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#1 | Behind The Music

This track was written and arranged by, Lynzy Moutter and sounds a bit like Montgomery Gentry.

There was somewhat of a pow-wow between Vivienne and I . . . a disagreement of sorts . . . about what the opening track of, Listen, should be. Of course, I was absolutely convinced before anything was even recorded that it should be this song, however, I can assure you it most definitely wasn't a quest to simply get my own way . . . there was far too much riding on this release to let the inner child win.

Synopsis

This Road is a song about female life experience and acquiring the tools you need to move independently on your own way only to be surprised by an adverse world whilst, at the same time realising that life experience had actually already shown you how difficult the journey could be. It also touches on the subject of materialism and how some prioritise this over treating others kindly.


Imagery

I was keen to create a solid country song with some rock elements thrown in that people could turn up and enjoy, particularly, whilst traveling. This spurred me on to think more about travel and, for some reason, it led me to begin arranging the song around the gradual acceleration of a locomotive somewhere, perhaps, like Route 66 or the Deep South; I spent a fair bit of time in the USA at a point in my life so I am putting the America thing down to that! The choice of instruments was a nod to the geography in that imaginary setting and they were arranged in such a way to try and help the audience picture being on the, eventually, speeding train themselves. Metaphorically speaking, we all are!

Throughout the two introductions (because on the opening track of an album one isn't enough, haha), the first two verses and the first slow chorus of the song, a large train is coming towards a somewhat melancholy 'protagonist' and it eventually grinds to a halt in front of them providing the opportunity to jump on. The drums, banjo and harmonica, in particular, were used here to recreate the rhythm and sound of a large train's wheels and brakes on the track. The song changes pace after the 'protagonist' decides to get on and the train coasts away from the rail halt; arrangement is used from the re-intro all the way to the second chorus to try and create the feeling of the train's speed increasing and of excitement from taking an independent step . . . one of my favourite parts of the song is at the very end of verse three when a triangle is used to make the sound of the train's bell and then the fiddle blasts in at the top of verse four! When it reaches the instrumental section of the song the tempo, literally, gets faster and so does that 'train'; the instrumentation here also symbolises the complex feelings and emotions associated with realising you have taken control of your independence in an adverse world that is, seemingly, designed to thwart that. At the end of the instrumental, the song takes a dramatic turn where everything drops out leaving only the vocals (panic) and kick drum (heartbeat) . . . this is where the 'protagonist' knows that this could be the only chance to jump off and go back to safety or stay and face the future head-on not knowing what it will bring. As the instruments start to come back in "one by one", we hear the choice being made to stay on the train, however, the instrumental outro leads the listener towards an ending where the song's story is open to interpretation . . . does the train crash?


Performance We have been performing this song for quite a long time; it really is a tough one to recreate live, especially when stomping and singing at the same time and since Listen happened! The video below is of a recent performance of the track. Those of you who have a copy of Live at The Green Room will definitely be able to hear how different this song is from its humble beginnings, even the live version has changed. Read on to learn more about some of the musical arrangement choices that were made for the album version.


Instrumentation

It was important that the drums were solid and impactful in this song with it being the first song on the album; we made sure that the song immediately sounded like a complete departure from our previous releases and that something big and rock-worthy was going to happen. This is the first and only drum manuscript I have ever had a go at writing. I recorded the percussion wrapping the instruments around the drums to add sounds that lifted certain phrases of the song whilst adding a sizzling heat to the back of the track. One of my favourite additions was the faithful triangle which was used to create the sound of the train's bell getting louder as it comes into the foreground; it can be heard twice in the track; once when we sing the words "downbound train" . . . can you find the other?! I will note that recording percussion does seem to be something I take way too seriously in the studio . . . nightmare! Another thing I managed to fire into this song was electric guitar; lead not being my strong point, however, I persevered because the melodic nature of what was to be played was so strong in my mind. I definitely wanted to hear that familiar spaghetti western 'Tarantino' chord and it was added in all its glory at 1.55. The electric guitar was mainly used to enhance the main instrumental melody played in both octaves to add depth, however, I did manage to add some licks here or there . . . my first time ever doing so . . . ever! Watching Dave record the bass on this track was a whole lot of fun; he definitely captured the groove and actually managed to throw in some genius seventies disco basslines for the crack; you'll find one of them from 3.57 . . . it works so damn well! Dave, because he is so ridiculously talented, also played fiddle; for us, it couldn't have been anybody else. At 2.12 he absolutely blasts into the track (after a few wee licks here or there). This part of the song means the most to me; it is the very moment that lets our existing audience know about our new and more confident approach to writing and arrangement and it offers any new listeners something exciting and brash . . . it is a total release every time I hear it. It makes me feel positive. Next up and the first instrument you will hear in the track is the one and only banjo. Coasting along in the background until being unleashed in a frenzy (in Verse 4), Garry's Scruggs-style rhythmic prowess both pulls on and propels the track in all of the right places. I wanted people to know from the get-go that they had entered into a classic-sounding country album. Chris's harmonica peeks in and out as the track goes on capturing so many aspects of a train's sound; my favourite is at the end of chorus one where he creates the sound of its huge mass braking to a halt as well as the Steve Earle-esque whistling sound in the outro. The mandolin was a welcome addition to the instrumentation and, naturally, Laura Beth was able to readily apply her signature skills whilst weaving in and out of her pal Garry's banjo-playing; likely. the best mandolin player in the country, she brought such playfulness to this track. Absolutely tremendous and, we're truly thankful!

Lyrics The lyrics actually ended up being less comprehensive than the idea behind the song; isn't it weird how songs do that?! That's what makes them open to any interpretation, which is the point I suppose! Anyway, moving on. I made a wee attempt to include some vaguely familiar words and phrases from americana songs to tie the track to the genre; I also tried to pick words that signified something harsh or pointed towards experiencing some kind of a struggle. The word "man" kind of fell out during the melody writing; the phonetic property of the word lent itself to the harmonies and the song's americana theme. Weird, however, cool; maybe it's just me who thinks that. It also hints towards some of the challenges of female life experience, although, the applied meaning came afterward! V1: I was born on the river; I have sailed many seas; I have waived my direction to find me.

V2: In this land of survival, we get shamed and we get burned,

for the man and his money doesn't learn.

C: One by one it'll make them cry when everybody needs a lullaby;

we're caught in a town where we're born to lie,

I should know this road by now.


V3: She was born on the Delta, she has seen her days of strain;

took her dreams for the downbound train.


V4: To a world full of anger, to a world full of doubt,

where the man, and his money, takes her down; he takes her down.

B: One by one they'll, one by one they'll cry. Cry.

One by one they'll, one by one they'll cry. Cry.

One by one they'll, one by one they'll cry. Cry.

One by one they'll, one by one they'll cry. Cry.


 

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Lynzy & Vivienne The Coaltown Daisies

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The Daisy Chain What's going on in the banterful world of our membership community? We've been taking a bit of downtime from our membership endeavours; life most definitely got in the way, however, we have lots in store inclusive of a new content schedule. Stay tuned folks and we'll be with you soon!

 

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