I feel like I am writing new things with little warning or making gigantic swooping changes to existing songs all the time. But we're approaching The Darkness Months and maybe this will help me get my thoughts in order.
This new album I'm working on gets stranger and less cohesive every time I work on it, but every change or addition I make feels groundbreaking. Let's make a list. Here are the songs I am confident will happen:
Here are the songs that are still underway (deep in the throes of writing, some for years)
Here are the songs that I feel are maybe not destined to be on the album, but nonetheless are in progress:
And here are two songs that are just in the theoretical stages right now - which is to say, I have vague ideas for the Concepts - it's weird to have a Concept for a song independent of the music or lyrics. I do have iotas of music and lyrics as well for both of these but I would feel like a liar saying that I am currently writing them:
Let's focus on the songs that will definitely happen. Millennials Are Killing is going to be almost entirely unchanged - just a better mix, a better sax solo (got a friend to play an actual tenor sax, instead of me pitching my alto down). 🕴⤵🕳 I dropped last month basically as soon as it was written and recorded and I hear a couple miniscule things I think I can do better, but it would be subtle too.
Once A Day will be quite similar to the one that's out, but I'm going to clean it up a bit. I had an alternate spoken word thing for the middle that I recorded when Needlejuice said they wanted to release it as a digital single (at the time, the guy I sampled was all-in on NFTs, he isn't anymore - that's the guy who painted the banks on fire. I really think he was just so mad at the banks that he was willing to try any hare-brained alternative someone showed him.), and then I had a cool guitarier rhythm section breakdown funk riff planned instead of the spoken word thing, I haven't figured it out yet. Probably more accurately it will be a "remix" as in, I will take the stems and do some chopping & screwing to them and record a couple new tracks and maybe cut some stuff out entirely.
That's how I feel about Brands Brands Brands Brands, which I have recorded like 3 or 4 times now. It keeps getting more electronic, which is good - in my head when I ~conceptualized~ it in like 2015, it was a straight up 4 on the floor electronic dance number. I tried to do it with live drums, bass guitar, but I have gradually replaced the pulsing heart of the song with machines. (The live drums and guitars do come in, just later.) I don't think I'm done with it, I think it's entirely possible that like a day before the album drops I decide to do a total remix and like speed it up another 6bpm. I kind of want it to be dense and sidechainy.
He Might is a song that basically appeared overnight, I have recorded lots of drums, guitars, pianos, woodwinds, synthesizers, and I'm probably going to have to make a lot of cuts to make it sound nice to listen to. This would either be the first song on the album and piss everyone off, or it would be buried as an album track or B-side never to be heard - I think I'm leaning towards the former. It's very energetic and hard-hitting and it's a good mission statement for both the emotional and artistic content of the album, but it's not like, a good example of what I try to do with melody. I think that is the area I am probably best at - then again, the other albums of mine both start with weird introductory tracks too that aren't super indicative of the musical content... but those are both short. This song's like 2 minutes long. That's a marathon for an OK Glass song.
Gray Water (Grey? Grae.) is a weird one. I wrote it on guitar as a slow funky song over like a Dr. Dre style beat. I was putting together midis for a show I had to do and out of nowhere wrote a full brass arrangement for this song at about 1.5x speed, mostly just to lean into that like Windows 95 General Midi aesthetic, I wanna hear that slap bass. And the horns are all recorded - the whole thing's recorded, but it'll be lots of mixing. But unusually, I find myself wanting to add more like guitars and synths. We'll see.
My Brother, His Brother and His also appeared overnight. I wrote it on piano, it was like a Beatlesy shuffle, then quickly found that if I play arpeggios on a synthesizer it fits in perfectly with the other tracks I was working on. It's quite unrelenting and noisy, there's a lot of electric guitars and synths and bass drums. I'm going to have to figure out what to do with this so it's listenable.
I don't really have anything to say about any of the other songs I mentioned. I am hopeful that they'll emerge - I'm not really actively trying to write, but I sure think about them a lot, and look at my notes files a lot, and play some of their components whenever I pick up an instrument. I think their progress is all but assured.