Track By Track: The Promise Hero “Okay, Cool” Part III
February 19, 2011
“No Matter What I Do”
This song, at least its chorus, had been floating around for a long time. I always thought it was pretty catchy when Bobby would jam it on the acoustic while we were on the road, sitting around random places in random cities wondering if we’d find a place to stay that night. This EP provided an appropriate avenue to finally turn that chorus into a song, so we did.
While the chorus had been in existence for years there was no verse and no real idea of where to go with it, thus “No Matter What I Do” ended up being one of the last songs we finished. We wanted to keep it pretty simple and folkey (Word doesn’t think that’s a word) and were particularly inspired by The Tallest Man on Earth’s LP “The Wild Hunt.” After auditioning several ideas we came up with a pretty radical (in its simplicity) chord progression and melody, which became the verse. It took several hours of toiling and many hours of sitting around to construct the lyrics of the verse, which is probably why there is no bridge (only a harmonica solo).
Recording this song was fun in that being so simple we were able to throw around some different ideas such as keeping the sound of a tapping foot in the mix, which is complemented by a tambourine. The vocals during the verse are panned halfway to the right to allow them further seclusion and to contrast against the chorus, also creating a sense of aloneness (but not necessarily loneliness). Adding to this are the sudden increases in the amount of reverb on the vocals, which happen on the last word of each verse. We had a single harmonica on hand in the key of C and, after committing to a harmonica solo, had to change the key of the song to fit that of the harmonica. Upon the song’s completion, in order to maintain interest and sacrifice catchiness, we shifted the words in each chorus around so that each is slightly different. We also added more and more harmonies each time the chorus comes in, only to provide some sort of direction toward a climax. What ended up being the simplest song on the EP actually took, from conception to birth, the most time to be fully realized.
Okay, Cool is available now on limited edition hand numbered vinyl-top CD. Only 250 were made!
Buy: CD, iTunes
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