original. acoustic. music.

Updates and moments of nirvana

We have nearly re-written our entire repertoire for 3-part harmony!
Ever since Emma joined the band last year Darrel and I have been able to go back over our songs and breathe new life into them, changing keys, creating new parts, and handing over the reins on a few leads. In almost every case the songs have made fantastic transformations.
Darrel and I have always had the advantage over solo performers in that we could create a bigger wall of sound with our two guitars and voices. However, with three strong voices the sonic landscape is so much bigger! Even singing together in the practice room feels like a concert - you feel part of something, rather than a driving force, there is time to breathe (sometimes), to listen, and enjoy what we’re doing.
A couple of years ago (actually quite a few) I hit a nirvana moment on stage and wrote about it - that momentary out-of-body experience you feel when your mind wanders in the middle of a song and starts to appreciate the music from the outside. With three of us going full-tilt on a particular verse (usually a second verse, that’s how we roll) or a chorus those nirvana moments are much more frequent. And it’s awesome.
I have learned a lot about harmony over the last year or so, something I’ve always just done by ear. Adding a third part that benefits the song and is not too boring to sing is a real challenge - I’ve had to turn to the keyboard (at which I am inept) on a number of occasions to find the note I can hear in my head just to prove it fits in the chord. Not all of our experiments have succeeded, we have worked on a couple of songs for ages only to go back to original arrangements and add a simpler part. If the Stars is a good example, that song must be in its 20th iteration by now, but I think we’ve finally cracked it.
We now have over 30 original songs re-worked for the Gracious Deviants 2.0, and of that number around 15-20 that are up to performance standard and indeed have been performed live over the last year. Our goal is to get as many finished and recorded as soon as we can, and start writing some new material with all three of us together. Fun times ahead!