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 on SongTalk we look at a simple songwriting technique that may be more complicated than you think – songs with one chord progression.
That’s right, no guest this week just the SongTalk team – Phil, Neel and Mike – talking about the ways songs with just one series of chords repeated over and over have become huge hits.…
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.…
This week SongTalk welcomes… Christmas into our studio.
For our Xmas Eve show, we all brought in our favourite Christmas songs and had a good chat about what makes them so great. Featuring some classics and some new songs that you may not have heard before.…
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
- The 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide
- Blog post: Creating Lyric Sheets that Don’t Suck
- Neel’s process behind writing “The Wicked Queen”
- Suggestions for Song prompts
- Listener input requested: What do you think about the Taxi and SongTradr placement services
- Song hooks: How do you make sure your song has ’em
- Different approaches to choruses
- The Wicked Queen lyrics
- Pull Me Away From You Lyrics – Noise
- Not Edwin lyrics
- Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Pattison book on Amazon
- 101 Songwriting Wrongs & How To Right Them: How To Craft Songs That Sell on Amazon
- Cubase Elements – Phil’s DAW of choice (tho he uses the Pro level)
- Cakewalk by Bandlab – Neel’s DAW of choice
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 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.…
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!)…
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:
- 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?
Ever wondered why hit songs are so memorable? You know, the ones that you can’t get out of your mind for weeks (or years). Well, it could be the hook. In this episode the Song Talk Radio team does a deep dive into the many and various ways that songwriters have created memorable passages in songs.…
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:
- Now You’re Leaving by Bruce Harrott
- The Joker by The Steve Miller Band
- BBC by Ming Tea
- Street Spirit by Radiohead
Listen to the whole show
Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:
Eric Walker is a singer/songwriter from Toronto and a member of the blakeley walker band. He was a founding member of the Toronto Songwriters Association which has met the second Saturday of the month for the past 17 years. We talked about:
- playing Harry Belafonte songs on the ukulele
- writing a song with 47 chords
- master songwriting teacher Andy Krehm
- composition teacher Gordon Dalimont
- SONG – “Umbrella” – looking back at the beginnings of a relationship
- SONG – “Renovations” – building and renovating love
- short chorus – good or bad?
Songwriter Richard Hunting and songwriter guitarist David Meirovich met at the Songwriters Meetup and started to work together.
Listen to the show:
What we talked about:
- Collaborating strategies
- Artist website: https://www.facebook.com/RichardHuntingMusic/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RichardHunting95
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo-WaQPdbGHA3A-zEr9aKRQ
- SoundCloud / MySpace: https://soundcloud.com/richardhunting
- And-I-Will-Do Lyrics
- All-Alone Lyrics
- the songwriting process (melodies first)
- starting with stories and poetry
- music scene in Kamloops, BC
- Louie, Louie
- how to choose a producer
- Party in NYC
- nursery rhymes
- Songwriters’ MeetUp
- Fallen Star
- performing if you don’t play an instrument
Listen to the whole show
Dokter Nomi’s lyrics
South Sudan-born, Toronto-based indie fusion singer, model and writer Amanie Illfated joined us to talk about her songwriting journeys across nations and cultures. Guest host and singer-songwriter Kayt Lucas filled in for Phil – thanks Kayt! We talked about:
- Amanie’s journey from Regina to Toronto at age 16
- blogging and modelling as they apply to songwriting
- trance vs.