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, SongTalk welcomed jazz pianist and teacher Steve Koven. Steve is a composer, performer, producer and educator. He has one of the longest standing trios in Canada, performing, touring and recording together for over 26 year. Aside from performing and recording with his trio – Steve Koven Trio – Steve also has other recording projects such as the Koven Collective and Koven & Law as well as Lazersuzan
We talked with Steve about:
- his process for writing
- how he communicates his song ideas to his bands
- the touring opportunities available through consulates and embassies
- where he finds inspiration for his music
- what improvising can bring to songwriting
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 Robert Ball to our studio.
A native Torontonian, Robert Ball is a multi-faceted singer who has traveled to and performed in over 60 countries around the world.
His sound has been described as soulful, jazzy, Neo-soul and he is a much in-demand session singer.…
This week SongTalk Radio has a special episode celebrating the 35th anniversary of the classic film, “This Is Spinal Tap”. And joining us in our trip down memory lane is one of our favourite guests on the show Blair Packham. We talk about where and when we first encountered this classic cult comedy and how true it was to our own experiences in the music business (hint: very!)
On this episode, Neel, Phil, Michael and Blair talk about:
- how the film was made
- what has made the movie so popular many decades later
- our favourite Spinal Tap moments
- why this early mock-umentary was so influential
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?
One of our favourite guests and friend of the show Blair Packham returned to the show to share his song ideas, from titles to bits of songs, and how he develops them into full-fledged songs.
We talked about:
- Song Studio
- Hugh’s Room in Toronto
- Songwriting Apps: OnSong, Rhyme Genie, Tunesmith, and Music Memos
- Writing the lyrics or music or the hook first
- Call your next song “Star Wars” if you want: You can’t copyright a title!
Angela Saini returned to Song Talk Radio with a new album and a fresh bunch of earnest and optimistic songs.
We talked about:
- Structured vs. casual collaborations
- When should an artist make a trip to Nashville?
- Making a personal connections to songs you’re performing, even if you didn’t write them totally by yourself
- Live performance vs studio recording
- Using a “weirdo” chord change for the bridge of your song
- Should melody trump the natural shape of the language in your lyrics?
BEHOLD! The triumphant latest release – Seven Seas of Sleaze – from Canada’s legendary rock armada White Cowbell Oklahoma – now in it’s 20th glorious year!
WITNESSETH! The 70s-inspired boogie-prog army’s seventh full-length release, featuring seven blistering tracks, brought to you by seven heavily-perspiring musicians.…
Did you love the new movie Bohemian Rhapsody? Hate it? Something in between? Listen as Bruce, Neel, Phil, Michael, and Vanessa let loose! Hear their takes on the Bryan Singer helmed Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic released in late 2018. While they found much to criticize, they had a few raves too.…
Okay, so you’re talented singer/songwriter and you’ve recorded a few tunes. Now you’d like to get some media attention to promote you and your music. In this value-rich hour, Phil explains some of the things you must NEVER do, and some the things that will work.…
Songwriting master Blair Packham stopped by and we gave a deep dive on The Beatles Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. Friend of the show Mike MacInnes sat in for Bruce.
Stuff we talked about:
- John Lennon / Paul McCartney comparisons
- Candy Flip’s version of Strawberry Fields
- Key Modulations
- Penny Lane Lyrics & Chords at UltimateGuitar.com
- Strawberry Fields Lyrics & Chords at UltimateGuitar.com
- Blair’s website
- Blair’s new CD Unpopular Pop at iTunes – Buy it now!
We featured songs on this episode that use the unique “talk singing” technique. For the most part, we agreed that talk-singing meant that the singers were using short notes without too much melodic range, but still consciously in the key of the song.…
You don’t necessarily need to have a fantastic voice to write or even perform songs well. We looked at some of our favorite songwriters with unusual voices and how they did it.
Listen to the episode
We talked about
- Is pitchy the same thing as unconventional?
Multi-instrumentalist and back up vocalist Sintja Baba has been playing alongside various Toronto acts and is currently playing that role in Marlon Chaplin’s band. She started her own band THE NAIVE, where her music has taken the shape of various genres.…
This week we picked our favourite songs from movies. We talked about:
- La La Land (the movie)
- People bursting into song for no reason vs. singing in sensible places in the story
- The Big Chill
- Movie Musicals
- key modulation
- Quentin Tarantino’s unique approach to picking songs for his movies
Listen to the show:
Indie rock band Beige Shelter stopped by to talk about forming the band, producing their first album, and performed two songs. Our very own Neel Modi took the co-guest seat as producer, drummer, and co-writer. A good friend of Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Neel’s host spot.…
Pro songwriter Allister Bradley joined us for an hour to talk about two of his catchy, thoughtful songs and his process for getting them done. Stuff we talked out:
- Toronto’s Song Studio
- Making it in the music industry
- Writing with your secondary instrument
- Using session musicians
- Why you should whistle your melody
- Chord progression tip: make each chord in your progression a perfect fifth above the previous one
For this special theme show, each of the hosts presented a song with “unusual” or hard-to-decipher lyrics. We delved into a discussion around understanding the intentions behind and interpreting the songs. Download the lyrics here: Unusual Lyrics
- Neel’s selection: A Self Called Nowhere by They Might Be Giants
- Bruce’s selection: McArthur Park by Jimmy Webb (performed by Donna Summers)
- Janice’s selection: Paranoid Android by Radiohead
We talked about:
- The notion that once your song is released to the world, it’s no longer yours and open to multiple interpretations
- Check out www.songmeanings.com to read user interpretations of songs
- What is the purpose for communicating a story through unusual, hard-to-decipher lyrics?