songwriting thoughts from VoL

May 19, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Posted in learning, listening to | Leave a comment

I’ve been a big fan of the band Vigilantes of Love since my freshman year of college (thanks Todd!) and they’re one of the few I’ve liked for a long time. it’s been a long journey for the band, some of which is detailed in this interview with Bill Mallonee. the interview made me pretty sad to see Bill so bitter at this point. his stuff will stand the test of time I believe, but it’s hard to see a musical hero on hard times.

anyway, in listening to some of their stuff lately (Slow Dark Train, Audible Sigh), and considering Bill’s lyrical style, I’m struck how often he makes sure to leave a strong thought at the end of the chorus or line. a lot of his songs revolve around a particular idea, and he encapsulates that idea in a short phrase that he drives home at the end of the line of the chorus (usually). sometimes this is the name of the song, sometimes he names the song from another snippet in the lyrics, leaving you something else to think about.

I suppose this isnt a revolutionary idea, but I thought it was good to note how effective it can be in creating a hook, using emphasis and repetition. I tried it a little with my latest song I wrote last night (“Mystery”). hopefully that’ll be ready to share in a little while.


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