What can you say about the exceptionally talented poet, novelist, and prolific singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.that hasn’t already been said? Well, the Song Talk Radio action team didn’t worry about that. Bruce, Neel, and Phil simply dove into their memories and had a close look at three of his many, many songs. Bruce brought the poetic Bird on a Wire (1969), Neel shared the dark and foreboding Everybody Knows (1980’s), and Phil had us pay attention to one of Cohen’s last recordings, the prescient Leaving the Table (2016).
The Song Talk Team had the distinct pleasure of spending an hour with the very talented and original singer/songwriter Dan Edmonds. His fresh takes on music and how it’s made were both illuminating and engaging. He played two of his intriguing recordings – “Love Can Be a Tunnel” and “To Be That Needle”. We talked about:
improvising lyrics in the recording studio
letting the listener make their own meaning from the words
For this special theme show, each of the hosts presented a song with “unusual” or hard-to-decipher lyrics. We delved into a discussion around understanding the intentions behind and interpreting the songs. Download the lyrics here: Unusual Lyrics
Neel’s selection: A Self Called Nowhere by They Might Be Giants
Bruce’s selection: McArthur Park by Jimmy Webb (performed by Donna Summers)
Janice’s selection: Paranoid Android by Radiohead
We talked about:
The notion that once your song is released to the world, it’s no longer yours and open to multiple interpretations
Faaria was one of our first guests on Song Talk Radio (check out her first episode) and she joined us once again with new songs about relationships, where none of them are autobiographical (or so she claims).
Stuff we talked about:
writing from different point-of-views
how practicing songwriting can affect the enjoyment of listening to other songs
Songtalk Radio welcomed multi-talented artist The Sun Harmonic (aka Kaleb Hikele) back to the studio for a second sharing of his song writing skills. “Born (I Have Awakened)” is a stream-of-consciousness, spiritual/traditional style a capella song that captures the losses we all endure as we grow up. “When the Well Runs Dry” switching from 4/4 to 2/4 and back again, prompted lots of discussion among the hosts about its meaning. Here’s a hint – it’s something all writers fear – have a listen! “I Will Sleep Again” was written on a long commute and sung into a cell phone. Its powerful bridge near the end is just one of the highlights of this song.
Jenny Ritter and her very cool guitarist Tyler Belluz entertained us with a rich variety of tunes all beautifully sung. She started writing in her early 20’s. Her first band – The Gruff – played for 10 years. Jenny currently leads two rock choirs in Victoria, BC. A History of Happiness was written in crisis. Jenny was looking for happiness in the past and imagined life as Queen of the World. The intriguing song Wolf Wife was written on a dock near North Bay, Ontario. Eschewing the label of “singer songwriter”, Remember the Life, was written to be interpreted by her band.
Michael Cooper, raised in Stony Plain, Alberta, now living in Toronto, calls his music “country re-defined” and we agree. He’s been writing heart-felt tunes for over 20 years! His goal is to make the mundane extra-ordinary. His influences include Hank Snow.