Hella Gems | Original Music Blog

Kelly (Vines, not G) and I worked on this song in an effort for me to impart what nuggets of hard-fought knowledge I have earned writing songs. The instrumentation was done in Garageband at Kelly’s place with a non-velocity sensitive keyboard, which changed the instrumentation slightly to instruments that aren’t as dependant on velocity. I could have re-recorded the instruments, but I have some kung-fu to watch. Hope you enjoy.


when did the air become so thin
that I could barely breathe?
I’m feeling like the air is running out.

I’m in a room with only you
that’ll never be enough
the design is going to expire.

end tonight.

so many times we’ve talked about forever
it would be nice, but we don’t really want that.
maybe in another place, we could have made it work.
let’s move on. let’s move on.

I’ve wandered through these words time and time again.
but there’s no use pretending. I need to get away.

end tonight.

looking at a clear night sky and I can’t see a star
the lights in this city have washed them out.
keep walking on the sidewalks, avoiding all the cracks
i know, the feeling’s gone.


8 Responses to “The Implosion of a Long Term Relationship in the Key of D”

  1. Erik Peterson

    Awesome work, guys. Your voices go together well.

  2. gojirra

    nice harmony, love the drums, great song.

  3. Graham

    If I could change a thing, I would put a more steady, possibly programmed beat at “end tonight”, where you have the potential for a huge change in dynamics.

    Holy mother of god. This is awesome.

    Classic ERF keyboard work. Good writing. Delicate voices.

    Could this be the perfect pairing? Tell me you guys will write more stuff.

  4. erf

    Hopefully we will do more songs. We both have insane schedules!

    I actually was planning on re-recording the drums with “live” sampled drums, and likely still will do so for a future complilation of these various hellagems tracks. I was going to reorchestrate the whole thing but mainly ran out of time. I’m sort of glad I didn’t because these are all default instruments in a standard installation of Garageband (except the drums, for some reason they wouldn’t load on my machine so I had to substitute something similar sounding). When Kelly and I originally worked on the song, I used only the equipment she already had on hand just to prove the point that you don’t need fancy anything to record a decent sounding track. Even the vocals were recorded on a standard Shure SM57 borrowed from a set of my roommate’s drum mics.

    Working within limitations is often the best spur to creativity.

  5. erf

    Also not mentioned was the fact that we worked on the lyrics for a really long time, carving out the “story”, even if it isn’t a particularly unique one. Also I had to get over my hangups in writing directly emotional lyrics. I am a lot more comfortable writing goofy lyrics about film directors. My favorite temp lyrics when I am writing a melody (I’ll often sing it out and record various takes, usually the first one is best) all involve poop.

    The words don’t really seem like much when you read them. I almost didn’t post the lyrics because in my opinion it is like reading a script before watching a movie. Based on the pauses in singing, there are expectations of where the lyrics may go next based on general cliches used in pop songwriting. Exploiting these pauses well allows for subtle reversals based on rhymes you may expect to follow, etc. I think it can potentially create better shading in the tone, even if it is only at a subconscious level.

    Having listened to mostly music in Japanese for a few years (J-Rock is the besssst) I have come to truly believe that what you say is much less important than how you say it. This is why beloved pop songs can have the most banal lyrics.

  6. Graham

    oh, and when I said the big dynamic change near the end tonight, I meant the second one

  7. Kelly Vines

    Let’s make more music, Rob. 😀

  8. billjings

    Having listened to mostly music in Japanese for a few years (J-Rock is the besssst) I have come to truly believe that what you say is much less important than how you say it. This is why beloved pop songs can have the most banal lyrics.

    counterpoint: bob dylan

    counterpoint: “with or without you” by U2 – sort of plucking it out of thin air but surely the words matter on this refrain

    I have this delusional idea that great pop music is made partly by striving to attain both authenticity and universality. I’m not sure that it’s right but it’s certainly something that informs my goals when I try to write lyrics.

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