We celebrated six years on Song Talk Radio with a little reminiscing, a few songwriting tips, and some random stuff. We talked about:
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.…
For this host’s show, Michael, Neel and Phil brought in a song each and discussed how we wrote and some cool approaches in the songs. AND, Vanessa was in the house!!! What a fun episode!
Listen to the Episode
What we talked about
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.…
Stark Naked and Eugene Ripper of Stark Naked and the Fleshtones joined us to talk about their heyday in the early 80s as an awesome live band in Toronto.
We talked about:
- how songs are shaped by band dynamics
- working with the “right” producer
- the punk music attitude
- live vs.
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 Jeff Alan Greenway to our studio.
Greenway is a film composer, singer/songwriter and pianist from Pickering, Ontario. He has written music for film, worked as a session player, orchestrator and arranger, released his own original album “Great Expectations” and wrote the score to the international documentary The Secret Life Of Frogs, which won a Nature award at the Cannes Media and TV festival.…
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.…
Vel Omazic of Canada’s Music Incubator explains the ins and outs of Music Royalties and how to make sure you are getting what you should as a songwriter and/or a performer in Canada. Put simply, if someone is making money or conducting business based on your work, you’re entitled to a royalty.…
The Song Talk Radio Team discussed the latest biopic about Elton John in the movie Rocketman. Composer and Second City writer Matthew Reid joined us.
We talked about:
- The framing of the story around Elton John’s addiction and therapy
- The depiction of Elton John as a musical child prodigy
- Similarities and differences between Rocketman and the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which we reviewed in January
- Taron Egerton, who played the role of Elton John
- The friendship and collaboration between Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin (spoiler alert: this is the best thing about the movie)
Listen to the show:
We talked tips and tricks for beginner songwriters. Our producer Vanessa and techie Micah also joined in the conversation. Some of the stuff we covered included:
- Our Rocketman movie pre-screening contest
- How Phil and Neel got started on songwriting, and the challenges they faced
- Get yourself a decent guitar to start on (or a ukulele!)
- Basic melody development
- The benefits of collaboration
- Writing from a title, or a poem
- How to take apart your favourite songs
- How practice makes
- How to finish songs
- Writing a bad first draft, because you won’t be awesome right away
- Vanessa’s post about stuff she’s learned on the show
- We won a spot on FeedSpot’s Top 20 Songwriting Podcasts!
This week SongTalk welcomed Matthew Reid to our studio. Matthew is a critically acclaimed, award winning composer for film, television, games and theatre. His funny songs have delighted almost a million people during his tenure as composer for Toronto’s world famous Second City comedy theatre.…
Visiting from the United Kingdom, Pena Hughes-John joined us with two of her original songs. We talked about:
- Steampunk as a culture, fashion statement, and musical style
- Writing songs on the ukulele
- How many chords is too many?
- Collaborating with others
- Writing a song from a writing prompt
- Using time signature changes to introduce tension
- Our show all about rhymes with Blair Packham
- Using reverse vocals in your recordings
Listen to the show
Download the lyrics for:
This week SongTalk welcomed Adriel Smiley to our studio. Adriel is the Music Director of CJRU – Ryerson’s Radio station – and Adriel brought a wealth of information about college radio and the best way musicians can get their music played on these stations.…
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
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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?
This week Song Talk welcomed Patrick Ballantyne back to our studio. Patrick is a veteran songwriter and musician who has worked with many top-selling artists such as The Trews, Meredith Shaw and Big Sugar.
On this episode, Patrick brought in a few songs from his upcoming new release so our Song Talk audience got to hear the premieres of two tracks – Vicious in Your Vanity and Beneath Your Skin.…
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:
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.…
Singer/songwriter Linda Lavender shares the story of her song They Won’t Catch Me Again. Follow her journey from it’s birth on a five-hour road trip to its studio recording. We talked about:
- Linda’s album The Rosseau Sessions with Often Running
- Bluegrass music
- Influencers like Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss
- People on the run, rebels, a female protagonist
Listen to the whole show
Award-winning and critically-acclaimed composer, songwriter, pianist, music educator and frequent Song Talk Radio guest, Frank Horvat returned to the show to talk about his latest project, The Thailand HRDs. Frank wrote 35 two-minute compositions for string quartet, where each movement was written for a Human Rights Defender in Thailand as part of photographer Luke Duggleby’s compelling photo essay., For Those Who Died Trying.…