I’ve written my first song of 2023, after a bit of a dry patch. ‘Bleeding’ is a love song about illness and care, and goes out to my amazing girlfriend.
It started as a rhythm guitar riff covering the first few bars. It’s a simple 12/8 motif that rises to the major third and gently steps down. It’s not dissimilar in harmony to two songs on the first Biffy Clyro album – ‘Just Boy’ and ’57’. They all share the same key, and ’57’ has a similar motif on the major third, albeit in triplets, but ‘Just Boy’ has that 12/8 groove.
I didn’t purposely set out to impersonate Biffy (any more than I’m usually inclined to). The riff came to me when warming up on the guitar, and it follows a similar sound to a track I wrote in 2016 called ‘Infinity’. I’ve gigged ‘Infinity’ at open mics and I recorded a quick acoustic demo in lockdown.
The harmony is a simple tonic to the forth and back, with the a differentiating fifth played in the first inversion, using the C♯ as the root note for the chord. This blends nicely with the melody which lands on a E, making the top of the A major triad.
To demo this song I used my webcam microphone rather than set up a stand and a condenser mic (the mic stand was in my car, all the way outside). Because the vocals are rough, I didn’t think they’d warrant the effort. I’m sat down, and singing the start of the chorus in falsetto, even though it really only goes up to a high E (an entire octave lower than Justin Hawkins’ ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’) . When I sing this live I struggle to hit the note, but if I give it enough air and don’t sing it too loud it gives a nice timbre to a chorus. I’ve since recorded other demos with my webcam mic and although incredibly lazy, it works quite well. I’ve obviously record the vocals properly when I come to release it.
I’m very happy with this song and how it’s turning out. It took me a while to find its chorus, but when I did the whole thing clicked fairly quickly.
I like ballads. They work better at open mics. It’s quite hard to play songs that incorporate thrash and post-rock when it’s just you and an acoustic guitar. I will aim to write more soppy songs.