If for no other reason I love taking part in FAWM because every year I get to discover unsung but brilliant writers and musicians. Last year I came across UK singer/songwriter Expendable Friend, Texan guitarist Hamilton Poolhall and Australian upright bassist/singer Liz Frencham. Liz’s FAWM songs were among my favourite music of 2014 and she’ll be making a guest appearance on my new EP but this FAWM I got to write with her! And I think we came up with some fantastic stuff.
Our collaboration started with Don’t Get Too Close. I gave Liz the lyrics to Hard To Love with carte blanche to go in any direction she wanted. The chorus had never worked and she got around that by writing a completely new chorus! On reflection the core problem with the old chorus was it was too close to the song that inspired it. I was never able to get out from under it’s shadow which should have clued me into amputating that part but it’s always hard to ditch the part that started the whole song. Anyway I took Liz’s brilliantly slinky bass and vocals added minimal guitar and done.
Where Did The Time Go? was Liz’s song. She asked me to come up with a bridge for her incredible multi-time signature jazz sprint, so I just tried ‘bridge technique 101’ which is contrast with the rest of the song – slow vs fast, one meter vs time changes, harmonic movement vs rhythmic movement. Liz moved the bridge to a better key and tweaked how we got in and out.
Oh God, Oh God was weird. Liz posted a cry for help on Facebook lamenting her lack of inspiration. In true FAWM style Steven Black sang her facebook post acapella. Lying in bed with an injured back I harmonised Steven’s melody. Liz then took it back and added bass and a descant. A fun ride.
Liz also had two tracks she asked me to add guitar to.
The brief for Cold Mind was ‘Jeff Buckley meets Radiohead’ so I played around with acoustic in open D and threw a bunch of electric guitars at it.
Liz wrote the melody for Little Lion as she was about to board a plane, singing the melody into her phone. The song is more straight ahead jazz and just need some extended reharmonisation of the chords from me.
More FAWM Co-Writes Coming Soon
Fawm 15 (pt.1) post here