight of all of it for me (opening sound effect, also awesome). Some of that really hit some of my favorite parts of the chiptune documentary from 2 Player Productions off the main page. Really rad.

    All in all, a handful of well made tracks. Not to my tastes really, and yet I sat here and listened to it all a couple of times. Hopefully having another opinion helps you make the music you want to make.


    Edit - I was numbering based on the tracks you posted, just to not type out the names. They were the only ones I listened to. Hopefully the comments make more sense now?

    SCII: Slickis.388 [Plat. Z]
  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Crits, feedback, you name it - I've gotten to the point where I'm done working with these songs, but I want to make new ones in the future, so critique is my best friend.

    Diamond Dust was something I played with for a while, and in the end I decided to let the beginning bit ride for maybe too long. It was hard, because when I first wrote that song I intended to rock the whole way, but that didn't work. I love the sparse, electronic bit even better than the main riff, I think.

    I'm definitely not a talented singer. I don't have any training. I only started singing two years ago, and I really try to make the most of my limited range and vibrato-free voice. I have kind of a snotty punk sound to my vocals in most ranges, unless I sing softly. I do love doing the gritty, glottal fry sound (which I'm sure you noticed).

    And yes, I absolutely love the 80s. To my ears, the drum tracks on Def Leppard's Hysteria album are the peak of drum excellence.

    For me, the major-chord bits on Supersonic stand out even more because of how down the verses are. I love when those upbeat moments arrive - the synths and vocoder really make me happy.

    Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback - I really appreciate it.

  • MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2010
    It all sounds great. The production work is well done, and you've got a big sound that sounds more ambitious and expansive than your typical bedroom electro artist. I only listened to the four standout tracks you posted and Diamond Dust, so I can't speak for the album itself, but they're a solid group of tracks.

    I just have one crit -- on 'Close Your Eyes', during the chorus there's a lead synth line that's somewhat muted in the mix. It's there, and it sounds good, but I wish it were more present. Actually, it's a little too far back in the verses too. If I weren't paying attention I'd probably have missed it, and if I were listening on shitty laptop speakers I'm not even sure it'd come through. It's being dwarfed by the powerful buzzing synths (which sound great by the way, so good job on that), making the instrumentation sound maybe more simplistic than you intended.

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Thanks for the feedback, Monoxide. And I'm glad you liked the production - I fought with these tracks long and hard to get them sounding the way they do, so it's gratifying to hear they rise above typical bedroom recordings (which can be pretty good).

    Maybe I did make the buzzing synths on Close Your Eyes a little too loud. That backing synth you hear does kind of fade away. There's really a lot going on in that track.

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I did some more uploading, and wanted to share a couple of other songs with you guys:

    Insincerity is a bluesy kind of rock instrumental.

    That's Okay is a punk-rock type track, short and to-the-point, with a driving rhythm.

    Any thoughts on these?

  • feebsiclefeebsicle Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    feebsicle: You know, that is one I don't hear very often. Thanks. :) Was there a particular song that you really liked the vocals on?

  • shovelkid001shovelkid001 Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I listened to the first eight tracks and I think "Girl's Got Attitude" is my favorite of the bunch. It's the most poppy and the farthest away from the NIN/MM sound your tags suggest you are trying to cultivate (I've never been a really big fan of those cats). Girl's Got Attitude kinda has a Butch Walker vibe via The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker and The Let's Go Out Tonights.

    On the other songs I listened to, Supersonic and Going Down specifically, the intros are waaay too long (Girl's Got Attitude also doesn't start until 42 seconds in, but you get away with it here because of the 17 someodd seconds of piano before switching into the song proper). What are you waiting for?

    And maybe this is just me, but starting an album with a (mostly) instrumental track? Attention spans are nil (I got through eight tracks before something caught my eye on television) you need to grab interest and never let go! Skip the extended foreplay and hit me with the real digs...dig?

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    ...You're probably right. About just about everything you said.

    Girl's Got Altitude is one of the last tracks I wrote. It happened pretty quickly, this summer, and was a stretch for me (both subject-wise and vocal-wise). I spent a long time producing it, too.

    Really, every song was a new experiment for me. I guess you could say some were more successful than others. I do love intros. Maybe too much. I like to let the theme build until the song feels ready for me to be in the meat of it. Usually that ends up being about...8 bars? Maybe that's too much.

    My logic in starting with an instrumental track was basically to put something out front that summed up the style of the disc. Diamond Dust is a weird rock/electronic hybrid that has a huge shift in style. Maybe people don't have the patience to sit through an instrumental. Maybe it was a bad decision on my part. It's all digital at this point, so I could always change it.

    Do you have any suggestions for track order? I'd love to hear them.

  • shovelkid001shovelkid001 Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I'd suggest opening with Supersonic as it also is very indicative of the sound of the album, and that opening effect just sounds like shit is starting up.

    I'd keep Girl's Got Attitude at number two to keep the momentum going.

    Then Going Down followed by Discredited to incrementally ease it back a bit as the album transitions into the first instrumental Pressure Plate. I'd follow that with Clarified because Pressure Plate and Clarified kinda just mesh.

    After that I'm not quite sure what I would do. You have two more instrumentals to place, and I'd usually suggest placing one at the end of the album, but House of Cards would also be a nice outro as it is comparatively mellow for most of the track.

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Supersonic also might be a good first track because of the "wind up" sound that opens it - it sounds like a beginning to me.

    So, maybe if things went like this it would be a bit smoother:

    Supersonic
    Girl's Got Altitude
    Going Down
    Discredited
    Pressure Plate
    Clarified
    Close Your Eyes
    Diamond Dust
    Redline
    House of Cards
    One For The Road

    Also, there are five songs in this EP that didn't make the final tracklist (some advice from friends regarding sequencing), but maybe some of them should be on the album proper. I'm really not sure.

  • shovelkid001shovelkid001 Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Insincerity could be a mellow style/wind-down winner but it needs lyrics.

    SHIT (I'm listening while I write)! You need to include Give it Up (Morning After Mix) into Shivers! This track possibly even trumps Girl's Got Attitude in listenablility. There is a lull between 0:32 and 0:54 (over twenty seconds of instrumental...needs to be cut a bit), but I love lyrics on this one! It cleverly speaks to the insecurities and inadequacies that the standard male feels when trying to groove with a special lady friend out of his league.

    I suggest canceling out the remaining instrumentals and replacing them with Insincerity (with added lyrics) and Give it Up. Your LP will be greatly improved.

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited September 2010
    You know, that's something no one has suggested yet. The original mix of Give It Up was on the first album I recorded, and no one seemed to like it. I mean, a few people said it was catchy, but no one ever really seemed to pay much attention to it other than that. I remixed it to make it fuller and more interesting, and decided to include it as a bonus track on this album.

    Right now, these two new albums are only on Bandcamp. That means I can change whatever I want, and it doesn't hurt me. I want to make a physical run of this if I can ever get some cash. Then, I can revise the tracklist and try to make the perfect set. I really think Give It Up is one of my catchier songs, and I think people would like it if they heard it.

    What do you think of That's Okay (from the same EP)? A friend advised that I cut it from The Shivers, and I could see his point (so I did), but I still thought it was a good song.

    Thanks again, shovelkid - this is great.

  • shovelkid001shovelkid001 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    I'm not sure about the That's Okay track. I don't really know how to describe it except that if you were to release a single of Girls Got Attitude or Give It Up (Morning After Mix) That's Okay would definitely be the B-side. As for including it on Shivers I'd say go for it. Replacing one of the instrumental tracks with it would be a safe move (3 instrumentals on an 11 song EP is too much).

  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User
    edited October 2010
    I think I agree with you about That's Okay. I like it, but it's not as strong or catchy as Girl's Got Altitude or Give It Up. For a physical disc, I could put all the tracks from The Shivers and Just a Chill together and still have room - they total to about...63 minutes? Something like that. The Shivers by itself is 40 or so.

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