Popular guest co-host and guest on Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne dropped by the studio to share two of his well-crafted songs. “Where Things Used to Be” is great example of the skillful combination of melody, structure, and lyrics to evoke a strong feeling of longing in the listener.…
This week, Bruce, Neel and Phil discussed their roles as Co-Organizers of the Songwriter’s Cafe Meetup group in Toronto. We also featured songs from some of our guests who we discovered at the meetup.
We talked about:
- why it’s important to host meetups regularly
- tips for running a successful meetup
- building a community of songwriters in your hometown
- costs, logistics and benefits to running your group through meetup.com
Young pop sensations the Command Sisters (Charlotte and Sarah) joined us to talk about writing as a sibling duo and working with producers. Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Bruce.
We also talked about:
- how to write a 2-chord song
- the musical Book of Mormon
- whether to repeat lyrics in each chorus
- the challenge of writing direct lyrics vs.
Unleashed Dreams brought their epic, new age, neo-classical music to Song Talk Radio. Lindsay Walker (lyricist/singer) and Sean Michael Paddison (composer, producer, and pianist) have a mission. They want to create and distribute music that empowers people to transform their lives and live their dreams.…
Toronto-based virtuoso electronic music duo Audio Insurgency joined us for a second time to talk about their latest projects, including an album of inventive video game music covers.
Audio Insurgency is made up of Alon Rodovinsky and Ivan Popov. The guys previously appeared on Song Talk Radio in early 2016.…
For our Valentine’s Day special, each member of the Song Talk Radio team brought a favourite love song too woo our listeners. All the songs were very different, and we each had a different take on what makes a good love song:
- Bruce appreciates authentic, honest expressions of love
- Neel likes it when there’s a nuanced message
- Vanessa looks for a specific emotional response in the listener
- Etain likes sincere and from the heart love songs that you can dance to
- Phil likes honesty and originality in his “happy” love songs, and
- favourite twitter follower of the show, Sharon (@), said “Love songs should make you remember what it’s like to be in love.”
I hope you’re not like me and just keeping all your songs just in your head, It’s a bad habit I’ve developed over the years and one I’m still working against.
I’m especially bad at writing my lyrics down, which is surprising considering how bad I am at writing lyrics.…
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.…
Talented teen singer-songwriter Jules joined us again, after her first appearance over a year ago. In the midst of writing songs for her sophomore release, Jules talked with the Song Talk Radio Action Team about:
- FACTOR grants for Canadians, and why you should hire a grant writer
- Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition
- writing from a title
- writing lyrics that are open to interpretation
- working on a lyric until it’s perfect
- what a band brings to the songwriting process
- how teens are feeling about issues and putting them into songs
Listen to the whole show:
Watch the live performances:
Bruce, Neel and Phil were all happy to have Patrick Ballantyne back in the Song Talk Radio studio for the third time. He always brings great songs (listen to “Make Believe” and “Sky” for proof) and lots of experience to share about the songwriting process for our listeners.…
Jeff Greenway returned to the Song Talk Radio studio to share his thoughts on song writing. His approach to writing is through a feeling, not a theory. This was amply demonstrated in the two songs he shared with us. The first, Cavalry, evoked the sadness and confusion you feel when a relationship just isn’t working any more.…
From the moment Blair Packham started to speak, we knew we were in for some great lessons from a master songwriter and experienced teacher. If You Were Mine featured a great bridge and instrumental break. In Her Dreams started out as a story of a woman in a call centre and moved to a daughter caring for an ailing mother. …
Multi-talented singer songwriter Steven Taetz turned the Song Talk studio into a smoky nightclub with his perfect renditions of his own songs. Waiting for Wishes (co-written with Emma-Lee) had so many “hooks” we lost count (listen for pre-chorus one and two, and the first chorus!). …
Maple Blues Award Best New Artist nominee and harmonica player, Son Roberts stopped by the Song Talk Radio studios with guitarist John Crosbie and had a fun and wide ranging conversation about writing blues influenced tunes.
Here’s what we talked about:
- The Maple Blues Awards
- Son Roberts Lyrics – Not Nuff NIght
- Son Roberts Lyrics – Cold Black Chair
- Listener’s question: Am I being too self-critical?
Toronto based duo Audio Insurgency dropped by the Song Talk Radio studio to share two very cool tunes. One was in a demo form, the other an instrumental track with the vocals still to be added in. Audio Insurgency has been making music for the past 2 years in genres ranging from EDM to orchestral.…
The always brilliant Braeden Mitchell returns to Song Talk Radio to talk about co-writing, writing songs for other artists and getting back into the songwriting groove after taking a bit of a break.
Some stuff we talked about:
- How to write songs for other artists
- SAC Songwriters Challenge
- Keeping a list of song titles
- place the strongest words or keywords on strongest beats (so in 4/4, beats 2 & 4)
- Madhatters Pub
- Braeden’s first appearance on Song Talk Radio
Neel Modi is a multi-talented songwriter, drummer and keyboardist with an eclectic collection of recordings from the quirky to the imaginative. On this show, he presented “Depend on Me” – based on a challenge to write a song about a car accident from the brake pad’s point of view – it’s a “brake-up” song ;-), and “Nature’s Lullaby”, a collaboration with singer/songwriter Sonja Seiler, a touching poetic take on the interconnection between all things in the natural world.…
Erin Ford graced the Song Talk Radio studio to play some tunes from the upcoming release of her CD Natural Progression, a project 8 years in the making. We also chatted about:
- how her 10-piece band brings a collaborative element to her music
- seriously cool chord changes
- the use of vivid imagery in lyric writing
With her unique voice, inventive phrasing, and heart-centred lyrics, Christine Gaidies filled our little studio with music and conversation about “love and life”. From endings (My Hear is in the West) to sexy middles (Love 101) and the frustrations of searching for love (All I Ever Really Wanted).her…
Incredible guitarist and singer / songwriter David Dino White stopped by and played us some songs with original approaches to lyrics, melody and song structure. Kinda of a Violent Femms vibe.
Some stuff we talked about
- Producer Ben Leggett
- Power Tab Software: sending tabs to a band before practice to speed up the process
- Playing in Bands
- Drop D tuning
- The WhiteCoals
- Using dynamics for maximum impact
- Smoking the Hair of the Dog
- Starting with a lyric framework
You can find David at:
The uber-talented duo of Talyor & Bryn impress the team with their fusion of styles and great sense of humour with 3 live performances, including an improvised lyric and melody by Taylor for their final song.
- Taylor’s songwriting workshop
- Bryn’s harmonica workshop
- The IMSTA Songwriting Contest
- lyric progressions
- the effectiveness of stops in a song
- why the need for so many harmonicas