12 Songs in 12 Months

In January I decided to do one of those “record a song straight to camera and upload it on Youtube” dealies. I was time-poor, so getting something out there quickly with a minimum of fuss appealed to me … and as often happens with these things, it became a habit.

That’s why I now have one song for every month in 2013.

Wanna have a listen? We can call it my self-indulgent and very late Christmas present to you all. Here’s the playlist (each song will queue up automatically) …

Or here are the links to the individual songs and a bit of background for each …

I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon - Sesame Street (December)

A Sesame Street classic by Ernie of Bert & Ernie fame. I used to play this with my band pretty often and it always got a good reaction. I look stupidly serious in the video but I thought that’d be better than having a forced cheesy grin. I’d also recommend taking a nostalgic trip with the original version.

No Surprises - Radiohead (November)

I played this on my new toy at the time – a cheap little ukelele. I was heavily inspired by Amanda Palmer’s version (also played on ukelele) but the original is still unbeatable.

Ukelele Anthem – Amanda Palmer (October)

And this is the reason I bought a ukelele in the first place. Amanda Palmer’s original is such a wonderfully wordy, funny and inspiring song. It’s also kind of difficult to play, which is why I had enough footage for a blooper reel at the end.

I Want Out – Original (September)

An original song I usually perform with Cape Town Lullaby. It’s one that I’ve always liked but we’ve never recorded properly. It’s also one of the only tracks where I got to rock out and get a bit shouty.

Sonnet – The Verve (August)

A beautiful song but perhaps one of the weakest tracks in terms of my playing. It’s just that bit too high for my vocal range.

Heathcliff – Original (July)

A lightning-fast version of the shortest song I’ve ever written. The lyrics are about the character from Wuthering Heights but the music has a knee-slapping backwater country-USA vibe to it.

(!) The Song Formerly Known As - Regurgitator (June)

I wanted to turn this very funky song into a fragile love ballad because the lyrics are actually very sweet. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but it’s the only track where I got a mean comment, so I could be wrong about it. Then again – maybe that’s just Youtube for ya!

Fresh Feeling – Eels (May)

At this point I’d recorded a lot of sad songs (an Eels specialty) so I thought it was time for something upbeat (also an Eels specialty). Here’s the original. The visuals here are quite glitchy (as with many of the songs) because I didn’t figure out how to stop it until almost December.

Gone Away – Offspring (April)

I tried to bring out the underlying melancholy of the original track and feel like I succeeded. The visuals are ridiculously dark (by mistake) but it kind of suited the song.

Ant Farm – Eels (March)

This is the one that people seem to like the most (600 views!), which is fair enough because I think it suits my voice well. It’s also a fantastic, underrated song from one of the greatest albums ever (Electro-Shock Blues).

Lucky – Original (February)

An old school original song that I first played with a previous band back around 2004. Fair warning: the visuals are badly lit and a bit out of focus.

You Have to Be Joking – The Flaming Lips (January)

The start of it all. I was particularly rubbish with the camera but I’m happy with how the song sounds. Have a listen to the original too, here.

I’d love to get your feedback on any of the recordings, so fire away in the comments! Other than that – have a great New Year’s and I’ll see you in 2014 :)

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One Response to 12 Songs in 12 Months

  1. Well done! There’s a lot of talent here. :)

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