Songwriting is a funny business. Sometimes it's mutually exclusive. I find it hard on occasion to write at all if I am performing a lot or recording. One discipline seems to exclude another. Then of course there's the drought. Not writer's block, that implies an effort to write that yields nothing but frustration. The drought is just a void, no ideas at all, not even the inclination to sit and try to do something.
I have just been through this. Not for the first time have I seen my guitar and just walked on. My compositional process is entirely driven by sitting down with the guitar and playing with lyrics suggesting themselves along the way. I never get inspired in the still of night with a tune in my head, a couplet that just has to be written, so the guitar and I are strangers. I have nothing to say and have to be comfortable with that.
Comfort turns into discomfort the longer this persists. Not because of a frustration that is building or the innate need to tell a story that I can't bring forth but because I have to play the same songs at shows and worry about their shelf life with the audience.
Then it happens. I sit down for just a few minutes and the songs being to emerge. Very quickly. The music happens and the lyrics drop from the sky onto the page and it's done. On to the next one and in a week I have 6 news songs.
"Whose is Your Life" is more cheerful musically than a lot of my songs, "Hollow" more shoegaze with repeating guitar riff. "There Trains Run On Time" is mournfully slow while "Complicated" is a staccato post-punk song. "Cut Me Down" is dark and metronomic while "A Friend Of Mine" is uptempo and downbeat.
Then it's a question of getting them onboard to perform them and so I will be playing all of them on Wednesday night at Creekside in Yakima. The show starts at 7. Come have a listen.