Let me sing you to death, SINGLE: AWSDOTR – Deathbed Lullaby
by Walter Price
Just imagine if Tim Burton commissioned Sweden’s social conscience blues purveyor Hardy H. Hum to write a dark and melodic song to soundtrack a shadowy Spaghetti Western, then the outcome just may be And We Should Die Of That Roar’s thought-provoking single, “Deathbed Lullaby”. From the forthcoming album of the same name, this track is a testament to not only of Hum’s deep-rooted poetic wordsmithery but also, it highlights both his vocal dexterity and genus at composing sticky off-kilter rock n roll.
In His Own Songwriter’s Words
I must confess, I seldom sit down and write music. Honestly, I dunno how to do that! Instead, I sometimes noodle around on a guitar, just waiting for a melody or a chord progression – or a single chord or even a note – to hit me… to stumble upon. Other times I scribble on a piece of paper or in my phone’s notebook, usually inspired by some idiom I’ve come across in a book, a poem, a movie, or a magazine. If asked what comes first, lyrics or music, my sincere answer is, I dunno. It varies! Never the same! I’m an explorer, wanderer, escapologist… not a song factory. I’ve been writing songs for just about 30 years now – and still, I have no recipe, no magic formula… if anything, for the most time it is a rather messy process, albeit really exciting one too… but what works for me works by chance, gut feeling, and serendipity really… or perhaps it doesn’t work at all, depends on how you’re looking at it…
… anyhow, the other day it struck me, I was kind of noodling about on a guitar at first and the chord progression and structure emerged… they showed themselves and talked to me… and then I was kind of humming random melodies to it – a series of improvisations really – till they distilled themselves and after a while, there was this melody left that I felt was really strong… and then the verse words just poured out in one breath and I really felt I was in the zone, but this melody (which was obviously a chorus) was still left without words. But I didn’t push it! I was here before. It all felt really familiar. So I thought I’d just get on with it, be patient and wait for the lyrics to eventually emerge and grow on their own during the process, fitting the melody the best they can. Now, melodies are divas! They are demanding! You can’t just force any lyrics onto them and expect to keep their primal sentiment intact…
… I’ve heard of artists who place so much trust in the power of melody that they often let the melody dictate the lyrics as much as possible. The order in which vocals and consonants lay themselves out is determined musically at first. I always thought, nuh this is wrong, if you let the melody lead the way then it’s not true to the direction lyrics are or should be, taking. These two have to resonate in harmony with each other. But after a great number of these tensions, I realized that if you trust the process the pieces often fall into place on their own. Just give ’em some time! Your musical expression is really never too far away from your lyrical expression. You just have to let these two meet and this is where the magic happens! Every time I ’ve trusted the process and wasn’t pushing things, they turned out quite satisfactory! I promise! Don’t let the pressure kill your creativity! Have faith in your heart! Trust the process, even if it appears to be taking you on a side-trip of your life. It might just be worth it. Like Tranströmer once said in his poem The Clearing: ”In the middle of the forest there’s an unexpected clearing that can only be found by those who have gotten lost.” (my translation)
So, what’s up with all that? Well, when it comes to Deathbed Lullaby, I didn’t have the clear cut narrative in my head that I just wanted to portray, dress in melodies snd grooves and share with the world. Honestly, I’ve head this main mandoline-driven melody ringing in my head for quite some time. I would go about humming it for myself, not forcing the process, just leaning on it, and tagging along with it. One day, however, the words for the chorus just hit me and poured out of me in one breath. Unannounced, as these things often seem to wanna play out. The rest of the lyrics, on the other hand, was a fragmented process with a series of written notes here and there and a bunch of recorded voice memos and phrases, most often completely unrelated to each other. But looking through these notes I soon recognized a pattern of phrases that were depicting this hurt caused by betrayal, sometimes by those you thought were your closest friends, and I got to thinking: If everything would go to shit, ya’know, like the end of the World, or like a war or, well now more relevant then ever, a life-threatening pandemic, then all these ”Brutuses” need to face the fact that they’ve caused so much hurt by betrayal. It’s like the ultimate deathbed lullaby where you spill your guts out, not because you can but because you must. The idea of this final end, the ultimate and total finitude for ”everything” tends to make most of us focus on all those things that really matter in life. And if our friendship and love was ever real, then it needs to be honoured by an acknowledgment of all its dimensions, including the darkest and most unflattering ones.
And you can witness this brand new opus as well as the recent soul churning “I’d Rather Be Dead”, now at GTC.
+ I’d Rather Be Dead
Artist photo via Facebook
Recorded in Old Cuntry Road Studio, Sweden
Recording, mixing, production: Hardy Hum
Lyrics & music. Hardy Hum
Guitars, drums, bass, vocals: Hardy Hum
Master: Kevin McNoldy courtesy of Cphonic Mastering
Artwork: Igor Gruda courtesy of Grafotopia
Additional artwork cred: Florian Klauer
“And We Should Die Of That Roar is a one-man musical soirée, instigated and run since 2014 by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Hardy Hum. Hardy’s music has been described as “incredibly innovative” (Pure M Magazine), “truly unique and powerful” (Res Magazine) with an immediately distinguishable sound that is “drenched in whiskey, aged with smoke and fired with emotion and power” (ibid). This, however, is but a dark echo of a more distant past.”