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.”
Moody, original and unexpected are three words that describe the song writing of Louis Moon.
He started his musical life when he took piano lessons at age seven. Three years ago, influenced by Korean Hip Hop artists, he began to create his own beats.…
Kirk Felix arrived at our little studio with a whole band; bass, violin (fiddle), and cajon. As we did our sound check the Song Talk crew all savoured the gentle, soothing and heart-warming sounds of a folk ensemble. Patrick Ballantyne sat in for Neel Modi who was on assignment.…
Born in England, raised in The Netherlands, Paul Vos shared two of his songs with us at Song Talk Radio.
The first was “Lost Along the Way” a song about finding love when you least expect it. Listen for the awesome 80’s background vocals on the chorus!…
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Angela Saini joined us to talk about her process and two beautifully crafted songs: Something Like I’m Beautiful and Living on the Bright Side. We talked about:
- Switching from a major to minor key for your bridge
- How to connect emotionally with your listeners
- Song endings – to resolve to not resolve?
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.…
Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Melanie Peterson joined us again, this time with her original holiday-themed love songs. Melanie has been deemed “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” by the BBC and a “superb songwriter” by Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun. She was last on our show in 2015.…
What can you say about the exceptionally talented poet, novelist, and prolific singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.that hasn’t already been said? Well, the Song Talk Radio action team didn’t worry about that. Bruce, Neel, and Phil simply dove into their memories and had a close look at three of his many, many songs.…
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.…
The Song Talk Team had the distinct pleasure of spending an hour with the very talented and original singer/songwriter Dan Edmonds. His fresh takes on music and how it’s made were both illuminating and engaging. He played two of his intriguing recordings – “Love Can Be a Tunnel” and “To Be That Needle”.…
Okay, so we couldn’t get Bob to come to the studio for the show. Not surprising considering how the Nobel Prize people can’t find him either. On this show about Bob Dylan we discussed:
- The new film from Ron Howard – The Beatles, Eight Days a Week
- How the Beatles wrote songs
- Should the Nobel Prize for Literature have been given to Bob Dylan?
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
Download the lyrics for the songs.…
Lyricist and librettist Stephen Witkin returned to Song Talk Radio for a highly informative hour on writing for musical theatre. Here are some of the topics we discussed:
- what is the “book” and the role of the book writer for a musical?
With 10 albums over a 20-year career, Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist Jacob Moon dropped into the studio to share a wealth of helpful tips and clear insights. “Live a Little” is a truly exceptional tune, a perfect marriage of lyrics, melody, theme and variation. …
If you read Part 1 of this three-part series, you’ll also have listened to three different performances of the song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”
What you may have learned is that the way you interpret a song makes a difference in the way people will react to your performance. …
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
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.…