This week SongTalk welcomed Mark Cawley to our (virtual) studio.
Mark Cawley is a hit songwriter, best selling author, in demand speaker, songwriting coach, and popular blogger. As a songwriter his songs have been on more than 16 million records to date – with a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, and Diana Ross to Wynonna Judd, Kathy Mattea, Paul Carrack, Billie Piper, Pop Idol winners, and The Spice Girls just to name a few.…
BBC Radio has called Melanie, “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” and that is just part of her appeal. Besides her beautiful voice, Melanie is a terrific songwriter with lots of great songs to prove it. Her tune “Christmas Breaks My Heart” was a finalist in the Great American Songwriting Contest.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Doktor Nomi to our studio.
Admittedly Nomi is not a real doctor but he does have a unique and interesting way of creating music. As a topliner and lyricist, Nomi frequently works with other collaborators to create his music.…
This week we welcomed The Sun Harmonic (aka Kaleb Hikele) back to the show to share his latest single A Dream I’ve Had with us. Kaleb was challenged to write, record, and release a song in 48 hours, and he totally did it!…
This week SongTalk featured a few songs from our listeners. And it was loads of fun.
We chose three of our listeners’ songs to take a closer listen to.
Stuart Cook – near Manchester, England penned a delightful song inspired by the view from a hill near his home.…
Neel plays a track off his latest EP with special guest Lexie Jay from local TO Duo, Featurette.
Ace Symmetry is Neel Modi’s experimental EP of progressive electro-pop. Odd time signatures and nonsensical lyrics are combined with inventive beats, cool synth sounds, and catchy keyboard solos to create a unique and fun sonic experience.…
This week Song Talk Radio welcomed Gilbert Neal to our studio.
A master song craftsman, Gilbert Neal – on his latest release Mistakes of Memory shows the depth and diversity of his influences: Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, ELO, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Stephen Sondheim.…
On this episode we are talking about the great John Prine. This American treasure, perhaps a modern day Mark Twain, a peerless songwriter and chronicler of the lives of regular folk sadly passed away recently – one of the many victims of the Covid 19 pandemic.…
This week we welcomed Loryn Taggart back to the show, after her first appearance almost five years ago! The fast-rising jazz artist just released her album Irene, but showcased two of her other songs, The Guest and The Wedding Song.…
For this Throwback Thursday, we’re going back to 2016 for a special episode with guest co-host Janice Ho to look at three songs with unusual lyrics and what that means to communicate your song.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Donna Linklater to our studio.
Soprano and composer/songwriter Donna Linklater studied opera with Sylvia Richardson at Brandon University. Toward the end of her studies, she began to focus on new music and was especially taken with the aleatoric music of John Cage which gave her greater freedom of creative expression.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our old friend Blair Packham to our studio.
The Toronto-based artist, first gained attention for his work with ’80’s power pop band The Jitters. He is now an acclaimed solo artist and musician. Blair released two strongly-reviewed solo albums before shifting his focus to composing music for TV and films, teaching songwriting at the post-secondary level and in numerous special event workshops, and co-hosting a long-running major market weekly radio show about music (“In the Studio” on the BellMedia talk radio network).…
This week SongTalk welcomed FEATURETTE to our studio.
The Toronto-based duo FEATURETTE, formed by singer Lexie Jay and drummer, Jon Fedorsen, makes emotionally-charged, heavy-hitting electro-pop music that has been met with international critical acclaim.
After receiving their first full recording grant from FACTOR Canada, the duo released their debut LP CRAVE in October, 2016.…
Juno-award winning recording artist Steve Strongman joined us to talk about his take on the blues. Steve is a multiple Maple Blues Award winner, 2019 International Blues Challenge Best Guitarist (solo/duo). He’s opened for BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and toured all over the world.…
Amanie Illfated is a South Sudanese born, Toronto based singer/songwriter working in a dynamic fusion of R&B, Reggae, Afrobeat and Trap. She was born in what is now known as South Sudan and immigrated to Saskatchewan with her family as refugees in 1992.…
Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release.…
This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters. Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our pal Matthew Reid to our studio to talk about movie soundtracks.
We chose our favourites and talked about why they made the cut and what were the runners up.
We talked about:
- what are the criteria of soundtracks – are they a collection of songs from other sources, are they custom music made specifically for the film project or is there a grey area in between?
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Cross to our studio.
Robert Cross was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started playing guitar at 14, just so he could learn how to write songs. Cross is the singer and guitarist of the original rock band Satin, who released their first album Drop Dead Gorgeous in 2019.…
Audio Insurgency returned to the show to talk about a boat load of music stuff, as well as showcasing two of their pop songs. We talked about:
- Vox’s Earworm videos, in particular the one in support of fade-outs in recordings
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast episode about country music, The King of Tears
- writing and placing music for video games
- getting your songs into placement for TV or movies
- the role of the producer in the creation of songs for maximum impact
- writing a song completely in the digital realm (Abelton Live, in this case)
- why deadlines are a good thing
Listen to the show
Indie rockers One in the Chamber joined us following the release of their first studio EP, I’ve Got Something To Say…. We talked about:
- One in the Chamber’s first appearance on Song Talk Radio
- difference between their demo EP and their studio EP (hint: pre-production)
- writing as a band collaboration
- thwarting conventions around song structure
- guitar solos: a good thing or a bad thing?
On this program Bruce, Neel, and Phil, (and Linda) each brought a three-chord song to share. We looked at what each song needed to do (if anything) to compensate for the lack of chord diversity. We talked about:
Listen to the whole show
Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:
Teen-aged jazz/soul superstar Avery Raquel joined us to talk about moving from covers of jazz standards to her own blend of jazz and soul to better connect with her audience. We talked about:
- Jazz standards by Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra
- Listening to songs analytically
- Tension and release in a song (and how Avery is amazing at it)
- “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” – or not?
We figured it was time to talk about rhyme; a cornerstone of songwriting. So we invited one of our favourite singer/songwriters – Blair Packham – to take a closer listen to songs with a plethora of rhymes and one with virtually none!…