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Monday, September 13, 2010

Sing This Song

I guess I'll give y'all a break this week with the music and totally shift gears. The last few weeks I introduced you to my old hard rock buddies, Oblivion, but now it's time to sink into the low, soft lullaby of the first official Tres Crow song recorded by the duo Noble Three.

By now you may be familiar with the progression (Greenland sky-rocketed to "international fame" with our adorable little video for "The Way It Is" only to crash land when we realized that YouTube may be a household name, but they don't yet have to clout to launch musical careers. Out of the ruins of Greenland came the short-lived, but no less prolific, Noble Three), so I'll just tell you about the song.

When Patrick and I decided we were gonna start making e-singles, with A and B sides, and release them like it was the good ole' days, we only had a small repetoire of about five or six songs that we knew how to play together (other than all the Greenland songs, obvs). The natural A-side for this first single was Patrick's hella-bouncy throwback number "When You Walk," but we knew we needed something less happy (for lack of a better word) to anchor the B-side. The answer to our admittedly minor quandary was a little ditty about yearning I'd written during my first few disastrous months in Nashville.

The song was part of a three song cycle in which the narrator meets and subsequently falls for a girl with another lover, with all the messy details that derive from such a situation. "Sing This Song" is the first of the three songs, and like all of the other music I wrote during this period it is highly personal and almost transparent in its honesty.

Musically the arrangement is intentionally uncluttered. There are two reasons for this: 1.) the melody is complicated and all over my range, and so it was important to make sure the music was simple enough to contain the melody without getting in its way, and 2.) the song is very quiet and Patrick and I wanted to make sure that the arrangement didn't overwhelm the melody. We used essentially a finger-picked guitar part, a beautiful solo viola played by Gioia Fazzini, and piano. I've always liked the way the song starts off so quietly that when the other instruments come in they seem like the blooming of a very fragile and tiny flower...or at least that's what I hope it sounds like.

Another interesting tidbit about this recording is that the viola and guitar were recorded almost a year before all the other instruments, during an aborted attempt at a follow-up EP to my 2005 EP, Maine. I recorded four songs during those sessions with Josh Fuson (who produced all of Noble Three's e-singles as well as Patrick's Communion Bread), "Our Love," "Save You," "Pink Elephants," and this song, but "Pink Elephants" and "Save You" never made it out of the initial demoing stage. With both "Our Love" and "Sing This Song" we were able to take what we liked from the initial demos and add all the other parts because of the use of a click track. So, in essence these two songs were created in two different places, over the course of a year by about four people; they are a form of time travel, if you will. Enjoy.

Sing This Song
Words by Tres Crow
Music by Noble Three

Happiness deserts me
when I'm alone
'cause times with you
they haunt me when you're gone

Lying in a bedroom
that's not my own
wishing silence was a
virtue I had lost

And though your voice is strong
and I know it to be true
You can't help me sing this song
to you

I haven't been this drawn to
a woman in so long
please don't say I'm wasting
all my love

And though your voice is strong
and I know it to be true
You can't help me sing this song
to you

Lyrics reprinted by permission Shire Reckoning Publishing House.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I knew Gioia recorded the viola part - but just heard this recording for the first time! How touching to hear - a recording featuring two very important people in my life!

Tres Crow said...

Thanks for the comment, anonymous (whom I suspect I must know since you consider me one of the important people in your life *wink wink*). I've always liked this song for its simplicity and Gioia's minimalist viola part really hits the nail on the head.

BTW, if you are still in contact with her send her the link to the song, or pass on my email so I can send her an mp3. I don't think I ever sent her the final work.