Ep. 38: Song “What Can I Say” (Influenced by the Sixpence None The Richer)

March 7, 2017

Today’s episode is a song from my “50 songs in 50 weeks” series called "What Can I Say". I recorded it in 2012 but it was actually written around 1999 while I was in high school. The lyrics are about expectations and wondering whether you measure up what other people want out of you.

It was influenced by the Sixpence None The Richer song "Kiss Me." I probably would have been made fun of by my friends back then if I ever admitted that so it was kind of a guilty pleasure at the time.

I started the recording with an acoustic and electric guitars with a similar strumming sound to "Kiss Me" and to fill it out it bit more, some organ.

From there, I needed something to drive the beat but I knew I wasn't going to have drums so I ended up playing shaker and three different tracks of jembe, which is sort of like a bongo drum. I think it gives it a bit of a tribal feel.

It still felt a little dull to me so I felt like the piano would be a nice addition. I played lower notes on my left hand in place of a bass guitar. My right hand played something a little higher up with octaves. It's a line that compliments the melody of the song.

I saved room in the arrangement for a guitar solo. I used an ebow, which got a fair amount of use in 90s rock. Basically an ebow is a little device that vibrates the strings without touching them. It gives a sort of sustained humming sound similar to a violin box. They don't use an ebow in Kiss Me but even so, I think the solo ended up sounding fairly similar.

To read the lyrics for this song and listen to other music I've done, visit jakehaws.com.

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