The Promise Hero - Better Things
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Track By Track: The Promise Hero “Okay, Cool” Part VI - Finale
March 19, 2011

“Better Things”

We knew that this would be the last song on the EP and approached it accordingly.  Bobby had written the guitar part and melody so we were able to start recording right away.  We decided not to have a proper “chorus” but to build the space between each verse until it climaxes at the end. Each verse builds in the amount of harmonies and instruments going on and leads toward the ending where everything that’s been built up is released. It has a similar structure to and was somewhat inspired by a song I had done previously called “Running Through It All.”

I recorded Bobby playing the guitar part in one take and set up microphones to capture the room’s natural sound and the television in the other room.  Unfortunately the beginning caught a crummy commercial and we don’t expect to receive a check from anytime soon (but you’re welcome for the advertisement). To generate a lo-fi sound we ran the entire track through a vinyl-simulation and distortion plug-in, which has become a favorite technique of mine.

Lyrically we tried to capture the “growing up” sentiment, which is one that is always uncertain about the present and afraid of the future but willing and accepting of change. It explores the idea of over-thinking (“fill myself with doubt / forgot what it’s about”) and detachment from self (“haven’t heard a single word I say”). We tried to have the song progress in meaning with each verse, mirroring the actual sound of the song, before (again, mirroring) climaxing with the optimistic and bittersweet ending. The overall movement of this song, from beginning to end, is what makes it effective and thus becomes the song’s purpose. It ends as it began, with a single guitar and a television in the background.

What made recording Okay, Cool so unique and exciting was that we were basically writing the songs as we went, so we were able to capture some of the raw emotion that is often lost over the months of demoing and reworking that typically go into writing. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say that they prefer the demo version of a particular song to its more produced, more professional album counterpart. With no real demos (aside from a few ideas Bobby had recorded) we were able to circumvent that phenomenon.

That’s all!

Okay, Cool is available now on limited edition hand numbered vinyl-top CD. Only 250 were made!

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