The Evolution of “A Lullaby”

"And I was like baby, baby, baby, oh. Like baby, baby, baby, no. Like baby, baby, baby, oh I thought you'd always be mine."
                                                                 -Justin Bieber

A Lullaby is a tragic tale of a school girl gone wrong. It’s a melody of disappointments, pressure and insecurity.

Draft 1

California, fall of 2008

This song was created during tech rehearsals for Spring Awakening in San Diego, California. If you don’t know, a tech rehearsal is the time where all of the elements of a show together. Lights, set, costumes, sound, etc. The rehearsals are also painfully long and boring.

Noodling on my guitar was the only way to keep entertained and because of that, the seeds of “A Lullaby” were planted.

The first demo of the song was recorded on my computer backstage at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in the fall of 2008.

Draft 2

Boston, MA sometime in the spring of 2009.

After sitting with the song for a few months I decided to get it properly demoed.

I spent a cloudy day tucked away David Siegel’s (engineer extraordinaire) humble bedroom. My pals Marques Walls (percussion), Liam McCormack (bass), Perry Sherman (backup vox) and Alice So (backup vox) kept me company and added their talents to the song.

We took what I originally had and created this together:

Draft 3

Brooklyn, NY summer of 2012

Having played the song countless times in rehearsal studios, coffee shops and roof tops, it was clear that this one wasn’t going to end up in the vortex of lost songs. It needed one final incarnation.

Working on “A Lullaby” for Wander Years was a spiritual experience. Everyone involved contributed much more than notes and rhythms to the track. There is so much compassion, heart, so much sensitivity in this recording.

This version features the genius of Marques Walls (Drums, percussion), Alan Stevens Hewitt (bass/synth strings), Cian McCarthy (piano), Ben Kalb (Cello), Thad DeBrock (Pedal Steel) Gabby Garza (sexy woman voice) and Anthony ‘Rocky’ Gallo (producer, engineer).

Of all the songs on the record, I’m most proud of this one.

The evolution of “I Don’t Need You Now”

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” 
 ― Charles Darwin

‘Wander Years’ features a batch of new songs and a handful of old ones that have been released in the past as demos or on EPs. I’ve gotta say, it wasn’t really a hard decision to pick which songs to redo… in fact, I’d say it was a very natural selection.

There are about five songs that naturally evolved from their original incarnations. The evolution came with time. It came with playing them live, playing them with other musical minds and other musical hearts. All of those elements aided the song’s evolution.

Sometimes it’s fun (and sometimes painful) to go through my songs and listen to old demos – where the songs were and where they are now – where I was, and where I am now.

I wanted to share “I Don’t Need You Now” today, in three stages of it’s life.

THE NEWBORN

This song started as an early morning idea in a hotel in St. Louis in the beginning of 2009 – I recorded it on Garageband after a night out at the hotel bar:

THE YOUNG ADULT

It then evolved later that year during an inspiring weekend in Pittsburgh with Marques Walls (drums/glock) and Perry Sherman (harmonies). We spent a day tucked away for a day in a studio with A.T. Vish (engineer) @ All Terrain Vehicles, www.myspace.com/carolblaze :

 

THE WISE/HOT AND IN SHAPE OLD MAN

Finally, after three years of playing it all over the country, after listening to the previous recordings dozens of times and after adding Alan Hewitt (bass), Robi Hager (harmonies), Cian McCarthy (piano) and Anthony ‘Rocky’ Gallo (producer) in to the mix, “I Don’t Need You Now” evolved into this:

Like any good parent, I’m proud of my child. I’m proud of the mistakes that were made. I’m proud of the friends that made it. Mostly, I’m proud that my “child” always kept the same heart.