January 4, 2011

Song of the Month: “Better Days”

Once a month in my Song of the Month Series I take an in-depth look at one tune from my album, “Insert Coin”. Each entry in the series may include alternate takes, acoustic recordings, videos, lyrics, or anything else I feel like sharing about the featured tune.

A little Background on “Better Days”

To kick off the series I’ll start with the first song on the album, called “Better Days”. This was part of a handful of songs that got their genesis sometime in 2004 after I got out of the US Army. It deals with the feelings of longing for someone special at a time when I was seeking a sense of belonging and direction.

The song writing process for this tune was very slow and organic. I started, like most of my songs, with the main guitar riff on acoustic guitar. I knew right away that the riff would translate well to electric guitar, so I always kept that in the back of my mind for when I finally recorded it.

I then started singing a melody over the riff and the first thing that came out was the line: “These days are a cloudy veil of wonder.”  That lyrics sums up my feelings at the time, and was a good kick off for the song.  I started constructing the rest of the two verses based off of that first line. The subject of the song naturally flowed from my state of mind at the time. The gritty verses that hit up against the rhythmic brick wall of the chorus that finally release into a glimmer of hope in the bridge and ending….all mirror the inner dialogue I had with myself.

I played this song live on and off for years, but it always felt a bit empty as a solo acoustic arrangement. The horn parts were added much later, in preparation for the album recording. I felt this song would be a perfect testing bed for some power-funk inspired horn arrangements and I had a blast writing them.

Listen to the studio version of “Better Days” from Insert Coin

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Behind the Scenes

The group horn parts to all the songs on Insert Coin, including “Better Days”, were recorded in one afternoon at my girlfriend Daisy’s apartment.  Here’s a short behind-the-scenes video clip of me laying down one of the horn licks, along with engineer Dave Kovacek.  What you don’t see are the other horns playing along with me at the same time: the sax player in the other room and the trombone player in Daisy’s closet!

Lyrics

by Matt Rodela


These days are a cloudy veil of wonder
Ice age is your attitude
Throw away all thoughts of better slumber
I’ll say what have I got to loose

I know better days will come my way
But for now I’ll sit and wait for your hand

Shyly I go through the motions
Nightly I sit alone on my bed with my hand
Occupying The emptiness I feel
Never finding satisfaction in the nothingness I have

I know better days will come along
But for now I’ll sit and wait for your hand

Waiting, waiting for your hand
Waiting, waiting for your hand

These days are a cloudy veil of wonder
Ice age is your attitude
Throw away all thoughts of better slumber
I’ll say what have I got to loose

I know better days will come my way
But for now I’ll sit and wait for your
Now I’ll sit and wait for your
Now I’ll sit and wait for your hand

Waiting, waiting for your hand
Waiting, waiting for your hand…

Like this song?  Have suggestions for the content of future Song of the Month entries?  Let me know in the comments section below…

3 Comments

  1. Wow! This is such a good idea. I enjoyed reading about the thought process behind your song. I can’t wait to read about the rest!!

    Comment by Brenda Osborne — January 4, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  2. I really enjoy this idea Matt. I love reading the about the creative process behind the music. I was smiling as I read it, because I love to read autobiographies of my favorite musicians; Clapton, Keith Richards, etc., and someday, I will enjoy reading yours. Thank you for doing this. Cool idea. I am loving your CD!

    Comment by Donna Burke — January 6, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

  3. [...] and longing for me. It was in this short one to two month period that I wrote this song along with Better Days and Top of the World. Each song captures a bit of my feelings at the time, this one being the [...]

    Pingback by Matt Rodela » Song of the Month: “Autumn Breeze” — July 20, 2011 @ 11:33 am

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