Songwriting via eavesdropping on myself
The last maQLu album, Divisive, left me feeling drained. Some of the songs had been dragging on in my workflow for five years, some were newer, but at the end of it when I shipped the files off for mastering in late fall 2014, I was sick of all of them.
I quietly said to myself and a couple of my closest friends that this was it. I had no more music left in me that I cared about, just fragments that never seemed to ever congeal into anything worthwhile.
Leftovers I couldn’t be bothered to reheat.
I was so done with it that I didn’t even bother sending Divisive out to Canadian college radio, where every one of the previous EPs and albums I’d sent out had always charted in at least a few markets.
So it never really launched properly and I never really cared. I was busy with podcasts and stand-up comedy and a day job and taking night classes to learn bookkeeping to get a better day job and learning to play old Aerosmith songs on guitar rather than making new ones of my own, and I was fine with that. Relieved, even.
Fast forward a few months and one fine Saturday morning I was driving into my all day Quickbooks class and I caught a murmur of something in the back of my mind, like hearing a conversation down the hallway and trying to sneak up on it to eavesdrop.
And as I zeroed in on it, I realized it was a brand new maQLu song. Not the whole thing, but a half a verse, enough of a fragment to build off of. Once parked, I dutifully scribbled it down with some notes about rhythm and delivery.
And while I’m so busy with a million other things right now that it could take a while to get around to making any new music, I gotta admit I was pleasantly surprised at that old familiar feeling of having written a song or part of a song. And I was also surprised at how easily it came, though I suppose some dark little corner in the back of my brain must have been working on it in my absence.
Sometimes a vacation does the creative process a world of good, and sometimes changing gears and focussing on other projects and occupations works even better than a vacation.
Now, if only I could figure out some better time management to know when it is I might get around to doing something about my newest song fragment… but that’s a topic for another day.