The Challenge: To write a song about “The first time” experiencing something,” and 7 days to conceptualise, create and produce the final product.
Though all of the entries had their own unique spin and were all well-crafted in their styles, the most important thing for me was whether the challenge was met and if I was taken through the journey of that first time experience.
So, what was I looking at in the tracks can be broken down to
· Writing; Did you tell the story of the first time
· Vibe; Did the song capture the feeling and heart of that moment
· Creativity and Expression; Was it well expressed and creative
· Captivation; Musically and Lyrically did it draw me in
· Production; The overall quality of the final product
Ominous Ride – Maiden Trip
No exposition here – just pulled me into the story and made me feel like I was there. I liked how you didn’t tell me the story of the first experience but took me on the journey with you. This is very well-written, excellent use of lyrics and imagery – with music and melody that grows and shifts with the story. Well mixed and produced.
Mark Humble - The First Time You Broke My Heart
Unique and very interesting Vocals – Catchy lyrically phrasing that tells the story and makes you feel the bitterness of the moment; Well supported by the choice of music accompaniment and backing vocals. Smooth mix, well balanced. Great song – Great writing – Great Composition.
Jeff Brown – The First Time
Beautiful guitar melody and vocals that gave the track a very somber vibe – and pulled me in, and right through, the track. Well-articulated and captured eloquently.
Jailhouse Callback – First Time Caller
Great choice of music and melody – set the mood perfectly and didn’t wander off. This was a fun and quirky song that set the scene of a man, broken-hearted and drunk calling in an SOS at his favourite radio station; Well written and well told story around the feelings surrounding the experience prompting you to call in for the first time.
Megalodon – My Foolish Mind
I really enjoyed this track – Unique Vocal phrasing and tones. I also really enjoyed the guitar tones and sounds within the track. I enjoyed the shift in the melody and the backing vocals but the guitar soloing over the top of those two things was distracting and detracted from the vibe – a bit too busy. Worked well later in the track and was maybe just too high in the mix– but otherwise easily one of my favourite tracks of the contest.
Governing Dynamics - Fool Me Once
Vocals and Music grabbed my attention – Well mixed, with good use of the Voice and guitar tones. Set the perfect scene of a betrayal; For me, the lyrics didn’t quite resonate as story of a first betrayal – but was very close. Though, I felt the lyric of forgive this first betrayal was thrown in to be expository as the picture was not clearly painted previously. This was one of my favourite tracks but did lose a little ranking due to that.
James Young – Alone
What a beautiful track. It is simple but clear ad well balanced with the vocals. Guitar sits subtly in the mix and is driven by the story – and also drives the feeling of loneliness. An interesting take on the concept, well portrayed with strong use of lyrical phrasing to tell the story.
Edric Haleen – How It All began
A unique mixture of piano and vocals, simple yet told the story quite nicely. I also liked the changes in the music to give the effect of the Story; Top marks for creativity and expression and for creating the theatre-esk vibe of the lyrics in the music – really dragged me in. I didn’t rank this higher as I didn’t find it tell a story of a first experience but more a collection of first moments but still a well-written song.
Adam Sakellarides - Have You Heard?
A highly amusing and entertaining track; Good use of the background voices, music and vocals to paint the picture of a man overtaken with the experience of trying Brussel sprouts for the first time. A unique take on the challenge, well executed
Ellie Sparrow – Footprints On The Moon
Slow and Sweet; Beautiful vocal tones subtly highlighted with the simplicity of the music. Vocals were very clear which I felt was a highlight as it was, lyrically, a very well-crafted piece. This is the sort of track you have to listen to a few times to really appreciate. Unfortunately the track cut off quite abruptly at the end – may have been a technical error – but very important to check.
Pigfarmer Jr - Kill A Man
I enjoyed the half-spoken, half-sung style of this track. Didn’t tell me much of the story of the first time actually ‘killing a man’ but more talked around the notion of the story – Nonetheless, a rocking song – Strong lyrics.
Ross Durand - Premiere
You painted the picture of a theatre very well. Eloquent use of lyrics and unique use of rhyme - Very well recorded and mixed. There was a nice rise in the music, well timed, with the guitar fading out to set a scene of the ending, bringing us home with the feel of the beginning, was very masterful.
Emperor Gun – Leaving
Quaint choice of style that was both interesting and well selected for the style of sung. This song actually made me feel as though I was travelling on the journey with you as you left and sailed. Clearly a very proficient story-teller.
“BucketHat" Bobby - Free To Be Me
The accordion was really well styled to the theme of this song. Laid back feel of freedom. Very creative and expressively told story.
Glen Raphael – First Time (Phantom Menace)
Quirky and Comedic. I enjoyed the lyrical satire in this song. The music had my foot tapping and the lyrics had me wearing a smirked grin – The musical breaks created a nice space but the mix of the backing vocals - when they came in - was a bit loud, in parts louder than the main vocal, and therefore clashed quite heavily. Despite that, it was still a fun and enjoyable track.
Steve Durand – Original Sin
Swanky and Smooth; The first, and original sin, really kept to telling the story of the experience of the first sin but strayed off track a little at the end with the self-referential phrasing – took me out of the story. Though, a well-produced, and melodically entertaining track; reminiscent feels of a lot of old swanky jazz bars – set the vibe very nicely for the topic.
Jon Eric - Perry's Song (Everybody's Waiting)
A well-produced and strong song – and interesting take on the challenge with the experience of having a first child. The jumps back and forth through time within the story detracted a little for this challenge so I didn’t rank it higher. Still a poetic and lovely portrayal of that experience.
Sam Rodewald – My First Song Will Be
Quirky and quaint; A tale of procrastinating the first song – I definitely felt as though I was taken through the story of the lyrics and definitely captured the vibe of the story well with the simple note repetition. Though, I did feel this track stays a little too long on the monotonous/ repetitive guitar and would have been nice to see the change to the strumming and beautiful vocal melody as a repeating theme, or even earlier, somewhere to break this up. I also did not feel, as the story ends with going to write the first song, that it completely fulfilled the tale of the first experience – but still a fun track with nice production.
Keen Sid – Never Done That Before
A foot-tappable and fun track; I enjoyed listening to this track, good guitar riffs and vocal phrasing. Felt more like a missed first experience from the story of the lyrics, rather than a first experience. Had a good pace and vibe that was 90s, Blink 182, reminiscent. Great production, clear/crisp vocals - Highly entertaining.
Ben Taggart - Like The First Time
Guitar and Vocals are a little shakey – and not well recorded but you technically met the challenging lyrically and there are some nice progressing choices of melodies there. It would have been nice to hear more of a story around that experience.
Rob From Amersfoort – The First Time
Grabbed my attention quite heavily at the beginning and then lost me completely. The track started off as though it was going to tell a story but didn’t quite get there for me in the end. Musically (and melodically) a highly entertaining track but did not capture the story of a first experience.
The Boffo Yux Dudes - First Wurst
Was a quirky and fun song with nice melodic and instrumental change but didn’t meet the challenge of our first experience with anything.
Turtle Fence - First
Guitar and Melody was very simple and repetitive. Could have been an interesting concept but stayed the same for too long. Lyrical content is good but did not meet the challenge as you told a story of something you like to do first and not an experience of your first time posting.