“Song Exploder” is a great podcast for any songwriter or beginning songwriter: in it, a band or songwriter will take apart a successful song and explain how it was written and recorded.
I have always loved the Semisonic song, “Closing time” – but there are whole new depths of meaning behind the lyrics and the times in which it was recorded (1997) – hear the story here.
Right off the bat, I’m impressed that Dan Wilson wrote this song as part of an intense songwriting period – when he wrote a song every day for 2 months. He’s not surprised that they weren’t all terrific: but “Closing Time” was in the middle of them.
I don’t want to tell the story of his life and the song, because he tells it himself, so bravely and insightfully – don’t miss listening to the podcast.
And when you’ve finished, there are still over a hundred other masterful songwriters, willing to talk through their craft, featuring one particular song. There are: (and if you hear some loud thuds it’s because of the weight of the names being dropped): U2, Vampire Weekend, The Cranberries, Fleetwood Mac, Jack Johnson, R.E.M., Nine inch nails, Chvrches, Bjork, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Mumford and Sons.….
Often on this podcast, there’s something learned or a creative homework, inspired by the main post. Here, I think there is one obvious one – write many many examples of whatever your craft is, daily, for at least 2 months. The repetition hones your craft, helps you find what works, what doesn’t – and creates so many examples that there are bound to be some new, unexpected gem, mined and forced out into the open, by the sheer pressure of recurring deadlines. It’s a fast way to get in your 10,000 hours.