So, the month of November 2015 is nearly through… and I’m pleased to report that I completed the NaSoAlMo ((Inter)National Solo Album Month) challenge for the second year running!
Here are the demos of the songs that I wrote and recorded (somewhat roughly, but enough to fulfil the challenge rules) this month:
There are nine tracks (seven songs and two instrumentals) in this SoundCloud playlist. I recorded and mixed the demos on iPhone and iPad; they are relatively “stripped-down” arrangement-wise (by my standards at least), and some of the performances are a bit “make-do”.
This is why I am not posting the demos on Bandcamp, at least at this time—they were mainly part of my songwriting process for this challenge, and I am planning to re-record the songs “properly” (decent equipment; take time over the performances; etc.) over the next month or so.
That said, I think the demos stand up reasonably well in their own right, and that if for some reason I didn’t return to the songs, these versions show where I was “going” with them.
Regarding the songs themselves: I find NaSoAlMo to be a bit less “frantic” on the writing side of things, compared to (say) the FAWM challenge. This is largely because FAWM majors on the number of songs (fourteen), whilst NaSoAlMo’s focus is on the length of the demos you have recorded (a minimum of 29 minutes). This means I feel less time-pressure for NaSoAlMo, as FAWM basically requires me to write and record a new submission, on average, every two days.
This ended up (on this occasion) with me taking a rather inconsistent approach to the writing and recording of these songs. I had actually written and demoed the majority of them by the middle of November, and I admit the remaining ones took a bit longer to produce!
What do I think of my efforts? Upon reflection… I’m pretty pleased with most of them, although in at least one case I wasn’t happy with the lyrics: they felt almost like “placeholders” until I could come up with the real ones 😦 However, in other cases I felt I even surprised myself by what I wrote, and whilst perhaps some (many?) of the compositions could do with a little tightening-up, I am quite proud of what I produced in this year’s challenge.
Finally: as I mentioned earlier, I’m not planning to release these demos in download or CD format, at least yet… maybe as a bonus when the “real” album comes out?
So, there you have it: my NaSoAlMo 2015 output. Hope you enjoy these, and watch this space for the “upgraded” versions…