Every February, over 2000 songwriters, lyricists, instrumentalists, and musicians participate in February Album Writing Month (or FAWM, as most people call it) to have an explosion of creativity and challenge ourselves to write 14 songs in 28 days. Many people just write a few, and some write far more than that (up to 130!). One of the great things about it is that people share their music and you get to hear some amazing music that you might not hear otherwise. People really try to stretch themselves and try new things. It can be quite inspiring to hear the breadth of talent that shows up.
Now, there were over 14,000 songs posted, and it’s impossible to actually hear them all, but there were so many that were just so good. I’ve been trying to spend the time since the end of February to listen to a number of song that I didn’t hear or wanted to hear again, and wanted to share some of them here. There are far many more that I like, but this should give a tidbit and a shout out to some of my favorites:
The song 3.857% just grooves. It’s fun to listen to and from the liner notes is in the style of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. It’s just great vocals, instrumentation, and fun.
Andrew was an amazing FAWM find. There are so many of his songs that just blew me away. The most mind blowing is Obsolete, which sounds like it came out of the movie Tron, but is a capella with vocal effects. Wait until you hear this one:
Another one of Andrew’s song that I love is Benediction (And Peace Be Near You), a beautiful anthem with stellar lyrics, playing and vocals:
And because I can’t stop, Andrew’s song Twenty-Five Dollars is a hilarious song about wanting to buy a present for his sweetheart, but keeps running out of money:
Celine is a tremendous musician and songwriter from Northamptonshire, UK, and is a professional musician and it shows in everything she does. Song after song of hers is just stunningly done and sung with such a clear, beautiful voice. While every song is amazing, See You In The Storm was particularly striking:
Erin is local and a friend of mine from the Boston area, who writes songs that seem to come out like polished stones, and has a voice like an angel. I can’t say enough about each of her songs she wrote, as they are an inspiration to me to get better (note: I actually have taken some songwriting workshops that she’s given).
One of my favorites is A Song You Can Sing in a Bar, which details the trials any songwriter has about wanting to write something serious, and what will be popular:
This duo from Northamptonshire, UK (what is it about the Midlands that grows such amazing talent) have absolutely dreamy vocals and instrumentals, and I drool over every single song I’ve ever heard from them. This one, Carve, is just one more example of their fine craft:
JT (a pseudonym) is an academic from Fife, Scotland and specializes in “nerd folk”. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and plays a damn good ukulele (life goals!). His North of Hadrian’s Wall shows his songwriting in all its cheeky glory:
Mike is a songwriter from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and has a very simple delivery which hits with powerful effect. His song Oh, The World Is Cold stopped me in my tracks, as it takes the traditional ballad format and brings it to a very different type of story:
Wobbie is a music veteran of years of playing in bands in England, and it well known for her comedy songs. I just love anything she does and I’ve said I would listen to her read the phone book (if we still had them around). Her song, Wordle Absurdle, is a clever play on everyone’s favorite 2022 online game:
http://wobbiewobbit.com/FAWM2022/wobbie-wobbit_wordle-absurdle.mp3 (Sorry, can’t figure out how to embed this one, but it’s worth clicking on the link!)
Liz is a friend and fellow local songwriter, whom I’ve been in a songwriting group for the past two years. She’s written some amazing songs, and one of the most notable from this year is Time to Do Some Cleaning, which describes when you need to clean up quickly before the cops arrive:
Paul, who goes by the name Dragondreams, is a multi-instrumentalist from Northern England, and he comes up with the most amazing mashups and instrumentations. Ever thought to combine electric guitar and recorder? Why are we? does this beautifully:
Beth is a local Boston area singer/songwriter, who has amazing guitar technique and writes amazing lyrics that are complex and simple at the same time. Her song My Father’s Ears is so indicative of her way of creating an intimate and compelling performance with just her and a guitar:
I’ll end this post with a track that I collaborated with Wayne to record a Broadway-style duet between two men. Wayne wrote the lyrics, the melody, and played piano, and I sang and did all the arranging, which was a first for me! I’m really happy how it turned out!
This is getting too long as it is, and I haven’t included so many of my other favorites here! I’m so lucky to have been able to interact with so many talented people.