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Goldfish Smith

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About Goldfish Smith

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    Contributing Muse
  • Birthday 30/12/1994

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  1. Goldfish Smith

    2016 1+1 Song of the Year Contest

    Wowie wow folks, thank you to whoever gave me a vote. Though I now wish I had taken a shower before I took that video, tbh. My big three favs were likewise Bee3 and RoadDog's songs, and also Paul's "My Heart Opens Like a Rose." Good stuff all, it was hard to pick.
  2. Goldfish Smith

    Dry Rain

    Nice production with a nice full sound. I like the chorus. I think going on the same note for "dry" and "rain" is cool and actually kind of a bold choice in a way. But does it need to be the same -every- time? or could you go to a different note a couple times. Since the notes are held there's room to play. Another thing to consider-- the first two lines of the verses end on the same note, and I don't think they want to. That is, I don't want them to, lol. I think there are kind of two competing tones in the lyric. On one hand you have lines like "putting curves in a long straight road," which has a certain poetry to it, whereas "There's a shoulder," or "I'm thinking that I might get wet" is very direct [or "dry", perhaps in a charming way. I think both are perfectly valid, but maybe pick one and stick to it. Meanwhile the middle of the second verse could use some attention. "You don't show much like you're playing poker" feels like... not the right comparison. I don't think it's so much about a secret/not knowing if this person is feeling, as it is the singer believing that they SHOULD be crying. I'm devastated, why aren't you? There's no secret, i.e. no withholding of information, it's an unfathomable incongruence of emotion. You could play off of the bomb image from the previous lines, or bring something else in, but it should be within the world of the landscape, the sky, rain, or driving. Those are the materials you've established.
  3. Goldfish Smith

    Dry Rain

    Hello & welcome! Link is currently giving me "video not available." I shall assume you just uploaded it and it's not processed yet, but you might wanna double check privacy settings. Lyric looks good, if not ground-breaking in terms of content. I'll be back
  4. Not mixed whatsoever. Maybe one day I'll put in the effort. Comments on all other aspects welcome. MEN (I TRIED TO WARN YOU) He wants to hurt you but I didn't catch his name I tried to warn you but I didn't know your home address Your house is bugged but they have built for you a shelter I hope that there's some way to tell you where it is The less you know about it, safer you will be So work a blindfold from those little bits of string you find around your room I've had this dream about him off and on this week I see his face and, well, I guess he looks a little bit like me Your house is bugged but they have built for you a shelter This is your life but there are ways to stay inside The less you say about it, safer you will be I've had to keep it to myself for fear of what he might have done to me I don't know much, I only know what I saw And then I knew I had to tell it to you He's not a ghost or an agent of God He's a man, and this is what men tend to do So picture clouds and all the shapes that they might take Picture your mom and all the corn bread she would bake when she was sad When she was happy, then just picture her face laughing And see the sky behind her sinking into night The less you think about it, softer it will be So picture clouds, and then just hold them in your mind until they fall away I don't know much, I only know what I saw And then I knew I had to tell it you He's not a ghost or an agent of God He's a man, and this is what men tend to do He's not a ghost or an agent of God He's a man, and this is what men tend to do
  5. Goldfish Smith


    First off, welcome! Hope you stick around. There's definitely growth to be had through hearing what others have to say. I can attest to that; I posted my first song here 4 1/2 years ago when I was in high school. I wouldn't say I've been an active member for really any of that time, but I post a song every so often and get some help. I definitely attribute at least some of the improvement I've seen to this site. But also my brain literally wasn't fully formed when I started, so that's got to be a factor as well. Also practice So, CAMERA: Your greatest strength here is this backing track. Really great work on it. Love the use of non-instrument sounds, v cool. It's not something I do really at all, so I can only compliment. The vocal does take away from the impact, honestly. I really support wanting to perform your own songs, so do keep working on your voice. You sound a little tentative on the attack. Being a good singer is overrated, but confidence goes a long way. John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats) is a good example. Just hit the notes and make sure there's enough air behind it. That's it. Just some general comment on the lyrics: nothing wrong with second person (addressed to "you"), but there's a lack of specificity in this lyric. If it was about a specific person, who doesn't have to be real, you'd be able to point to particular details that make the imagery more vivid, and therefore more real, and therefore more relatable. If the song you're writing has a message, that's great. But you don't have to say it so plainly as "Your self-image is different/Than others' image of yourself/Being someone else will never help you heal." It has the effect of being "preachy," which you don't reeeally want. If you tell a story (or part of one) that expresses that message, you don't need to say it. It's that "show, don't tell" advice that they teach in every creative writing class. But it's truuuue. But that *doesn't* mean it has to be full of rich visual description. Just be sneakier about it than just saying exactly what you mean. The other thing I noticed is there's kind of a shift of point of view from the verses to the chorus ("You" to "I"). Nothing says you can't do that, but there has to be a good reason, and it has to be clear that it's happening. Most of the time it's easier to just keep it consistent throughout. Take with a grain of salt and a lemon wedge. I'll be watching out for the next one.
  6. Goldfish Smith

    Leonard Cohen RIP

    Always when I'm not paying attention. He is an incredible poet and we'll miss him. I'll definitely be having a listen to his last album tonight. Must admit I hadn't realized he'd released an album (not to mention three) since Dear Heather like 10 years ago, but grateful that he did. But Leonard, what if I don't want it darker? How about the glitter of light in the dear, dark, shade?
  7. Goldfish Smith

    New Song - If I Told You

    Cheese aside, it's a well-written song performed well. However: those arpeggiated piano chords that repeat through the whole song. I was waiting for those to drop out at some point and never come back. I appreciated the variation of the track other than that. They were just always right there behind the vocal. You've got a couple of clear opportunities to lose them. I could see it dropping out around the 1:25 mark when you bring in those harmonies. It could return at 2:12 for that part, but then go away again for good around 2:44 for that last section. What you replace them with (if anything) when they're gone is open for exploration. The whole thing runs a little long too (for me. I know it's not *actually* that long.). Could you live with a first chorus that ends on the "dinner and a movie" line? Do you actually need the first verse at all, I wonder, since you repeat most of it later on? Also, is holding tight and giving good night kisses a specifically "Eskimo" activity? Not sure if you're really milking the image/using the right image.
  8. Goldfish Smith

    Song order on an album?

    I think I would struggle to find even 30 mins of song material that I like enough to put on an album. Doesn't help that most of the songs I write barely hit 2 1/2 minutes. Not to mention recording all of that. It just sounds like so much wooooork. And my attention span--
  9. Goldfish Smith

    Song order on an album?

    Not something I've ever done, given that I don't really record, but I've thought about it hypothetically a bit. It doesn't matter much to me as a listener, I don't think. The only time I listen to the whole thing through in order is the first time I listen. In pop music you see 1st singles as track 1 really often. Sia's "Chandelier," and Adele's "Hello" being a couple examples off the top of my head. "Still Crazy After All These Years" the song is track 1 on "Still Crazy After All These Years" the album. I don't know which was named first. But you do see title tracks as openers a lot. In the absence of actual "singles" I guess it would be, yeah, your "best" song. Or maybe your most catchy. Album closers I think are a lot of the time one of the longest, if not the longest track, often a ballad or something particularly earnest. OR something short that kind of sums up the overlying theme of the album. So I think I would pick an opener and a closer, and work towards the middle. I'd space the best songs out a bit. There seems to be a tendency to put the best songs right at the top and all of the weaker songs in a clump somewhere in the last third, but I don't really know why they do it. I've bought albums based on one song, and it never mattered if it was track 1 or track 14. I've also never gone browsing through iTunes, or Spotify, or what have you listening to the first few tracks of albums I'd never heard of. Maybe people do that. Maybe it's so when people read the back of the CD case or the track listing elsewhere, they see the ones they're most likely to recognize right away. But that seems like it would more apply to pop artists with tons of radio play. I have no idea if this would work, but maybe you could try putting them in a random or arbitrary order first. Like alphabetically by second letter, or in the order that they were recorded, or even completely randomly, and see what works and what doesn't. Like with writing, it's easier to edit than to write. And if something doesn't fit anywhere, take it out. Better to have fewer songs that play nicely together, I think.
  10. Goldfish Smith

    March Song Contest (1+1 VIDEO Format)

    Hey, thanks! Good set of songs. I liked all of them, even mine. Gave everyone favourable #s but my big favs were Oswlek's and Joan's. Nice stuff. Some comments: Adrian Applegate: Lyric was perf, while it got a bit "factual" in the middle verse, I could still feel that undercurrent of something. "How some of our laws are chiseled in stone/And some laws are whispered in shame" yeah really just the best lyric this month. Pleasant listening, and you have a lot of presence in your delivery. I don't know if it was just the fact that you looked into the camera more than others, but it sure did something. Sometimes my opinion of songs of this sort of genre that I see occasionally on this site is that they feel like history lessons, but this had a heart as well and that's what elevated it for me. Lillian Rose: Great hook, found myself humming it later. A bit sugary ? for my taste but well done. Might be a fair point about mismatched imagery but didn't really faze me; I felt like it's all part of the same page of the colouring book. 11 x 17" maybe Candyman: Yeah real interesting and kinda risky choice with this p.o.v. And the music as per usual is not expected and just nice to listen to. and a more aggravated feel coming from you vs. the pretty ballads which I also love, which was cool to hear, you have a stylistic range which I couldn't say about everyone (me). Open All Night: I'm a bit lonely and I love night pancakes so I got where it was coming from lyrically.. I don't know if it got all the way married into what was going on with the music. Kind of loose rhythmically in a not-so-deliberate way? I think the idea which is a good one might lend itself to a stickier, sleepy pace. Like I sleepwalked to the pancake emporium and this is the song that's playing while they call me a cab. Forgotten Man: I actually don't remember it super well, but I remember really liking it. It's just the details I've forgotten, man. Small joke. It was a good one. I got a bit confused about the multiple generations and thought the narrator was addressing himself on first listen. But I am not known for my attentiveness. Joke aside, though it's quite impeccable it actually might not be the most memorable, but it has re-listening value so I guess that doesn't matter? This has been a comment. This Phone: Ya didn't ask for comments but I don't play by the rules. In fairness I am perhaps unfairly repelled by songs that talk about cell phones, emails, or job forbid, Facebook, so we were at a disadvantage. But I liked it, ok? I found the meter of the verses quite elegant.
  11. Goldfish Smith

    March Song Contest (1+1 VIDEO Format)

    (comments welcome) The Hole That's in My Ceiling What fell today, through the hole that’s in my ceiling was a pill the size a pill should strive to be This hole is Alan’s too, my ceiling is his floor, we share a door We share the stairs but not his pills because he needs them for his heart What fell today, through the hole that’s in my ceiling was a crumb of something burnt beyond belief Alan’s having trouble with his time, he can’t remember when to stop I knew someday he’d have to leave it might be sooner than I thought He’s still there, but he’s not the same He doesn’t hate me and he doesn’t know my name and it’s so strange how he can look me in the eye and now I’m not that little fag who lives downstairs And the hole keeps getting bigger I think it all just might fall in on me What fell today, through the hole that’s in my ceiling Alan’s heart, he lowered on a silver chain I got down on the floor and made a hole to feed it through Just to return it to the earth and let the earthworms do their work and grow a thistle in the middle of my living room He’s still there, but he’s not the same He doesn’t hate me and he doesn’t know my name and it’s so strange how he can look me in the eye and now I’m not that little fag who lives downstairs And the hole keeps getting bigger I think it all just might fall in on me And the hole keeps getting bigger I think it all just might fall in on me
  12. Goldfish Smith

    Short song challenge

    I pretty much exclusively write short lately, but here's what I came up with trying to follow these guidelines. The sections kind of flow together but I reckon I could argue one and a half verses, a chorus and a bridge. Functional Drunk is this important as a stepping stone? am I appointed now a functional drunk? is this the first day of the rest of my night? am I delivered from a liver I can live with all my life? who are you to say this is not helping me along? am I appointed now a functional drunk? so much for maybe I am not one for the books but how does it hurt me to be spared your nervous looks? this is not a glass it’s a tunnel, and it’s drinking me down the morning is impossibly far and I can’t stand these kinds of nights and everything that they are this is the first day of the rest of my life I am delivered to the forward kind of motion that you like this is not a glass
  13. Goldfish Smith

    Whats the story behind your Muse name ?

    I like to think of Goldfish Smith as a kid detective a la Encyclopedia Brown that doesn't usually solve the mystery, but that you can always count on to pack a good lunch.
  14. Goldfish Smith

    An Old Song in a Familiar Skin

    I labelled the sections so we know what we're talking about. Mike: I think I will drop the repeat of the chorus (which is what I'm calling it). It was initially there because I felt it was getting to the end bit too abruptly, but I don't really feel that anymore. Would maybe bring it back if I were to to a full arrangement 'cause I could build it up for the second time through, but for now it's probably better without. Thanks. Brelizabeth: I've been following the capo discussion, and I'm firmly pro-laziness. Thanks for the listen. I generally don't prioritize hooks, but since I might be reworking something of a chorus, I could pay a little attention to that. The title used to be "An Old Story" which does repeat. I changed it 'cause I felt this title would be more unique. Mistake? Ben: I might need a little elaboration on that. Do you mean replacing the chords I'm using with tenser, more dissonant ones, or do you mean dissonance that could be added over it in vocal harmonies or other instruments? That is, are the chords+progressions I'm using not exciting enough right now? Tom: Thanks for listening. The guitar is Alvarez, something in their lower price-range. I don't usually consider myself a good guitar player, so that's nice to hear. HoboSage: Good note, I used to have a full chorus between the verses, thought it was too much. But it definitely needs something. Eric: Interesting suggestion, not sure that I'll do it, since the last bit is really the part I am happy with. I think I might be coming up with a new bridge/second chorus and that might come with a hook and a new title. TC: Thanks for going through in detail. Gonna have to try all the little changes and see if I like 'em better. Re: dissonance, I was a little unclear, are we talking altering/replacing chords, or adding additional guitar or vocal lines to create the dissonance? I guess it would be up to me, but just wondering if you found the chords I'm using a bit stale?
  15. There's a lot to critique here I would think. Which parts of the lyric aren't working? Are all the parts fitting together? Anything out of place or not helping? Restructuring? This was one of those that doesn't come together quickly at all, I've been chipping away at it for a few months. Help! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtgMWDtFcxg An Old Song in a Familiar Skin [V1] The house on the corner, the room where you’d hide from me The cracks in the walls where the light from inside came free I was tied to your wrist in the swell of a summer night I whispered your name ‘til it burned through my candlelight [V2] The bread and the wine, and the ways that you’d let me know The drink that would take you as far as you wanted to go That bell in the tower; that knot in your gut you feel I heard it, I felt it, and that’s why I came to your heel [C] And I followed you home, just a few steps behind And I stood on your doorstep and started to whine I pulled at the brass, and I scratched at the pine So you’d have to come out, I was losing my mind It’s an old story [br] I heard you coming from a mile away Your shadow rising on my wall The skin you wore didn’t scare me at all [v3] They wrapped you in flowers and sent you away from here The string from your wrist to my throat wouldn’t disappear I whined and I paced and I paced and I hoped and I prayed And now you’ve come back here to clean up the mess that you made [C] And I followed you home, just a few steps behind And I stood on your doorstep and started to whine I pulled at the brass, and I scratched at the pine You’ve got to come out ‘cause I’m losing my mind Yeah, I followed you home, just a few steps behind And I stood on your doorstep and started to whine I pulled at the brass, and I scratched at the pine And I’ve been in this spot maybe hundreds of times [TAG] It’s an old story, it’s a familiar hymn I gaze upon your face up there, so pale against the night You’re an old song in a familiar skin Drowned in the colours of the stained glass window light