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#563271 - 11/08/19 11:35 PM [User Showcase] London Calls
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1067
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
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Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1067
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Hi, all:

A little something new, and something I've labored over, perhaps not so successfully--so any suggestions you have will be very much appreciated. Hope it's worth the listen:

Here's the song:

London Calls

Here are the lyrics:

We make our way from the Wharf towards Lombard Street.
Alcatraz casting shadows at my feet.
Trolley cars as they clatter by
The fog horns sound through a smoke gray sky
The city hums still it feels so incomplete.

He leads me panting to your door . . .
‘cause he don’t know that
you don’t live there anymore.

So this is how we spend our days,
pining both for yesterday,
while every passing second seems to crawl . . .
London calls.

I’ve read the streets are pretty in Mayfair.
Have you ever walked the gardens in St. James Square?
I bet you laugh at the London rain;
go Sundays punting out along the Thames,
the western wind blowing back your auburn hair.

London bridge is falling down . . .
Just in my dreams—
is it too late to save us now?

So let these thoughts like autumn leaves,
blow all the way to Hampstead Heath,
and whisper to you softly as they fall . . .
London calls.

She’s just five thousand miles away . . .
and there’s no reason left
for me to even stay.

So who cares what tomorrow brings
when everyday’s the same old thing . . .
Home is where love leads you after all . . .
London calls.

Here's the band:

Drums: Nashville Even 8^1 SideStick
Bass: Real 519
Guitar: Real 522 Fingerpicking
Piano: Real 2494 Held Chords
Accordion: Real 3052
Flute: Real 2799
Sax: Real 2784, Baritone
Trumpet: Real 2802
Synth: Real 1543, Synth Pad

(c)2019 DJ Lekich


Edited by Deej56 (11/10/19 07:51 AM)

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#563273 - 11/09/19 01:16 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1165
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1165
Loc: United Kingdom
Deej, I live in London and this was a beautiful homage to the city I've called home for over 25 years now. The busy-ness of the musical texture, with the trumpet intervention (which I love), paint well - for me - an image of the busy-ness of London. The lyrics are beautiful and wistful ... yes, "home is where love leads you after all ..." - indeed ... I know that well, too.

Each time you post something on here, I'm always curious to hear what it is - and, so far at least (haha), you haven't ever disappointed my high expectations :-) I don't know why you'd think this "labor" of yours is "perhaps not so successful", as you state above ... for me, although - at first glance - it seems to be very different from your other output, it actually isn't so much (in my view at least) ... it's a beautiful, nostalgic, wistful love song, both to the one that the singer in the song misses and to London - a beautiful, faithful, detailed depiction of, and homage to, this frustrating, beautiful, annoying, crazy but unmissable city.

"Home is where love leads you after all". Yes! Thank you so much for posting this up - as I said above, as a Londoner, it speaks to me perhaps that little bit extra, but - regardless of that - I think it's (if in a slightly understated way, which is a positive for me) a very successful song. Great job - pleasure to listen. :-)

P.S. just listening a second time now. Wanted to just add this: this "showcases", for want of a better word, your ability as a composer, first and foremost. It's not about the voice, about the emotion, about the delivery - this is about the SONG here. It's a slightly different song in the way that it's written, etc., perhaps, than the others I've heard you sing and create - but, my word, it's at least as successful. You are a musician, a real one, and it's a privilege to listen - thank you.


Edited by musician17 (11/09/19 01:26 AM)
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#563274 - 11/09/19 01:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1948
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
sixchannel Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1948
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
Hi DJ
Really enjoyed this.
If the mountain won't come to you, you go to the mountain - -.
Great song with excellent lyrics. Loved the use of the trumpet in the fills.
Ian
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#563277 - 11/09/19 01:38 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 3279
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 3279
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
A lovely song Deej.
The one thing that stuck out was the river in London - it's pronounced Temms.
Hamstead Heath's not a long blow but the imagery works a treat.
The trumpet came up trumps in the arrangement. The song needed something to lift it a little from the tempo and the trumpet, seemingly played across the tempo rather that spot on. Well done.
Did you record the vocal in your preferred space? If you did then the room sound suits this arrangement & it's mix.
Top stuff.
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#563284 - 11/09/19 02:51 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 3920
Loc: Ontario, Canada
BlueAttitude Offline
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Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 3920
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Excellent!

Great writing, and man, just love your vocal! Track sounds great also, as others have mentioned I really like the trumpet.

Just what I needed for my first listen of the day, well done.

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#563286 - 11/09/19 03:00 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/15/19
Posts: 482
Loc: SA, Australia
Ghostgum Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/15/19
Posts: 482
Loc: SA, Australia
The words and music blend well and you have just the right vocals the deliver the goods. Well done.

I was going to mention the pronunciation of "Thames" but rayc beat me to it!

The only other glitch I could detect was "Hempstead" (which is actually a town in NY, about 12 miles east of Queens). HAMPSTEAD (not Hamstead or Hempstead) is the name of London's famous Heath.

Looking forward to your next one smile

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#563296 - 11/09/19 04:30 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 13493
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
VideoTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 13493
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
This is quite fantastic. What a superb write.

Musically ideal, and lyrically very beautiful.

There's just so much to like about this. Quite excellent.
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#563302 - 11/09/19 04:58 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1219
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Birchwood Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1219
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Hello Deej,

I could use the song as a guide if I come to London again!
Seriously, I really liked your voice. One feels the suffering you must had gone trough, according to the lyrics...
I agree with what Ray said about the song needs an uplift. I was expecting it the whole time, but it didn't come.
And I must be the only one, but I am not so fond of that trumpet. Maybe with some more reverb I would.
Saying that, this doesn't mean the song is bad or so. On the contrary, with your vocals you keep chained to the song. Even now I still hear your voice... (that's good!)

Bye,
Hans
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#563327 - 11/09/19 08:26 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 2340
Loc: Finland
jannesan Offline
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Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 2340
Loc: Finland
I don't know much about London although I've spent couple of hours there, still I can sense the atmosphere in the nice warm and mellow arrangement - I especially like the flute and the trumpet giving old market feeling. Always pleasure to enjoy your great vocals.

Janne
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#563347 - 11/09/19 12:53 PM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4344
Loc: Sydney Australia
PeterF Offline
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Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4344
Loc: Sydney Australia
Excellent vocal and melody - and overall some impressive songwriting.

Enjoyed the overall vibe.

Peter

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#563349 - 11/09/19 01:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6327
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6327
Loc: Davis, CA
This is really, really good!! A really nice write, and a great delivery! I feel like at the low end of the mix, the instruments are a little muddy....like the drums could be a bit louder and cut through more and try to separate some of the low end instruments. Really nice song!! Take care. Greg

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#563352 - 11/09/19 01:45 PM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 1439
Loc: Virginia USA
Ezekiel's Storm Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 1439
Loc: Virginia USA
Clever use of BIAB tracks. There is a subtle majesty to your composition. It reminds me a bit a Sixto Rodriguez. Fantastic vocal. I could listen to this over and over!

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#563450 - 11/10/19 07:49 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1067
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1067
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
James, Ian, rayc, Dave, Ghostgum, VideoTrack, Hans, Janne, Peter, Greg, and Ezekiel:

Thanks so much for stopping in and taking the time to comment. It’s really very much appreciated, and I continue to learn from all of you by your doing so. A few specific responses to some of your individual comments follow.

James: This one was a bit of bear for me—jinxed, I’m tempted to say. I won’t bore you with the details, but I did more versions of this song than any other effort, going back and forth to such a degree that I’m not quite sure what I’ve ended up with here, and, as I usually do, I hear all its flaws more than its better attributes. But the feedback has been encouraging, so . . . and yours, in particular, very kind . . . so that’s something to feel good about. Thanks again.

rayc and Ghostgum: Yeah, I was reminded just the a couple days ago my pronunciation of “Thames” was wrong (a clip of Helen Mirren on a talk show where she referenced that famed river). Because the challenges I had recording and mixing this vocal (again, I’ll spare the details), I was loathe to redo it at this time . . . but I will at some point, and hopefully it will be less painful. In the meantime, I’ll just rationalize that the singer, who like I has never been to London, is simply as ignorant as I am about the pronunciation and go with that, LOL. :-)

Thanks for the similar comment, Ghost, on Hamstead Heath. I’ve changed it in the lyrics and will similarly address the vocal at some point.

rayc: I did record this one in my usual space, and was less worried about doing so on this song because I suspected it wouldn’t work against the song. As it was, I still added a fair bit of reverb and tad of delay in the vocal. Took a while, but the vocal seemed to find its place in the mix.

Hans: My one worry on this song was the lack of a bridge—as when you have a song with no bridge you are really depending on either a strong solo, a key change, or other instrumental lift. For me the trumpet worked enough to do it. . . but I totally get where you are coming from and understand it. There’s actually a lot of reverb and delay on it already, but perhaps it needs more? I’ll revisit. Really appreciate the listen and comment.

Greg: Terrific suggestion . . . I’ll see if I can up the drums, particularly as the song moves along and more instrumentation kicks in. Thanks!

My best regards to you all,

Deej

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#563453 - 11/10/19 08:22 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9487
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 9487
Loc: Florida
Deej,

Excellent! In all regards.

Well written. The vocal is superb - and sits in the mix perfectly. The production is awesome - intricate and really well executed. (I agree that the drums could be a bit louder, but they should stay somewhat subtle for this).

A really enjoyable listen.

fj

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#563456 - 11/10/19 08:31 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 22
melahide Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 22
Wow Man, your vocal sounds exactly the same as Mr. Bright Eyes smile
Well done!

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#563542 - 11/11/19 12:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: Maryland
TuneMonger Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: Maryland
Hey Deej,

Man, that was inspiring. I didn't get my geographical bearings instantly, but I got them soon enough and was comfortable listening to the story of your two worlds. Actually what tugged at me the most was the dog who doesn't know the other person isn't there anymore. I thought it was pretty amazing what you got out of the RT horns, I love them but I rarely find they do what I need them to do. (I'm hoping PG releases about twenty RT horn sets in the next few years.) And of course your vox are always a thrill. So this was amazing for me to listen to. Great job. Great job.
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#563581 - 11/11/19 08:27 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10726
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 10726
Loc: GA USA
All the accolades have been written re the imagery, the vocal and the mix.

Not much to say other than we agree.

No doubt a LOT of thought and effort went into this production.

It brought to mind another great song "London Still" by the Waifs.

We much enjoyed it!!

J&B
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#563585 - 11/11/19 08:54 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
What a tune! It flows tremendously well and showcases a strong songwriting ability. The lyricism really does a great job evoking imagery too, and the mix is professional and concise.

Great work and thanks for sharing smile
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#563599 - 11/11/19 10:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4323
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 4323
Loc: Sacramento, California
I enjoyed this one a lot!

To me, it has a 70's singer-songwriter ethos. Sort of in the tradition of Al Stewart's "Electric Los Angeles", a city Al clearly hadn't visited at the time he'd written his song, either. laugh
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#564323 - 11/15/19 10:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: London Calls [Re: Deej56]
Registered: 06/16/00
Posts: 1944
Loc: Texas
Jim Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/16/00
Posts: 1944
Loc: Texas
I think you've written a good unrequited love song here...
The unspoken imagery at the beginning of the tune was pleasant...
A very nice understatement...
All in all I disagree with you...
It sounds to me that you labored pretty successfully on this one!
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