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Sean Michael Robinson

Sweet Angeline-- folk rock

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Hello folks!

https://summerjanuaries.bandcamp.com/track/sweet-angeline

"Sweet Angeline" is the lead track of our new EP, Suspended in Air. The song was tracked with brushed drums, piano, and accordion live, with later overdubs of upright bass, electric guitar, lead and harmony vocals, violin, hammond organ, percussion, etc. Tracked in Sonar Producer, and mixed and mastered in CWBBL with mostly stock and/or free and/or cheap plugins.

We've had this song kicking around for a while, and it's sailed through many different keys, different singers, and finally landed here, with me singing lead, while the composer, Rachel, sings harmony and plays piano and the rad fiddle solo. I hope you all enjoy the song!

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This is a well-written and performed song Sean. Easy to see a lot of work has gone into this. Very nice arrangement and use of supporting instruments and harmonies.

The lyrics are quite unusual in places, but I like that, reminds me a little of Clifford T Ward's style.

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To prove I listened, and read the lyrics sheet, second verse, "could" is sung "can" . . . :)

Great song, a nice lilt all the way through. It's well mixed because I can hear the words clearly while the supporting instruments fill, dip, dive, enter, exit. Nicely conceived. It's a great listen.

Between the couplet at the end, you can hear someone shifting in their chair, or rattling a paper, or? Actually, the whole thing has a pretty "recorded live" feel. So that might be okay!    "...story impossibly true" / rattle creak / "A story impossibly true." I dunno, what do you make of it? Probably no big deal? It does add to the feel of the "room" which might be worth it.

 

I've liked your other songs I've heard, you guys have a great presentation of harmonies and stripped-down arrangements. Lots of dynamics. Excellent!

 

cheers,

-Tom

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I really enjoyed this...the mix is immediate, not so much roomy. Well-crafted piece and the instrumentation and harmonies are on point. The lyrics are interesting, a more poetic choice of words...I like it!

Bill

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Thanks for your comments everyone!

James G-- I don't know Clifford T Ward! Will have to check him out, thanks for the new music to listen to.

Tom-- hah! That's the sustain pedal on our noisy piano. It's a 1920 Steinway, it was Rachel's great grandparent's wedding present, and although it plays great, it's in need of some maintenance. I'm of two minds about these type of "features" in a recording. On the other hand, it's clearly extramusical, not neccesary to the song. On the other hand, in an era where...what percentage of "piano" recorded these days is midi, or some keyboard piano synthesis or sample?-- it definitely distinguishes itself.

I had this conversation with a friend before overdubbing some piano on his recording. I was complaining about the intonation being slightly out, which was audible on some big chords spreading several octaves. "No, it's fine," he said. "that way they can tell it's not a sample." Huh. Well, hard to argue with that I guess!

Thanks for the comments Bill. Would you prefer a roomier mix, with some more verb delays etc? We recorded in a fairly boxy living room, with piano and drums simultaneously, so I was really struggling to get the drums as dry as possible, to the point where the "overheads" were literally in front of my face when I was playing! A little ridiculous but got us the intimate and comb-filter-free sound we were looking for.

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Sean
After reading the lyrics I found myself liking the song before even listening to it. The lyrics have a rhythm to them that's very pleasing to the ear. Have to admit though, I didn't really understand the lyrics but that's ok!

I made this comment on a previous song of yours, and it's definitely a matter of taste, but I think the song could be even better with a melody that stands out more. Don't get me wrong, I liked the song quite a lot and respect the musicianship behind it. I just have this thing about memorable tunes I guess.  

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This is beautiful!  Well written, arranged and performed.  My only suggestion might be to pan the vocals a bit or widen them out using an imaging plug in.

Very pretty.

😀John B

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Hello Serious_Noize!

Thanks for the kind words :)

Bjorn: thanks for the listen and the thorough look at the lyrics :) I smiled at your observation about the melody--the other song you made that comment on was also Rachels--"Comfort" I believe. And it's definitely a similar approach to this, in that the overall musical effect--texture, harmonization etc--is on equal footing with the melody, or possibly even more important. She generally works "backwards" like this--getting a feel or riff or chord sequence to start with, and building in the melody after, which I think has the tendency to de-emphasize the importance of the melody alone. (or some of her other songs, I'm thinking of "Acorn Armies" from our last album, has the most melodic instrument on a non-vocal instrument, in that case, the fiddle. Definitely a different approach).

Very much appreciate the analysis!

Hey John--thanks for the thoughts and the suggesion! I never know when to keep vocals centered and when to split them out, seems like there are compromises either way. I usually end up panning them for "duet" type harmonies/tradeoffs, or with three part harmony, and keep them mostly centered for single-harmony that follows the melody closely. Will definitely give it some more thought next time I'm mixing this type of harmony (which I'm actually doing this week! Another new song)>

 

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Have to say I really enjoyed this and I'm sure, as James observed,  a great deal of work has gone into this and is very much appreciated. It does in some way remind me of something he may have written under the Nettlesmith banner as it has an engaging lyric ..so thankyou for the post, really did enjoy ( as said )

SPAK

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Well-written song, good vocal work, and I like the clarity of the recording -- very clean, nicely detailed. Has a real air of polish about it. Enjoyed this  a lot.

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Hi, Sean,

Absolutely beautiful song!

Well written and arranged with great instrumental performances and excellent vocals.  The fiddle, organ and piano sounded fantastic and were really tasty icing on the cake!🙂

The mix sounded clean and wide with everything nicely in it's own space, and right on the money for the genre.👍

Really good stuff!  Have a good one!

Bob

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