New Song: Brotherhood



Brotherhood is a song that I started writing in response to a very dear friend taking his own life back in 2012.  Our friend Todd Simko, who I'd played in Pure with back in the nineties, and who later performed with Combine the Victorious for several shows in 2007 and 2008, left us in the spring of 2012.  His death created a disturbing wake of emotions that eventually found their way into this song.

Back in January or February of 2013 I remember starting the core idea one afternoon and the song took shape quite rapidly.  The lyrics are personal but I tried to keep them open to interpretation rather than literal; it's been a sad realization that this kind of incident isn't as rare as it may seem.   The truth is all four of us: Juice, Misty, Isabelle and I were heavily affected by Todd's death, and it's been many months of processing.  We recorded this version back in the summer, on a beautiful day in Vancouver full of sunshine and laughs.  Misty is playing the drums, and the final take has a magical quality to it. Soloed there seems to be all kinds of random noises, little ghosts on the track if you will, that add to its soulfulness.

Juice was instrumental in the arranging of the song.  It was his idea to keep it stripped down at the beginning, almost like an old R&B song.  Then with each stanza we added a little more until the second chorus where we switch out of the syncopated feel into a more driving rock style.  His guitar work is both natural and full of feeling.  The solo in the end was recorded months earlier on the rough demo, but contained such a nice vibe and tone that we sped it up a bit to fit with the new version.

Isabelle had been in Manitoba during the spring, visiting her family, and I'd sent the demo of the song over to her to check out.  She came up with her harmony parts while out of town and the very first time the four of us tried playing the song together everything just kinda clicked.   My own vocals took months of work to get into shape.  I knew how it was supposed to go but really couldn't get it to sound that way I wanted.  Either it was too emotional, or too bold (or simply not good enough).  Eventually after several attempts I ended up with this final version.  I think it balances the lyrics and emotion nicely.

Anyway, as it's Christmas and we're with family, I thought it was time to share this song.  It should be part of the next full length album, though it does stand out from how most of the other songs are sounding. Please have a listen and let us know what you think.   (extra thanks must be said to my friend Jason Corbett for doing a separate mix for us.  His placement of vocals and the tone he chose was very eye opening and inspired me to re-approach my own mix.  My obsessive nature got the best of me though and I ended up going back into the studio for a full remix, the one you can hear on this page).

Thanks for listening, have a merry xmas, and here's to a bountiful and happy new year.  Cheers!

Mark



Brotherhood

lyrics:

dropped out of school
when we first met
but we still tried
to take on the world

just fighting for laughs
while we're looking for hits
until tension and
rejection wore me out

In a Brotherhood
I thought it was understood
that we always should
look out for each other

I guess it's times like these
when lost in your memories
you somehow fail to see
how much you matter

Over the years you would constantly fret
but still seemed fine as we'd all get together

Then your little fears turned into our dread
until you became a song

In a Brotherhood
I thought it was understood
that we always should
look out for each other

I guess it's times like these
when lost in your memories
you somehow fail to see
how much you matter

What I don't understand
is how we could not lend a hand
before you left this land
for another

We were just kids
when we first met
but we tried
to take on the world.

----
©2013 Combine the Victorious

Comments

  1. Awesome song, sounds great and is in the review as well. Cheers, and looking forward to hearing and reviewing more songs!!

    ReplyDelete

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