What is Your Favorite Song in 2017 so far?

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Apr 13, 2017, 01:34 PM

What is your favorite song released this year? Why?

 
     
Faith H Joined Nov 02, 2014
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Apr 19, 2017, 06:42 AM

I have not really listened to any new released songs yet this year, to the point that I would consider them a favorite anyway.

I have been intentionally staying away from sources where brand new songs are played. I do this to avoid trying to “chase” any “trends” when I have songs that I am working on (unless that is part of a request criteria). I will look more to the not so distant past, to the REALLY distant past.

Music styles and genres seem to move in circles (which can involve decades to fully complete a circle). New ideas are often just a smashing-together of two or more styles/genres.

This, to me, is really kind of an effort to take one genre, and make it appeal to more people. Like combining Country with another genre which ultimately has nothing to do with Country.

I just believe that any “direction” that I want to take a new song (that I am working on) is best served by letting it happen. I look to current things like overall production and presentation of songs, just so I don’t appear to be coming from the past! :-)

I think there is too much musical inspiration to be found in years before 2017 (at the moment), although I am sure that something new will eventually interest me this year!

And here it is the middle of April already… wow, makes me realize that maybe I should take a further listen to some new stuff!

 
     
Toby Barns Joined Nov 14, 2016
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Apr 19, 2017, 01:24 PM

Toby,

Your method, of not getting emersed in the trend of the moment on the radio is actually pretty standard. Hit writers in Nashville do the same thing. While a lot of us Nashville writers, know a bit about what is going on, and if there is a huge song that comes out we often know about it, often having heard it before on writers nights, showcases, etc. Many of them, we hear before the general public hears them.

So you are in good company. Writers have to work hard to avoid being influenced by other songs. One of the reasons it is so hard to get songs heard from publishers, song pluggers, or writers, is because they DON’T WANT TO BE ACCUSED OF STEALING SONGS. It is far from the idea that “everyone steals songs.” We just all write the same stuff.

Studying songs of the past or not too distant past is a good idea as well. Most of the modern artists are influenced by those that came before them, so understanding styles, grooves, etc. can provide a “line of deliniation” in the music. Can come in handy. When I work with newer writers and artists, I will ask them, “If you could write a song for anyone living or dead, who would it be?” That can bring to mind their influences, favorite songs, and help narrow a direction to get started in. Is a very useful tool to avoid things like writers block. You are not copying anything, just finding a starting point.

Good comments.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 19, 2017, 04:18 PM

Hey Marc - very excellent to hear from you!!

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a cave with this approach, so that is really reassuring to hear that you can relate to this!

Honestly, I believe in letting the creativity and inspiration “guide me”. Like I am just a vessel for a song to come through.

Over the years I have learned to GIVE IT TIME, you know? It is good to “push” the lyrics or music in order to make progress towards a completed work. However, it is best, in my opinion, to give it time and not to over-push.

Like when I have two or three songs I am really focused upon “finishing” I know when pushing them is not the way to go.

So I give them time, happily.

But it is at these times particularly that I try to avoid getting too “influenced” by new stuff, especially stuff that is too trendy. That is, for one thing, unfamiliar and for another thing, it just doesn’t seem as pure to me for some reason.

So, digging into some older songs that I am actually “familiar” with is the source I would prefer to fill the air with, so to speak.

When I know where a song, or band, or album will take me, it is more comforting and allows my creative energies to relate to whatever the “place” is that they need to relate to in order to finish the work.

 
     
Toby Barns Joined Nov 14, 2016
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Apr 20, 2017, 04:08 PM

Very interesting. I did not mean that the favorite song had to be a model of what you want your writing to become. Maybe something that is just….fun. I totally agree that things have become very overly produced. However, I do engage in current trends every once in a while to see what is going on and to listen to the different stories being told. I note what I like and what I don’t like.  From what I can gather,  my favorite song this year (due to the number of times I have caught myself playing it) would be “Shape of You” by Ed Sheran. I am not saying that I want to model my work after it. But alas, I enjoy it. I am one who listens to songs for different reasons. Sometimes I listen to learn.  Sometimes I listen to entertain myself. Sometimes I listen to inspire myself. “Shape of You” has been one of my favorite songs this year that has brought me a sense of fun and entertainment. I especially enjoyed watching the cover video with The Roots where they are playing preschool instruments.

 
     
Faith H Joined Nov 02, 2014
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Apr 20, 2017, 05:22 PM

Yes, you make good points about the different reasons of why you listen to music. I do the same!

For quite a while, I have found that I have to make a very specific effort to zero-in on what is trending within the multitude of music genres.

But, to your original question - I honestly have not heard a new song yet this year that has hooked me.

I just need to make some time and check more into genres that I like, and maybe some I don’t :-) and see what is trending/happening so far this year.

 
     
Toby Barns Joined Nov 14, 2016
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Apr 20, 2017, 06:14 PM

I find that I have very little difficulty in not listening to Ed Sheeran :)

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Apr 21, 2017, 08:36 AM

Hello all,

Toby, when I said that “Nashville writers don’t listen to music” that is not exactly true. We do tend to know what is going on most of the time. We often hear a lot of the “new artists” and songs” coming out, being played in showcases, on writers nights, social events, etc. usually long before the public hears them. When there is something new, most people know about it.

But the majority of writers are busy WRITING music and don’t really listen as much for enjoyment. When you are working with artists pretty much all the time, that is what you are concerned with, MAKING music, as opposed to LISTENING to music.

I find it interesting because a lot of people who come to me, are fans of 70’s and 80’s rock. You ask, if the “Eagles were recording today, where would they fit in?” Many of the current country artists are direct lines from rock of 70’s and 80’s. You can listen to FLEETWOOD MAC and then place it side by side with LITTLE BIG TOWN and you have a direct relationship. Same with Rascal Flatts and Journey, Montgomery Gentry and Chris Stapleton and Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, Eric Church and Bruce Springsteen. Now there are pairings with modern country artists and former rock and pop artists. Florida Georgia Line and The Backstreet Boys.
It is actually a normal progression of rock and country music, as one has generally followed the other throughout the beginning of the format.

So it is true, if you study the past, you can see the future.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 26, 2017, 01:45 PM

Hey Marc - Yes I understand what you first said. A lot of it has to do with “time”.

I have WAY more experience working with session players/singers than I do with other songwriters. That is primarily from the years that I did live in Nashville and surrounding area. Session players are going to show up for the sessions, receive a chart, listen to the work-tape, and lay-down the basic tracks (often in one take)!

Then they move on to the next song in the session, and repeat. That’s how they make their money, being fast and nailing the tracks then doing several songs per session.

My co-writing experiences with other “songwriters” have unfortunately been what I would call “unprofessional” at best. So I kept on doing what I do, and fortunately I DO play multiple instruments. This is one reason why it takes a bit longer for me to complete at least a high quality “work tape” (which is good enough to easily get the “heart and soul” of the song across to listeners).

Because I spend the time on lyrics, melodies, musical instrumentation, arrangement and even producing, it can take a while.

I like good quality songs and I LOVE the ‘70’s and the ‘80’s music! So if artists are drawing from those periods, then that is exactly what I meant earlier about what I like to “listen to”. I guess I almost always have some music going, just not the radio so much.

I would like to add that, when I am working on completing a few new songs, at the production level (work tape/demo) then THAT is the point where I venture into checking-out what may be “trendy”.

I don’t like to listen, as a music fan, to new music (typically) as much as I do like to listen to music of the past; in MULTIPLE genres.

Yet I need to listen to the somewhat “current” stuff so that I can select what kind of “feel” or “presentation” I want the new songs I write to provide for the listener. Depending on genre.

 
     
Toby Barns Joined Nov 14, 2016
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Apr 26, 2017, 01:57 PM

Toby,

Good to hear from you. The interesting thing about Nashville players and what is on the radio is that many times the studio players doing the demos ARE ALSO THE ONES ON THE RADIO. It’s one of the great things about this town is that you hire many of the same players for demo sessions that you have on the master sessions, often PLAYING the same things. We’ve had many times that some artist or co-writer wants a certain sound on their songs and will go “Man, I’d really like to have someone like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, or Chris Stapleton,  has on their records.” “BOOM! Call up Chris Luzenger on guitar or Larry Franklin on Fiddle.
Some extrodinary players and often quite reasonable.

Co-writing sometimes can take longer, often because writers are doing multiple sessions and almost as soon as you get one going, someone has to leave for another session or another business. One of my “reality checks” in this town was writing with some enormously successful writers but almost NOBODY made their living soley from songwriting. They always had other businesses, some music related, publishers, studio players, producers, etc. but often many had other businesses with NOTHING to do with music. Plumbing contractors, electrical contractors, mortgage brokers, real estate people.
Today, my favorite joke is this:

“Q: How do you know you are in Nashville?”
“A: Your Uber Driver had song of the year two years ago.”

Well, keep at what you are doing. Try to have a good time. That is the best thing you can do.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 26, 2017, 02:31 PM

Marc - Yes that has often “blown-my-mind” hearing final released cuts being played and promoted and thinking, you know, that sounds like so-and-so who I worked with in some demo sessions!

So I remember talking to some of the musicians and they would tell me about doing jobs on The Row and how they would be for extremely BIG names.

Oh, I definitely LOL at that joke! :-)

 
     
Toby Barns Joined Nov 14, 2016
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Apr 27, 2017, 07:21 AM

i find it quite interesting that no one has really answered faiths original question , despite this thread being viewed many times . I was curious if the lack of song suggestions , says something about the current music scene , or does it just tell us , that songwriters are far too focused on creating their own music to notice what others are doing . or maybe theres another reason why people haven’t volunteered any of their favourite songs from 2017

 
     
sandor nevery Joined Jun 08, 2014
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Apr 27, 2017, 02:01 PM

Hello Sandor,

It is a good question,but actually has a LOT of answers.

Number one, natural progressions. People get started in their involvement in music in their teen and early 20’s. It is a primary relationship with the culture, hearing what is hot, concerts, etc. They have more time to devote to music (although that is less and less in this AGE OF DISTRACTION that we are living in.). But it is more of a major focus. The “teen idols” hottest groups, etc. are all part of that experience. That is the main reason music is primarily marketed to YOUNG PEOPLE and most record label signings are with mid 20’s artists.

When they get into college, taking on jobs, raising families, etc, in their late 20’s or early 30’s, they tend to fade out of the principal attraction to music. They have other uses for their money. But some, especially writers and artists, start developing their own personalities and talents, so they listen less. LISTENING TO MUSIC gradually takes less and less precedence in their lives. Like you said, they are more interesting in creating their own.

The ones who become more in the professional world TRY to avoid listening to too much, to avoid being unduly influenced.

At the same time, music also CHANGES continuously, and the style that we get comfortable with in our “formative” years, often fades completely away, even entire formats changing. Most don’t like the “current” state of radio or even the culture. This is as old as time itself. So the DESIRE to listen to new things fades out as well. “Back in my day…” Everyone becomes an “old coot” by the time they are 30. Music just “ain’t what it was in MY DAY!!!’

People no longer just get music from the RADIO, there are millions upon millions of ways to get it, from social media, Facebook, YOU TUBE, SNAPCHAT, INSTAGRAM, REVERB NATION, SOUND CLOUD, SPOTIFY, PANDORA, you name it, so there is rarely going to be ONE TREND they are influenced by.

And of course, there is always the “cookie cutter” factor in music that has always been there. Most things simply sound like other things and there is not much out there to be that interested in, depending on personal tastes.

There are more reasons but those are the most predominate that I see.

A more interesting question to me, would be what I see a lot on all these types of threads. The original poster, (Faith) puts something up, and while other people comment on one way or another, but they NEVER re-visit the thread they started. I would be interested in what observations Faith has made. I have had multiple conversations with her privately and gave her some suggestions on her own song study, some people to listen to, and ways to find things she might be interested in. I have not heard back from her but would be interested in what she thinks.

So your question has a lot of facets to it. I’m sure many I have not even considered.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 28, 2017, 02:03 AM

What MAB says is true, as usual. I´ve seen it by myself. In my younger years, there was ONLY music. Spending a Weekend was goin on a concert, playing a concert with my band and practicing with my band. Music filled out every spot of my life and music was everywhere. Now I am in my mid 30s… I barely listen to music these days. My girlfriend is always complaining about this…she loves music and she listens to it all day long. I even refuse to turn the radio on while driving in a car…

If I listen to music these days, I put an old Vinyl record, sit down on my couch… and most of the times I listen to the music in the dark using headphones… it´s the only way for me to “enjoy” music, to focus on it… but I would never turn the radio on while I do something else…

...every once in a while, I get in the mood or so…and start to play..

http://www.songcycle.org

 
     
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Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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Apr 28, 2017, 02:59 PM

Martin, how are you?

That is pretty normal. We all start out with music, usually from our parents, older siblings, friends, etc. Our real interests get going around 12-14. For guys it is usually a way to meet girls. And that takes OVER our lives. Most kids who do some form of organized lessons, start around this time. And of course now with all the apps, technology computers that allow people to “push a button”, write some form of “song”,  put it on a cell phone, get it on YOU TUBE, the age is getting younger and younger.

Like most things, younger people tend to go for whatever is “SHINY” at the moment. I am just finish up an email to a girl I will be working with in two weeks. She is 15, just starting music, but also into acting, modeling, going to school, being popular, etc. She will be coming in with her mother and I will try to help them understand a lot about all this. But she is the epitome of MULTI TASKING. And like most younger people, burnout happens pretty often. I almost always want to tell anyone trying to do this, “Check back with me in three years.” Because of the people that actually try to do something in music, acting, painting, creating whatever, about 90% will get frustrated, bored, or just disinterested within two-three years. A lot of “USED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS”, studio equipment, etc. for sale.

We are in the “ERA OF DISTRACTION” in that everyone has a thousand things going on at all times. I myself, will have television going, talk radio, checking things on the Internet (just like making this post) doing song critiques, booking and advancing gigs, etc. All at the same time.
Got the attention span of a FLEA.
There have been studies done that males tend to study, work or be more productive with things going on in the background, television, music, sometimes just noise.
Females tend to want more quiet and focus.
No WONDER we’re all ADD! LOL!

Now you can’t go anywhere without people constantly on Cell phones, checking Facebook, doing social media, texts, emails, etc .Look next to you on any highway or road and half the people are on some form of device. It is common to see a car next to you with four people in it and ALL of them being on separate phones. Go to a restaurant, and look at the tables around you. Starbucks. You name it. We are CONSTANTLY DISTRACTED.

How this affects music is it gets harder and harder to GET AND KEEP attention from the public on ANYTHING. Better make sure you write songs that cut through all that stuff, because your biggest challenge is to GET THEM TO PUT THE PHONE DOWN.
I even have a designation for many writers and songs:

“GLOW SONGS.”

That is when someone onstage is performing, and nearly the whole audience is on their phones. You see the “GLOW” in their faces throughout the songs. Shows you what you are made of.
At every sporting event or major concert, people are holding their phones in the air VIDEOING the event. Instead of WATCHING it, they are FILMING IT, so they can watch later.

Some artists like Bob Dylan have gotten so fed up they have forbidden phones during their shows and some even designate “special times” people can film or take pictures. And you understand. Ever paid a ton of money to go to a show, play or movie and someone in front of you is holding their cell phone or I Pad in front of your face, blocking your view? Gets irritating.
Taylor Swift even said the “day of the autograph is over” because people now just take selfies. I have seen a ton of people at concerts, drift down to the stage area, turn around from the performer, and take a picture of themselves with the performer in the background. And of course everything is a SELFIE moment. I spend half my time scouring Facebook, Twitter and snapchat, to see what horrible pictures of me people have posted.

At any rate I think all of this has to do with why people don’t bring in song suggestions and why I think we all have our work cut out for us.

But for Sandor, I will mention a song which is the purpose of the thread.
“ALWAYS BE HUMBLE AND KIND”  by Tim McGraw and written by Lori McKenna. A good lesson to remember.

MAB

But those are just some of the reasons we start and then fade out.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 30, 2017, 07:31 AM

Hi MAB, you are right as usual.

Well I can remember the times, when I bought a new CD, got me locked up in my room and listening to the Songs, with headphones, track by track, just listening…. either keeping my eyes closed or reading along with the liner lyrics. ..

I think the majory of “Music consumers” is not doin this anymore. They listen do music while they do their homework, housework, while driving, eating, making out, play Video games, texting, talking, doin social media. My girlfriend for example is listening to music while she is reading, while they do their shopping…. Well technicly they are listening ... but it is almost impossible to “get the attention” of the listener… 

Still, when I “stroll” through Songwriter Forums, fellow Songwriters use to “critique” other songs by telling… “you need to get the attention of the listener”... the bad news is: NO - it is impossible. Even in concerts - laser shows, holograms, dancing, acting, Video walls, playing on the device to take Fotos or shoot a Video… it is IMPOSSIBLE to get the People to LISTEN to what they actually sing about.

That´s why I always say, that the LYRIC itself is not that important. So that´s why I always say… “Keep it simple” ... altough I am not a big fan of “keeping it simple”....


The good thing is… right now there is a “niche” for everything. It is the main stream market with the “simple” songs, highly produced Videos, blown up music production, shows where the singser changes his outfit after every 2nd song… “the Show”....

But there is something else. I went to a concert of Damien Rice the other day. Just HE and HIS GUITAR. People were “hanging” on every word he sang. The only “Show” he did was talking between the songs… it was wonderful.

And I do remember a Brian Wilson Concert couple of years ago, when he toured to promote his (then) new Album “Lucky old sun”... no Show. He just showed up. You might remember him, he made some wonderful music as a member and Songwriter of The Beach Boys. He´s a solo act for almost 30 years nows.

So as I say - he just showed up. He played a first set with his “favorite songs”, songs he liked best, that he wrote in the last decades. Then he performed his new Album. From start to finnish. Beginning with Track No. 1 to 17… you don´t hear something like this very often… and after they gave him “Standing Ovations” he played a 3rd set with all the Hit Singles he has had in the 1960… that´s Kind of honest… :)

...every once in a while, I get in the mood or so…and start to play..

http://www.songcycle.org

 
     
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Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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