31/07/12 - PHASE 7 : TRUE LOVE (feat. James Bay)
PHASE 7. What?? Really? More than halfway done already? Incredible. It's funny how every single of Phases is different. This one is also very disctinctive: the music was written by someone else. Or at least 80% of it was. The person in question is my good friend Simon Tremblay, AKA James Bay. He did a remix of New Design last January...
This video of True Love was directed by La Barbe Rousse.
You might want to listen to the audio-documentary about True Love... you'll find out a pretty funny detail about the tune... just saying!
Simon and I met in 2010 if I remember well. We had a few friends in common... and we had already been told that we had similar music tastes. Which happened to be true... From Broadcast to Portishead, to... well, so many other bands really. I remember ending up listening to tons and tons of music in my living room, going through my record collection and getting all excited: "oh listen to this! oh you HAVE to listen to that". It was how we became friends, music totally brought us together.s
Simon had done the mastering on There Is A Voice (Phase 6), and I knew that the next step was to do a real collaboration. When I offered Simon to collaborate on a song, the next thing I knew was that he had written a whole track on his own already. He sent me a loop called "glass loop" - in reference to Philip Glass, because of the loopy organ patterns. And when I heard it, I went "wow" and thought: "I'll add some vocals to this and we'll have a great song". That explains why it's not so much a Montag track, but a James Bay + Montag track really. It's funny because the words came to me whithin the first 10 minutes of listening to the music.
In fact, I wouldn't even call "True Love" a song... it's more of a music piece really... The lyrics are not predominant at all: there's really just a few words in there. This is how the - very simple - words go:
it's when we forget
who we are
we lose ourselves
when we lose track
that we find true love
that we find true love
There is a raw emotion in the music that is hard for me to explain. Probably because I didn't write it. And when I added the vocal melody, I somehow though of Bret Anderson of Suede. After listening to a few songs online, I realized it wasn't even close. But maybe I thought of them because of that "raw emotion" or tension even, that I mentioned earlier. It might be because the mood of the music reminded me of my teenage years... probably because of its darkness.
It's funny how creation works... With True Love, it was as if we were two puzzle pieces that worked together. Hopefully there'll be more collaborations or even a different project involving Montag and James Bay. We'll see.
I forgot to mention that the music assignement for Phase 7 was "choir arangements". What I did to accomplish that is that I recorded numerous takes of my own voice and turned them into a choir of myself, playing with vocal harmonies a little bit. But to go even further, I was inspired to intergrate samples of different choir sounds... from classical to gospel. You can hear the samples quite clearly at around 2:59 in. I quite like the result in fact, it really brings an obscure human presence to the music, which is essentially electronic and cold... There's something vaguely sacred in choir music that works well with the mood of the song I think... I'll let you be the judge of that!
Trying to figure out how Cubase works at Simon's place... It was just so nice to be in someone else's work environment for once.
WILL WE EVER FIND
Will we ever find true love? It's easy to figure out that both songs are related... I used the same chord progression as Simon's and I used the typical - very new age sounding - choir sound of the mellotron. Another reference to the "musical flavor of the month" so to speak...