January’s Song – Strangely Warm

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For 2013, my new year’s resolution was to write and record a new song each month for myself.  At the time, this seemed like a relatively easy resolution to keep; most of the songs I have written and recorded in the past have been done in a single day.  This rush to get things done was simply a necessity, since I so rarely have much free time on my hands (I’m usually playing, recording or composing for someone else’s project).

So a whole month seemed like a luxury.  Granted, I was still doing what I normally do, so it wasn’t like I could sit in front of a microphone for eight hours a day working on my own little tune.  But it still seemed like plenty of time.

What I didn’t realize, however, is that with more time, I built up higher expectations for what I could create.  The resolution started to morph from, “write a song each month” to “write the best song ever written, ever, each month”.  And the pressure to do just that started to really weigh me down and took a lot of fun out of the whole thing.

So I took a step back, and reeled in my expanding resolution.  The point wasn’t to make a hit single, but just to make something.  Something I might like to hear, or something that allows me to try a new idea or technique.  Maybe this was my opportunity to learn how to sing, regardless of whether it sounds good.

Once I was able to refocus, the ideas finally started to come and the song, like they always do, came together in a short period of time.  January’s song isn’t the best song ever, but it’s not bad, either.  And like I wanted, it let me try new things and techniques.

January’s song is the first time I’ve ever tried to sing original lyrics.  At first I had no idea what to do.  I suppose other people keep little bits of poetry floating around in their heads or in notebooks.  I’ve never done that sort of thing because words never come very easily for me.  Instead, I use  words just to get the job done.  But I wanted to sing something in my song and not have it be entirely instrumental.  So I started with syllables.  That solved the “what should I sing” problem, but only temporarily, since I didn’t think I could get away doing the whole song like that.  So I did what any normal person would do when at a loss for words, I sang about the weather.  It was, in fact, a strangely warm day.  The whole month has been that way.  A week ago, while I was biking to work, I saw a whole row of trees that had already bloomed.

I’m kind of proud of this tune, now that it’s all done, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

20 thoughts on “January’s Song – Strangely Warm

  1. Josh – this is fantastic. Love the resolution, and love the song. Looking forward to hearing more of your talent in the coming months.

    1. Josh says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the song. My goal was to make something slightly better than the Free Software Song as sung by RMS.

  2. Tim Kelley says:

    Josh….Barbara and I really, really liked the song. It’s terrific. Listened to it twice already. Also, I think that the New Year’s resolution makes a whole lot of sense. We are looking forward to the February production and possibly a live performance of the March one in Carrboro. Tim

    1. Josh says:

      Thanks so much! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  3. Tara says:

    Love it. Keep it up, Josh!

    1. Josh says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Tara. You’re partly responsible for it, since you gave me the inspiration on the radio back in October.

  4. Andrew says:

    I like it! That’s a pretty clever resolution too. Do you think you’ll release all 12 as an album next year? It could make for a cool concept album of your year in review. Deluxe packaging could come with some of your pretzels too. 🙂

    1. Josh says:

      I love that idea!

  5. Fernanda & Daniel says:

    Josh, just dropping a quick note: your Brazilian family loved the song! Keep it up!
    We hope that the july’s edition will be Rio themed! =)
    Daniel & Fernanda

    1. Josh says:

      Either July or August will have a little something extra. I can’t wait. Eu vou ao Brasil!

  6. This is brilliant, Josh! Can’t wait to hear the next one! Hope you’re doing well 🙂

    1. Josh says:

      Oh, I’m glad you like it! I’ve enjoyed seeing your updates on Facebook! Looks like you’ve been playing a whole lot with some killer people.

  7. Aline and Geoff says:

    Josh….Seriously? It’s amazing! YOU rock!!!
    Aline, Geoff, Kyle and Noelle

    1. Josh says:

      Thanks so much! Can’t wait for the next family jam!

  8. Dominic Ciavatta says:

    Hey Josh, Thanks for sharing your resolution and this song. If the book Flight Behavior is turned into a movie your song should be part of the sound track.

  9. Les & Dee Cassar says:

    Josh nice work. Dee and I enjoyed your January music.
    Keep it coming.
    Best to you n Alexia

    1. Josh says:

      Thanks! So far so good with February. It’s a short month, though, so things could get down to the wire.

  10. Wow! The acoustic instruments sound great…and I loved hearing the vocals evolve from syllables to lyrics. Great work!

    1. Josh says:

      Thanks Billy! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m almost halfway done with the Feb. song, so stay tuned. So far this one is all about exploring new vocal territory. Well, it’s all new for me, and this tune builds on the last in that respect.

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