My wife and I had a dog that lived to the ripe old age of 17. He was a part-husky, part-lab, part-german shepard and as a result had a look, especially when he was younger, that resembled a wolf. In fact, walking him around the neighborhood, we would occasionally (unintentionally) scare little kids who thought he was an actual wolf, instead of the sweetheart he was. About a week or two after he died, I wrote this song in one session. It's an homage to him, really. He's not a wolf, but I could hear his soul howl. I thought maybe other dog-lovers could relate.
Of this track, music critic My Nguyen states "Glasgow’s vocals come in uncovering more grit in his voice. The pacing of the music will make you feel alive. The fiery and passion behind the sound will grab you right away. This felt like a great way to close the album."
This is a love song that I originally intended to be more of a slow, folksy tune. When I brought it to the band, they turned the vibe into a cool reggae feel. That's one of the exciting things about working with other musicians. You never know how they will interpret your work and as long as you are open, it can lead you in wonderous and unexpected directions. I also use the word "superfluous" in it, which is probably the most SAT-ish word I've utlized lyrically. So yeah, that's kinda cool too.
Going Down in Flames
We needed a funky rocker on this album and this song seemed to fit the bill. It's a song about general anxiety and these expectations that are put on you from a young age. Work hard, go to school, get a degree, get a job, buy a house - all of these things will lead you to happiness. But what you find out is that in reality, these things work well for some people and not so well for other people. I guess this was my effort of saying you need to create your own version of happiness instead of what you think you are supposed to have. If you do that, you'll end up going down in flames.
Of this track, music critic My Nguyen said "A couple of distorted effects makes this a wild ride. With little holding back, the vocals come in full of driven energy."
This is the most cinematic song on the album, which is kind of the way I wanted it. It's an emotional song with a long build. The story is a relationship that falls apart where one person wants to leave but the other doesn't. It's about the tragedy that love can occasional produce. When played live, the piano isn't involved, but I felt in this recording we needed something that had a different versatility. It couldn't build too quickly. It needed the tension.
In "Falling Down" I wanted something with a '90s feel. Something that made you think of a cloudy cold day at the beach. It's somewhat of a sad song, but I think it has some really cool tones in it. During the recording, this was the first song we "finished". I love the guitar parts in this song and how it changes dynamics throughout. Listen to it more than once and you'll find all sorts of little surprises sprinkled here and there.
This is a song where I had the lyrics mostly finalized for a few years, but no actual melody to fit it to. It happens. In this case, I wanted a simple funky tune that could get people on the dance floor. Something that focused more on the drum and bass, with just guitar accents. For a dance type song, the lyrics didn't fall into the standard trope. I had to move some things around, but I kept the same feel - a story about a young girl who feels the world doesn't understand her, so she runs away only to find that the REAL world is a lot tougher than she thought. Anyway, it's an interesting piece and the only one on the album where I play all the guitar parts (for better or worse!)
I wanted to put together a simplified, straight-forward rock song; one of those 3-chord rockers. While I managed to complicate this a bit more (maybe 5 or 6 chords), stylistically I think it ended up close to what I had originally envisioned. Lyrically, I was thinking about how we are more under surveillance now than at any other time in human history, whether we like it or not. I was playing around with different scenarios, from paranoia to being overwhelmed by paparazzi, and how there is a lack of overall privacy in our lives these days. It's also the first song that we are putting together an official music video for, so it has a special place in my heart.
Critically, My Nguyen of "Divide and Conquer" said of this song, "Glasgow’s vocals are sung in an electric rush that really hits the pulse with this type of music."
My writing techniques generally fall into one of two scenarios: write the music to an existing set of lyrics or write lyrics to an existing set of music. Rarely do the two come together simultaneously. In this case, I had the words and wrote the music around them. The genesis of this song was a short story from Kurt Vonnegut from his collection "Welcome to the Monkey House". In it, a human chessboard is arranged in a POW camp and generals had to play against each other using their soldiers. It made me think about this situation from the perspective of a pawn; easily disposable and without much power. What would it be like to be this character knowing that your life could end at any time and that there was little you could do about it? A little dark, but interesting fodder for a songwriter. I also enjoy the half-time breakdown and buildup mid-way through the song. A great chance for the band to practice our chops!
Out of all the songs on the album, this one seemed to have the most Top 40 potential, at least from my perspective. In some ways it's a straight-forward rock tune, with straight-forward rock themes (guy wants girl to notice him), but I also wanted to highlight more soul and texture in this song. I really enjoy playing the breakdown in the middle live with the band. We can stretch it out and play with it more depending on how the audience is feeling. Overall, it's got some solid energy to it and a fairly catchy "hook".
Of this song, My Nguyen from Divide and Conquer music states, "...I was arrested by the rhythms. The music is fiery and impassioned."
The first song off the album was actually sitting in my files for a couple years. I had played it periodically during my solo acoustic gigs, but I always thought it had potential for something larger. It's not an overly complicated song, so when I was auditioning my band it was one of the first I would play to them to see if they could get the vibe and not be hung up by complicated chord transitions. Inspiration for the song comes from my background in science and thinking that we are really all just collections of atoms trying to make our way through the world. Hopefully, it gives us a bit of perspective when looking at the trials and tribulations of daily life.
Of this song, My Nguyen from Divide and Conquer music states, "This felt like a feel-good tune a lot of people can rock out to."
The White Whale
It's finally here. God knows, I've been working on this damn thing for about 5 years now; building, breaking down, re-building, re-arranging, ad noseum. Like the mythical whale, I feel as if I've been chasing this dream for years.
These ten tracks offer a smattering of ideas and melodic lines that I felt were strong enough to put out for you good people. Take a listen and feel free to download each track individually or that album as a whole. Thank you for supporting independent artists (this independent artist in particular).
Oh, and FYI new material in the works.