As I outlined in my last blog, I follow a general process when I’m writing music. However, there are also aspects that are unique to each Eclectic Verve album. The inception of our current project began at the end of 2012.
We were attending an event near San Diego, California in November 2012. We stayed at the Hotel Indigo. Coincidentally, I had been reading about indigo children. This synchronicity of the term “indigo” must have influenced me in hearing the chorus for the song I originally titled, “The Indigos”. Initially, the only song part I heard in my head was the melody and the basic groove of the chorus. Once we returned home, I recorded the small snippet I’d heard in my mind, but that’s where it stayed for nearly a year. In the fall of 2013, I revisited the song and asked what would happen if I approached it from a young child’s perspective? The melody had a playfulness to it, and when I considered the music from this different direction, suddenly lyrics for verses started coming to me. The lyrics gave the song focus and the arrangement took shape rapidly after that. (Although I really liked the original lyrics of “The Indigos”, as we neared the time to record the vocals, we decided to revise the lyrics, to make the song easier for children to sing and understand. The final lyrics have a heavy influence on imagination, creativity, animals and the color indigo, thus the song was renamed simply to “Indigo”.)
Shake the Dirt Off
Changing the approach to “The Indigos” cascaded to other songs. I began to feel a momentum for a second album begin to build while we were vacationing in Costa Rica at the end of 2013. A funk groove I had recorded and stored on my iPhone for several years came up in shuffle. The riff had a playfulness to it so I began singing playful lyrics along with a melody. This evolved into “Shake the Dirt Off”. I was starting to see a pattern and asked Cindy, “What if we produced a children’s album? One that would be fun for children to listen to and sing along and also make adults smile?”
As soon as I focused on that question, another song idea hit. Listening to the howler monkeys barking back and forth with our tour guides in Costa Rica gave me an idea. I went into the studio and started playing a reggae groove. Approaching the song from a childish perspective, I sang the chorus like a bunch of howler monkeys. I was laughing so hard I figured other people would enjoy it also.
A few days later, I woke up with a laid-back groove and a fun guitar riff. Once I began playing with this song on my guitar, lyrics came to mind of a little girl playing in her own special meadow and enjoying nature. This song became “Maitland’s Meadow”.
A few weeks later, the old rhymes, “See you later, alligator” and “After a while, crocodile” popped into my head. It gave me the idea to use the old standbys in a new song by adding my own spin on various ways children can play around with saying goodbye. This sounded like it would be a fun idea for a song so I researched it. There have been other songs written about this but I felt like I had a new feel for it so the “Goodbye Song” was born.
So while it took over a year for the first two songs to come together, the last three came to life in two months! As I started planning to release a children’s EP of the 5 songs, a lullaby idea also came along. I named this one “Wiegenlied” which means “lullaby” in German.
I Wanna, Iguana!
And that is how we got to the point of recording our new EP. Every songwriter has their own process but this seems to be one way that it manifests for me.
In my next blog, I’ll share how we moved into the recording/production phase of I Wanna, Iguana!