In 2019 I wrote more songs than I've ever written in a single year before - I wrote 24 brand new songs, I finished 6 songs that I'd started writing the year before, and I started writing an additional 10 songs that I've yet to finish. While it's wonderful when you're on a creative hot-streak, the downside is you end up with an ever-increasing backlog of songs that will remain unheard until you somehow find the time and means to record them. This inspired me to start a new project called 'The Voice Memo Demos', which is exactly what it sounds like - voice memos recorded on my phone of me performing songs in a single take with just a guitar or a piano. No overdubs, no effects, just a voice and an instrument, recorded raw and live.
It's a little bit of a daunting project as (a) I'm not hugely confident performing live (I've always been a recording artist, first and foremost), (b) as you can tell from my studio recordings I love creating rich and layered arrangements for my songs, and (c) while I wrote most of these songs on guitar, it's not my main instrument. Still, hopefully what these demos will demonstrate what I always strive for when I write - to create memorable songs with a strong melodies.
A World Without You
I wrote this song as part of a 10 Minute Songwriting Challenge that I set myself after seeing the 'Yesterday', a Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis film about a songwriter who, after a mysterious world-wide blackout, becomes the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles and their music.
There's a scene in the film where Ed Sheehan challenges Jack, the main character, to see who can write the best song in 10 minutes – that sounded like a fun challenge, so I decided to try it! I recorded the process and you can watch the videos on the Behind-The-Scenes section of the Videos tab above (technically I failed the challenge as the song ended up taking me 20 minutes to write, but that's still not bad!) I'm proud of the song, and I think it's a fitting tribute to what I will always consider to be the greatest band of all time, and their legacy.
This song is a little lullaby I wrote for my unborn child. I'm hoping if I play it to my wife's bump often enough, the baby will recognise it when it's born and find it comforting.