I once read that the members of the band The National all live in different cities, and that when they are writing music, the instrumentalists in the band record their own tracks to the basic song and then they send that to the lead singer, who listens to it over and over until he's got some lyrics to go with it.
For the last two songs that I have written, I adopted a similar process, except that I don't really drink wine. That is, I recorded the guitar, bass and drums as a whole song, anticipating where the chorus parts should come in, and then I listened to these recordings on repeat and wrote lyrics. Over the past week, this process has resulted in Rat Race and Dandelion Wine (If Only...). Not bad.
And yes, I know that I just admitted not being a wine drinker, despite having recently written a song with that word in the title. The truth is that I've never actually had dandelion wine. It just seemed like a good metaphor for making the most of whatever you've got (which is how I tend to approach music-making).
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