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.…
For our latest theme show, we take a look at some of our favorite Protest Songs and try to figure out what makes an effective one. We looked at River Runs Red by Midnight Oil, Eve of Destruction by P.F. Sloan, and Phil talks about how his band The Parkdale Hookers, went about writing their punk-anthem Multi-Media Word and talked about how not to date a protest song.…
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.…
The always entertaining singer/songwriter TC FolkPunk returned to the show and played a couple of punky solo electric guitar songs and talked about playing solo without a band with just an electric guitar.
Some Stuff We Talked About
The ever lovely and talented (and what a voice!) Janice Ho, Song Talk Radio’s very own tweeting songbird, talked about two early collaborations she worked on and what to look out for when collaborating. Download the lyrics for the show.…
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?
Having been immersed in the wonderful world of singer-songwriters during my time at Song Talk Radio, I’ve attended quite a number of gigs and open mics over the past year.
Everyone I’ve seen perform has great talent in singing, playing an instrument and writing music.…
Faaria was one of our first guests on Song Talk Radio (check out her first episode) and she joined us once again with new songs about relationships, where none of them are autobiographical (or so she claims).
Stuff we talked about:
- writing from different point-of-views
- relationship songs
- how practicing songwriting can affect the enjoyment of listening to other songs
- progressing the story or idea from verse to verse
- spicing up chords using the Circle of Fifths
- the value of collaboration and playing around with songwriting suggestions
Download the lyrics for Faaria’s songs.…
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. …
Addie Denison shares songs that at first sound like classic country, until you realize they’re (in part) about revenge, or blasting off into outer space. Sonja Seiler guest hosted.
Stuff we talked about:
The uber-talented Sonja Seiler brings her own brand of passionate, emotional songs to Song Talk Radio for the second time, this time with a country twist.
Stuff we talked about:
- transitioning from writing on piano to guitar
- letting an idea percolate for a while before writing
- the power of imagery
- what’s the right tempo for your song?
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!). …
On this engaging program with Lucas Bozzo we delved into the sometimes heated debate of variety versus repetition in songwriting. Lucas performed two songs in the studio; “If” and “How Beautiful You Are”. We discussed:
- legato vocals over staccato guitar
- powerful lyrics over a repetitive musical form
- the balance of the simple and the practical
- chord substitutions
- dynamic vocal changes
- “da-da-da” as a break from dense lyrical sections
- the power of a full stop (tacet)
- the influence of classical training on the writing of popular songs
- TAB chords
On this highly informative and entertaining show, we talked with John Glover:
A very special show with Song Talk Radio’s co-host and co-creator Bruce Harrott, showcasing and discussing the process behind some of his best songs. We talked about:
- Bruce’s traditional approach with writing lyrics first, and trying a different approach now
- working with different producers
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
- writing about real experiences (“staying true to the story”)
- using different melody/chords in bridge vs.
What a delight to have Peter Light in the studio and hear some down-to-earth songwriting. I Let Her Go was a unique take on “the one that got away”. Charlie’s Playin’ the Blues was a cool tongue in cheek visit to the world of traditional blues – done with great craft and artistry.…
Madrid, Spain born indie-folk songwriter Daniel Caceres has traveled to Toronto for a year and stopped by the Song Talk Radio studios with some great folky songs. He’s played in bands back in Madrid but is now exploring writing songs on his own.…
Songtalk Radio welcomed multi-talented artist The Sun Harmonic (aka Kaleb Hikele) back to the studio for a second sharing of his song writing skills. “Born (I Have Awakened)” is a stream-of-consciousness, spiritual/traditional style a capella song that captures the losses we all endure as we grow up.…
Young singer-songwriter Callie Deacon shared her exceptional songwriting talent, impressing the guys with her ability to spin familiar phrases and ideas into original ones. Callie takes strong cues from Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes.
We talked about:
- why writing on the guitar is more fun than the piano (please note: this is the sole opinion of the guest, and does not necessarily reflect that of the Song Talk Radio Action Team)
- song structures
- how to include a “Morrissey” lyric
- when to include a pre-chorus
For our third holiday special, it was the Song Talk Radio family only – Bruce, Neel, Phil, Janice and Etain (on tech).
Phil shared some interesting holiday song trivia and a Christmas jingle from his old punk-pop band, The Parkdale Hookers. …
Mark Martyre is a Canadian writer and musician. His prolific song writing has produced 3 full-length studio albums since 2012: Down, Record (2012), London (2013), and Red Letters (2014), as well as several live records, and bootlegs. His music and lyrics have garnered critical acclaim and attention both nationally and internationally.…
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.…