“The Fine Print” Recap/Roundup: Thank You!!

Now that it’s been over two months since The Fine Print was released, and I’ve finished my song blog series, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported it.

Obviously, first I just want to thank everyone who has merely listened to it, especially if you shared it with a friend, posted it on your social media, or purchased it. I’m well aware of how many options you have for listening to music, and other ways to spend your time, so it honestly means a lot to me that anyone even listens. I’m still at the stage where you are all very early adopters, I appreciate that so much, and many of the comments and messages I get now, I will remember forever.

But I was also able to get a little bit more streaming activity than usual thanks to the people who playlisted songs, and hopefully raise a little bit more awareness thanks to the online outlets that covered or gave airplay to the album or songs. Here’s a quick list of (I think) everyone who has supported this album through playlists and press:

In case you missed my track by track blog series, here are all the links (you can stream each track from its respective blog while you learn about it!):

  1. The Bench at the Top of the World (acoustic)
  2. Boulder
  3. Have You Ever Slept with the Lights on?
  4. Forever Young
  5. The Artless Artist
  6. The Fine Print
  7. Anxiety (mainly acoustic)
  8. I’ll Bring My Voice (acoustic)

Thank you everyone and there will be more new music in October or November that will hopefully be just as good if not better! I’ve been releasing about 1-2 shortish albums a year, but my new goal is to release 4 EPs or albums per year. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

#8 I’ll Bring My Voice (“The Fine Print” track by track)

For the third album in a row, I’ve decided to showcase each track in a “behind the song” blog series. I hope some listeners find it interesting or helpful. “I’ll Bring My Voice” is the eighth and final track from my latest release, The Fine Print. For convenience, the lyrics and YouTube & Spotify streams are at the bottom of this post.

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Aw, here we are at my last song blog for this release. But don’t worry, I’ll be releasing new music again at some point in the fall.

To be honest, I already did a pretty good press write-up for this, which was shared in a New Jersey Stage post. I don’t really see a point in duplicating my work, so to start with I’ll just repost that here:

I almost don’t want to share the inspiration for this sweet little acoustic song because it’s a little embarrassing and might ruin it! But I actually wrote this during a 50/90 (50 songs in 90 days) project last summer, where I was trying to write a mini-musical about a girl who tried a million different ways to become “extraordinary,” but ultimately realized that it was her efforts that made her extraordinary. The “musical” experiment was a pretty big failure and I didn’t really like any of the other 10 or so songs I wrote for it. But this concluding one really stuck out, and I knew right away that I wanted it to be the last song on this album. My musical’s theme was obviously autobiographical enough that the song perfectly describes my current feelings about my music career. I know that my music isn’t the same as the stuff that you would hear on the radio and a major label would probably never pursue me, but I don’t care about becoming rich or famous or validated by industry. All I want is a direct connection from me to another person through my music, and I’ve already done that many times, so I’m happy. I will keep trying to reach more people and express myself better in more songs, but I’m already happy.

Unlike most of the songs I release, I didn’t change very much about this one once it was done. I wrote it pretty quickly actually (feeling out the basic verse structure, deciding on what each verse would be, and quickly coming up with some lines for each one) and then I just kind of left it as it was. I must have been in the zone because I still don’t really see any lines in it that I’m unhappy with, and that is rare.

It’s the first time I’ve tried out a “picked finger picking” technique… I’m not sure what it’s technically called, but that’s what I call it because it’s when you use a pick to play an arpeggio pattern on each chord so that it sounds like finger picking. I’m sure it’s common enough, but like most techniques, I learned it from Frank Turner. I’ve still only written one finger picked song too, but I’ve been wanting to use both of those techniques in more of my songs. At least I’m happy I finally got around to my first song with this one.

I’m happy with the lyrics, the sweet melody, and the picking. For the arrangement/production, I decided not to fuss with it. Additional instruments didn’t really make that much sense for the mood and the lyrical content anyway. All I did was add a tiny bit of vocal harmony. In the end I was happy with it. It’s not “hit” material or musically the best song on the album, but it did its little job of expressing something within me that I wanted to express. And whether I ever break even financially or not, whether more than a handful of people ever cares, my life is so much richer just by being able to do that.

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LYRICS

I’m no diva, I’m no star
In a singing competition I wouldn’t get far
But many people like to listen when I sing
And in a noisy world, that means everything
So you bring that star power if you want to
I’ll bring my voice

Connecting with people, it’s my dream
It’s the only thing I know I really need
And the wealth that I need is only enough to survive
I eat beans for dinner and I don’t feel deprived
So you bring that fancy sports car if you want to
I’ll bring my voice

And I will never have a million fans
But that was never part of my plans
Just one connection means so much to me
Just being something to someone I never thought I could be
So you bring your stadium crowds if you want to
I’ll bring my voice

I’ll bring my voice
I guess I never really had a choice
I am who I am, and if they don’t like it
They can leave and I don’t need to know why

#7 Anxiety (“The Fine Print” track by track)

For the third album in a row, I’ve decided to showcase each track in a “behind the song” blog series. I hope some listeners find it interesting or helpful. “Anxiety” is the seventh track from my latest release, The Fine Print. For convenience, the lyrics and YouTube & Spotify streams are at the bottom of this post.

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This song came about because I decided I should write a song about anxiety, something I’ve experienced to varying degrees for all my life. It plays a big role in my life, so I thought it was important.

I started this song when I was on a big free writing kick. In other words, I would set a timer for 5 minutes or whatever and just free write on a topic. I really need to do this more often than I do, because I would probably never get writer’s block writing that way.

But anyway, that’s how I decided to start my “anxiety” song. I sat and wrote about how anxiety makes me feel, trying to focus on the sensory and physiological aspects (as opposed to emotional and behavioral). A lot of those phrases made it into the song in some form or other. In fact, by the time I was done with my free writing, the lyrics kind of wrote itself because I had so many great phrases to choose from that it was easy to form it into a structure and rhyme it and everything. That’s the cool thing about free writing.

Lyrically I think it came out perfect. It describes so perfectly how my anxiety feels, which is exactly what I intended it to do. And if I can say so, I think it’s well-written — I think I should be allowed to say so, because I’ll be the first to admit when something of mine is poorly written.

The melody came pretty easily too. It’s usually not so hard for me to write melodies if the lyrics are already finished. I just came up with something that sounded pretty to my ear, and calming. I felt that was appropriate for the lyrics — even as they’re describing what it feels like to have anxiety, they are also a calming song in the throes of it.

In keeping with the calming mood, I decided to keep the production mainly acoustic, but I did some little experimentation with strings. I had to keep them pretty subtle, because they are virtual strings and I noticed that becomes pretty obvious when you try anything remotely complicated. But subtle notes and chords sound great, to my ear at least. I also added some harmonies — if you listen closely in the last part of the song, there are vocal harmonies in unison with the strings, although it’s pretty hard to hear them if you’re not listening for them.

Overall I was pretty satisfied with the simple production of this song and the overall calming vibes that the lyrics, melody, and strings give it. I hope I did justice to all of my fellow anxiety sufferers out there. At least I can say for sure that I did justice to myself!

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LYRICS

It starts with a shortness of breath
I don’t know why it feels like someone’s sitting on my chest
Or maybe like we’re floating out in space without any oxygen

If I listened to my body, it would always have me believe
That nothing’s ever gonna be okay
But I believe the doctors when they say it’s only anxiety
And nothing else is really wrong with me

So I can focus on my face, feel the tension, let it go
Still my arms and still my legs and let myself sink into bed
Don’t search for answers I don’t need to know

And the worry is never far from my mind
When I’m lying in bed after the day fades to night
It’s brought on by the silent, still darkness when I know I should be sleeping

If I took my thoughts at face value
Then everything would be a threat
And not a thing would ever go my way
But there’s a safer part inside my brain
That says it’s probably gonna be okay
And this is probably not my dying day

And for now I feel secure and I’ve got a roof above my head
For now I’m safe and warm, tomorrow isn’t my concern
As long as for today I have been fed

But anyway, my greatest worry I can’t shake
Is the possibility of living for a century with unfulfilled dreams
Resigned and given up and just a shell of who I am today

So I can focus on my face, feel the tension, let it go
Still my arms and still my legs and let myself sink into bed
Every single day I’m making progress