“Morning Sun”

Tune/Composer: “Morning Sun” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2013, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Phoenix Home Studio DEMO 07/11/13

Band/Instrumentation: Guitar & vocals  by Brian Chartrand

Image:

Story:

I try to pick up a guitar everyday.  Regardless of if I perform in the evening or not.  Sometimes I have to remind myself.  This morning I was lying in bed and just began playing whatever sounded cool.  I wasn’t even looking at my fingers.  Once I realized I had something I didn’t want to forget, I moved to the kitchen table to write down the lyrics that were coming and the progressions.  The chorus was the first thing to come to mind and it set the tone for the verses.  I knew it was fairly melancholy.  Sprinkled a little real life and viola.  I had a lot of fun writing and recording this one.  It was my first outing with some recording gear, so I have a little more to learn, but I dig it.  I like the sounds I’m getting from my mic and the new Martin sounds really nice.  Off to a good start I guess.  Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Lyric:

She keeps her world to herself

She still dreams somewhere else

She is not here, is what she’d say

But I’ll stay with her anyway

Here in the morning sun

Here in the morning sun

A brand new day is finally come

She keeps a flower by the bed

A summer rose, the darkest red

It is not real, is what she’d say

I swear I smell it anyway

Here in the morning sun

Here in the morning sun

A brand new day is finally come

She cuts an apple into thirds

Another gift from Mother Earth

Cup of coffee is all she needs

Forget all about me eventually.

Eventually

Here in the morning sun

Here in the morning sun

A brand new day is finally come

Download Morning Sun.

July 11th, 2013 at 11:48 pm top of page

“How Can I?”

Tune/Composer: “How Can I?” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2012, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Phoenix Home Studio DEMO 10/24/12

Band/Instrumentation: Guitar & vocals  by Brian Chartrand

Image:

This one came out fast and furious.  I am really trying to carve out time everyday to sit down and write new material… or even just practice (which lately I never do).  Yesterday I sat down with a chord book and started back at square 1; C major, C major 7… and that was it.  Immediately the verse melody popped into my head and I was off.  It was basically all done in a couple hours.  I took a break and went to the gym all the while finalizing the lyrics.  Came back home, made some dinner and finished the recording.

The first line of the song was first to come out; “How can I tell you I love you?”  From there, I decided it was going to be a song from the perspective of someone who longs for their lover to come home from traveling.  I tapped into some tender emotions and some feelings that are close to home for this one.  I do often find myself on the receiving end of a lot of these questions and I don’t always have a good answer to them.  Maybe next I’ll write a song from the other perspective.

Lyrics:

How can I tell you I love you, if you never hear me right

How can I show you I love you, but you’re so far away tonight

Tonight, aint the first time you left me alone

I’m starting to think you prefer your love on the road

How can I tell you I miss you, when you don’t ever answer the phone

How can I show you I miss you, if you’re never, ever at home

And home, well it aint what it used to be

You dumped all my things in one giant heap on the lawn, on the lawn

I’m starting to wonder, at the first sign of thunder, you pack up your things and run

And this wont be fixed, with your bag of tricks, and a kiss everytime you come home

I finally see the way I feel for you, aint the way you feel for me, feel for me

How can I tell you I love, cuz I love you, please come home

LISTEN HERE >>>>>>>   “How Can I?”

October 24th, 2012 at 1:53 pm top of page

“Dont Look Close”

Tune/Composer: “Don’t Look Close” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2011, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Burlington Home Studio DEMO 11/14/11

Band/Instrumentation: Guitar & vocals  by Brian Chartrand, background vocals & Harmonica by Rich Price

Images:

Story:

The initial idea for this tune arrived at my door on 9/22/11.  I still have the Voice Memo on my phone to prove it.  Not much has changed to the melody or tempo or chorus lyric since then.  I added verses as they came and the bridge happened last about a month later.  The story is pretty simple: its about a troubled, fragile guy that wants to keep you at a distance for fear of you discovering his weaknesses.  He has some issues/addictions and has recently lost at love (probably because she saw these flaws).  Its fun as a lyricist to wrap your mind around challenging topics.  Its sometimes easy to write songs about yourself all the time.  Writing fiction is liberating in a way.  I am getting into it at least.  Love Rich’s harmonica part.  This tune will definitely evolve with a fuller instrumentation…

Is that harmonica part a Ryan Adams rip off??  I don’t own his early records, and I think I’ve heard him play it before.  Uh oh…

Lyrics:

Spent many a nights alone, waiting by the phone, waiting for my mind to clear

Close my eyes down tight and pray to God your ghost will leave tonight, cause I think its still here

Don’t look too close at the surface here, dont look too close my dear

Don’t look too close cuz the cracks appear, don’t look too close my dear

I could get in the car and drive, probably wouldn’t make it home alive, guess I’ll just stay here

Pull the shades down tight and pray to God your ghost will leave tonight, cause I think its still here

Don’t look too close at the surface here, dont look too close my dear

Don’t look too close cuz the cracks appear, don’t look too close my dear

That’s my darlin’ in the garden dancing in the rain

In the morning without warning she took the south bound train, I tried to explain

Don’t look too close at the surface here, dont look too close my dear

Don’t look too close cuz the cracks appear, don’t look too close my dear

Don’t Look Close

November 14th, 2011 at 9:57 pm top of page

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September 14th, 2011 at 3:12 pm top of page

“Worth The Fight”

Tune/Composer: “Worth The Fight” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2011, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Home studio DEMO 9/7/11

Band/Instrumentation: Guitar & vocals  by Brian Chartrand

Images:


Written on 8/27/11, which was a beautiful sunny day in Phoenix. I was listening to “El Camino,” a track on Amos Lee’s new record  (see above).  I picked up the guitar and started figuring out the chords to Amos’ tune and I stumbled onto the verse progression for “Worth The Fight.”  The two songs are very different, so I am not sure why or how it happened.  I think I had been throwing around this opening chord and rhythm in my head for a little while though and it just wanted out.  I wrote the tune in an hour; from the very first pass, to the finished product.  Its got a light bouncy guitar part which is an interesting backdrop for a fairly introspective song.  The lyrics came out very quickly without many edits at all.  I think the chorus melody is super hooky.  Its almost too hooky, which makes me think I totally ripped off someone else’s song.  It has happened before…(see “My Rainy Day”).  I like the lyrical contradiction of the bridge and the chorus too.  And I don’t see the lyrics as being negative or sad.  While the narrator is feeling a bit defeated and frustrated, I feel like there is still hope, compassion and love.

This is the first song I’ve written since June, which is a pretty long drought for me.  From May 15th to August 16th, I was basically bouncing between NYC and PHX living out of a suitcase without a real homebase in either place.  It was exciting and fun, but exhausting and unsettling.  It’s nice to finally  have my own place where I have my computer and recording gear set up so I can get ideas down, even if they are just quick sketches.  As much as I love traveling and how it inspires me, the traveling this Summer made it tough to write because I never really had the opportunity to get into that creative work space; all my gear was baking in a non-air-conditioned storage unit in Tempe.  Luckily, it didn’t all melt.

This tune is about looking a relationship in the face and asking it some tough questions.  Maybe you’ve been there too.

Lyrics:

My love

Dry your eyes for me

My love

We’ve run out of things to say

If neither one is right

Is it just a waste of time

is this love worth the fight?

And love

Can mend a broken heart

And love

Can tear it apart

If neither one is right

Is it just a waste of time?

Is this love worth the fight

Don’t let him find out he’s right, Sarah

I wont let you find out your right tonight

If neither one is right

Is it just a waste of time

Is this love worth the fight?

Worth The Fight

September 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm top of page

“Phone Calls From Home”

Tune/Composer: “Phone Calls From Home” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2011, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Home studio DEMO 6/16/11

Band/Instrumentation: Guitar, piano, vocals  by Brian Chartrand

Image:

Greetings from sunny Burlington, Vermont.  Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the magic of the information super highway, I come to you today from the home recording studio of The Sweet Remains.  These idyllic surroundings are in complete contrast to the song that I have been recording these past couple days.

A couple weeks ago I witnessed a death in the subway in New York.  I didn’t see it happen, but I walked onto the platform about 30 seconds after it did.  A young woman was “severed” by an oncoming train.  It was a traumatizing event and one that puts a lot of daily concerns and minor stresses into complete context.  Its just not worth sweating over some things.  I spent the rest of the afternoon deep in thought and began writing this song immediately.  Later that day I heard that accidents like that happen frequently in the city, and I started to think of all the other things that happen in the city; walking the dog, fruit mongers on the corner, blood on the subway tracks…its just another night.  And I really feel like, especially living in New York City, you have to remind yourself, “don’t break down.”

Lyrics:

Its just another night, its just another night in the city

Its just another night, its just another night tonight

There’s blood on the tracks tonight, all night

So hold your lady tight tonight, all night

Don’t break down

There’s people selling fruit on the corner tonight

Forbidden fruit on the corner all night

Gotta walk the dog around the block tonight

All the way to the park tonight and all night

Don’t break down

Phone calls from home (can you hear it, can you hear it)

They love you so (pretend you can’t hear it, so you..)

let it ring, let it ring out, let it ring

out of control

Don’t break down

Its just another night, its just another night in the city

Its just another night, its just another night all night

Its just another night, its just another night in the city

Its just another night, its just another night in the city

Phone Calls From Home

June 16th, 2011 at 12:06 pm top of page

“Out of the Cold”

Tune/Composer: “Out of the Cold” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2011, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Home studio DEMO

Band/Instrumentation: Guitars and vocals by Brian Chartrand

Image: This is what you get when you type “rain woman door” into a Google image search…Rocky Horror Picture Show anyone?

I started humming this melody yesterday afternoon and quickly sat down with a guitar and started building chords around it.  This is the second “blues” song I’ve ever written; the first being “How Thin These Walls” on my last solo album “Out of the Ether.”  As with many songs, I started singing imaginary words to the melody until I settled on actual English words and started composing around that.  The first line came first “Get out of the rain, child.”  I had this image of a rain-soaked girl standing at the door of a man’s house.  Its a bit of a role reversal where the woman has been out late and the man is home waiting for her return.  Now that I describe it, maybe this is similar imagery to what Sting was thinking when he dropped “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”  In any case, the rest of the lyrics came quickly.  Because there was such a distinctive and repetitive melody, I thought the lyrics should do the same, hence the repeating of the first line in every verse.  If I was an accomplished slide guitar player, the solo would have been a slide solo.  The vocals harmonies were an afterthought.  Still not sure the tune benefits greatly from them, so I buried them in the mix and added a healthy dose of reverb to make them more a vocal pad then actual vocal part.  Enjoy.

Lyrics:

Get out of the rain child

Get out of the rain child

Get out of the rain child

Let my lovin’ keep you warm

Cuz I got some space in my loving arms

Get out of the night time

Get out of the night time

Lord I know its the right time

Baby, wont you come home?

Cuz I got some friends downtown, and they know where you roam

Get out of the cold, child

Get out of the cold, child

Get out of the cold

And let my lovin’ keep you warm

Cuz I got some space in my heart, and I want you to make a home

Out of the Cold

May 9th, 2011 at 12:16 am top of page

“I Won’t Lose You”

Tune: “I Won’t Lose You” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2011, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Home studio DEMO

Band/Instrumentation: Guitars, vocals, hand claps by Brian

This is one of the fastest songs I’ve ever written (5 hours).  And considering it weighs in under 3 minutes and has three chords, that doesn’t really surprise me.  But every once in a while, you write a rock tune….Hey, it worked for the Beatles back in the day.  This started as an old fashioned, singing-to-yourself-in-the-shower song.  First came the beat (oddly enough) and then everything happened around it.  By the time I was dry, the chorus and verse melody were done.  I can hear this tune with bigger instrumentation i.e. bass and drums and electric guitar, but for now, its gonna live like this.  Enjoy.

The lyrics reflect the difficulties of maintaining a long distance relationship.  Maybe you’ve been there before.  New cities offer new distractions, especially a city like, say, New York City.

The line “California crumbles to the sea” is a tribute to my favorite band Steely Dan.

Lyrics:

New York City reaches to the sky

I kind of wanna reach up that high

You can have anything you need

Any time of day, free delivery

I won’t lose, I won’t lose, I won’t lose, I won’t lose you

Tell your friends it feels good to be free

But you can’t deny this chemistry

You say you gotta leave, you got places to be

Here’s my counter offer, spend the night, spend the night, spend the night with me

I won’t lose, I won’t lose, I won’t lose, I won’t lose you

California crumbles to the sea

We still got you and me

I won’t lose, I won’t lose, I won’t lose, I won’t lose you

I Won’t Lose You

April 26th, 2011 at 4:12 pm top of page

“Faith”

Tune: “Faith” by George Michael

Type: Live performance.  Recorded at BeLaMi (Club Am Donnerstag) in Bergedorf, Germany 2009

Band/Instrumentation: Me on guitar and vocals, Clint Bierman on guitar and vocals

This was recorded towards the end of my first European Tour in 2009.  The tour took me through Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany.  It was amazing.  Something that I had been dreaming of doing since my first experience of living abroad in 1994.  It literally was a dream come true.  So much fun and super rewarding musically.  At this point in the tour, Clint and I had been performing as a duo for about a week.  BeLaMi is a club located in the city of Bergedorf which is just outside of Hamburg.  Live music was hosted by a crew of folks called “Club am Donnerstag.”  The night started as every other; roll up to the club, dump our gear, have some dinner and a few delicious German beers, and then we hit it.  The place was packed and super attentive; two things you don’t always see on tours in the states.  It was so refreshing to feel all the love and support as two complete strangers.  They asked for an encore and then another and then at last, on the third encore, I had to tell them that we had no more songs to play…it was that kind of night.

This particular song is special to me for a number of reasons.  I remember as a kid watching this video and thinking, “I don’t think he is really playing that guitar” but digging the tune anyway.  At that particular time in pop musical history, you never really heard acoustic guitar, so I was immediately interested.  Eventually, I got the full album and spent hours listening.  I used to have lip synch contests in my parents living room to this record…it was that serious.  My oldest brother went to see him in concert and got me a t-shirt..i wore it with pride on the four square court that summer.

This tune is also going to be on forthcoming 80′s solo acoustic record, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, enjoy this live version with my buddy Clint Bierman.  And stay tuned for the release of this entire performance “Brian Chartrand & Clint Bierman: Live In Hamburg.”

Faith

January 28th, 2011 at 3:54 pm top of page

“You Might Be Good For Me”

Composer:  ”You Might Be Good For me” by Brian Chartrand, copyright 2011, Flying Lessons Music ASCAP

Type: Home recording 12/11/10

Instrumentation: Me on vocals, guitars, string arrangements, etc.

This tune was started on June 24th, 2010.  My summer changed once I realized that I could stream World Cup games on my computer.  My routine was awesome: wake up, make some coffee, and pull the comfy green Ikea chair into my bedroom and kick back and watch some FIFA.  It was great.  I was watching a game (I forget who was playing) on this particular morning and was strumming away…next thing I know I was playing the verse over and over.  I think I wrote the rest of the music during that game and made the first demo of the tune that night.  The lyrics describe an abusive love affair (FIFA makes for an interesting back drop, doesn’t it?)  Not sure what spawned them…thankfully nothing autobiographical!

This is a story about love when its down and dirty, punctuated with raised fists and voices.  When blood boils and vases get thrown.  This love is defined by confinement and restriction, with harsh penalties for misconduct and error.  This love is not pretty or forgiving.  In fact, its not love anymore.  Its something else entirely.  The catharsis is in the chorus “Ill put down my arms, if you put down your guard.”  There is hope for reconciliation.

Lyrics:

Sit down.  You might want to sit down.

Sit down.  You might want to sit down now.

Rough like the stormy sea, smooth like porcelain

You might be good, you might be good for me

Straight out of hell, you know me well

I’ll put down my arms just put down your guard

Keep down.  Don’t let the neighbors hear.

Keep down.  This is between you and me.

Straight like the Berlin Wall.  Bent like some razor wire.

You might be good.  You might be good for me.

Straight out of hell, you know me well

I’ll put down my arms just put down your guard

You Might Be Good For Me (TAPES)

December 11th, 2010 at 7:22 pm top of page