Michelle Thibodeau is a pop-folk singer/songwriter from Moncton, New Brunswick, now based in Toronto. She performed live for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (2012) and David Foster (June 2017) as well as recently playing the leading lady “Nancy” in a professional production of Oliver the Musical. Her most recent single “Checkmate” (Oct 2016) was played nation-wide on CBC and Michelle is currently working on her third album of original music. At the age of 16, Michelle began writing songs on both guitar and piano, and 10 years later it is still her primary passion. For more information on her upcoming releases and performances in the GTA and the Maritimes, visit michellethibodeau.ca.
The Song Talk Radio team of Bruce, Neel, and Phil received an education in Industrial music with Eric Scrape. Here’s some of what you can learn by listening to the show:
- What makes it “industrial”
- Industrial love songs
- How it got started during the punk music years
- Why Scrape starts with a beat
- Electronic Body Music (EBM)
- Digital Audio Workstations (DAW)
- To “quantize” or not to “quantize”
- Choosing a non-melodic chorus
Have a listen right here!
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. Bruce brought the poetic Bird on a Wire (1969), Neel shared the dark and foreboding Everybody Knows (1980’s), and Phil had us pay attention to one of Cohen’s last recordings, the prescient Leaving the Table (2016).
Have a listen!
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”. We talked about:
- improvising lyrics in the recording studio
- letting the listener make their own meaning from the words
- the two-chord song
- the fun and challenge of touring
- finding management
Here’s the show. Have a listen!
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?
- Use of metaphors
- Writing a song with unusual lyrics as a songwriter’s challenge – break the rules!
Listen to the complete show:
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.
Listen to the full episode:
Watch the performances:
Carmen Toth / Social Potion joined us for the second time to talk about a new song, and an older one, both of which are appearing on her upcoming album.
Stuff we talked about:
- writing lyrics first, songs first, or improvising on the fly during a jam/collaboration
- journalling / creating a “lyrics bank”
- starting a song from an emotion
- marketing to promote other artists
- memorable titles in the world of singles
- working with a producer to focus the song structure and strengthen commercial appeal
- writing universal, relatable lyrics
- using a bridge to bring a new perspective into the song
Download Carmen’s lyrics for the show.
Listen to the complete episode:
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. “When the Well Runs Dry” switching from 4/4 to 2/4 and back again, prompted lots of discussion among the hosts about its meaning. Here’s a hint – it’s something all writers fear – have a listen! “I Will Sleep Again” was written on a long commute and sung into a cell phone. Its powerful bridge near the end is just one of the highlights of this song.
Jenny Ritter and her very cool guitarist Tyler Belluz entertained us with a rich variety of tunes all beautifully sung. She started writing in her early 20’s. Her first band – The Gruff – played for 10 years. Jenny currently leads two rock choirs in Victoria, BC. A History of Happiness was written in crisis. Jenny was looking for happiness in the past and imagined life as Queen of the World. The intriguing song Wolf Wife was written on a dock near North Bay, Ontario. Eschewing the label of “singer songwriter”, Remember the Life, was written to be interpreted by her band.
The very talented Kaleb Hikele stopped by during his tour and played some great tunes, even one written for a wedding.
Some stuff we talked about:
- working on pushing your limits
- playing for weddings
- strategies for lyric writing
- passing chords