I am delighted to have a song released on the latest 100×30 Guinness Book Of Records-included album from Nub Country Records. Have a quick listen. – it’s only 39 seconds:
Last year Mark Christopher Lee‘s label released an album of 100 30-second songs as a commentary on streaming services such as Spotify, which stand accused of not paying artists, and most particularly songwriters, a fair royalty rate.
The 30 second song concept comes from the fact that Spotify pays out micro-pennies for distribution to artists by record companies after 30 seconds of streaming, so why write any longer songs? It also perhaps reflects the supposed decreasing attention-span of today’s listening audience. It deservedly garnered attention from TV and national press and is now entered in the Guinness Book Of Records.
As soon as I heard of the concept I was immediately curious as to how one could fit an entire Pop song structure into 30 seconds along with all the hooks and commercial radio-play conventions that go with it.
In the end I missed the deadline for contributions to the original album, being in the throes of organising and facilitating a London Songwriters retreat. However, when I heard about the follow-up, which commemorates 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, I knew I had to find time and a songwriting get-together with friends in Gloucestershire gave me the opportunity.
I chose Sonnet 18 (Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day) as my inspiration, paraphrasing it into modern-speak and using the ubiquitous Axis Of Awesome 4-chord loop as the harmonic basis throughout.
Except that, in order to fit a classic pop structure of Intro Verse PreChorus Chorus Intro Verse PreChorus Chorus Bridge Chorus (Breakdown) Chorus Outro, I condensed it into a 2-bar loop with 2 bars for each line/section at 170bpm in a Power Pop Punk genre.
In true pop fashion I incorporated a non-lyric vocal intro and link (Oh Oh Oh Oh) and hopefully the requisite amount of repetition and contrast between the sections.
I recorded it the week afterwards and hit the deadline for the album along with all the other great artists. I’m pleased to say the song has had a good reception on record and live.
I filmed the video to help promote the song and album in my English Country Garden. Serendipitously, I think the clay sculptures in the video manage to echo the theme of longevity through art covered in the Sonnet as well as in the work of the ‘Immortal Bard’.
Summer’s Day (Shall I compare Thee) is out now on Shakespeare Verses Streaming by The Pocket Gods and Friends – Owen Paul, Mo Foster, Rich Ridings, The Boy From Space, Lee Ryda, Jane Tomsett and others. It is available on Amazon, iTunes and on Physical CD at all good record stores.