September 24, 2023.

I guess I acknowledge that it's hard to describe this music as "dance music" as I previously tried. But it feels more ~electronic~ than I normally do, even though even when I am playing acoustic instruments exclusively I am still mercilessly chopping & screwing them with my computer. I have come to realize that maybe the most accurate descriptor is "loop-based." Indeed most songs played by humans or computers can be broken down into loops, little sections that repeat, but I am trying to intentionally evoke that I guess? There's still a lot of live drums but I am trying to get the live drums to sound more perfect and quantized than I normally do. Which is to say, I am doing take after take after take to try to get the tiny repetitive parts sounding good.

A phrase that I stuck in my own head years ago is the audacity of the groove: I find a lot of "repetitive" music to be trying because you have to LIKE the loop. You have to buy in to the part that repeats, otherwise it is going to get exhausting quickly. And so I tend to make music that cuts corners and is constantly iterating on itself, kind of out of self-consciousness, a desire not to waste the listener's time. I want to present all my ideas and get out, and if they want more they can hit play again. So this is a real change in workflow for me, not to mention a different mindset to enter.

What have I done lately? I recorded new drums for He Might & Brands. Both of these songs need new electric guitar and new vocals. Brands needs new snare overdubs at the end. I finally solidified the instrumentals for My Brother, those have to be done at my apartment. That will need new vocals too. And I've been working on the arrangement for Everything, which is basically still in demo form and needs everything to be replaced. I guess the drums and percussion sound pretty good though.

Crazy to look at everything and imagine people listening to it. It feels like it's still so far from that but I do think these first two songs are pretty close to completion. And then there's another four songs that are basically ready to go. That's like half an album. The rest need a Lot of work. Maybe I'll be able to put the work in soon.

It's definitely easier to have small discrete goals like "replace the drums" (although lately those have been super demanding) than it is to put a song that is half-written to tape. And so I come back to Neocities, where I laid out little to-do lists for myself in 2020, and it worked.

If I go to my space, the priority is snare overdub on Brands, and then vocals if my voice is up to it, and then electric guitar but I can kind of do that anywhere. Maybe some tubular bells for Brother if the mics are set up.

If I am working from my apartment, the priority is recording accordion, some glockenspiel.

Maybe once this handful of songs is ready to go it'll be harder to put off the ones that require more work.