Yellowgold

The official website showcasing the music of Yellowgold, produced by Jason Howell.

In Detail: Fever Dreamer

"Fever Dreamer" finished Pro Tools project

Oh I didn’t see you come in!

Today I want to write a bit about the how the title track from the album Fever Dreamer came together. It all started one morning as I was on my drive back to my home after dropping my daughters off at school. It was a dreary and rainy day and I was listening to NPR on the radio in all of its… rather depressing glory. (I blame 2017 more than NPR to be completely honest.)

As i drove home, the host transitioned from one segment into another. Many times, in those transitions, they’ll play a short musical interlude and this particular time, it began with low bass guitar playing a chord progression… multiple strings, very dark… the darkness actually matched the mood of the weather. For the rest of the drive, the sound of that bass morphed in my head and by the time I pulled into my driveway, I had an idea for the beginning of… something.

I ran inside, fired things up, punched out a quick drum track and then pulled out my bass guitar to play around with a few chords. It didn’t take long to land on something that caught my attention and soon after, I had a timeline with a pretty basic bass line to drop a few vocal scats over the top. Here’s the fruit from that first session, meant to be more of an exploration of what the song COULD be.

The next day I sat down and took elements and ideas from my scratchpad session from the day before and laid it out into something that began to sound a bit more formed. I latched onto the signature  vocal harmony progression, and also included what became the chorus as an idea. This draft is actually a nice bed in and of itself... I mean, it's noisy as all get out but I really like the beginning to end vibe.

After this, the song came together pretty rapidly actually. But the song is a testament to one of my favorite things when writing moody music: Dreary, rainy weather. It can put me in the mood like nothing else. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I revel in that muted darkness.

The lyrics, oh the lyrics. I'll make no bones about it: Lyrics are my achilles heel. It's almost always the most difficult part of the process for me. Do you tell a story? Do you force a rhyme? Is it just incredibly cheesy? It's so difficult. Much of the lyrics of this song were born of a method that forces me to work out of my lyrical frustrations: I simply start a timer and write anything that comes to my head in an endless stream for 10 or 15 minutes. I don't stop. My fingers keep typing, and I don't judge. Just let the words flow. I did this and in the end, had a large pool of randomness that I could then pull from and make some meaning out of it. It's really cool when this technique works as well as it did with the lyrics for Fever Dreamer. In the end, I'm quite happy with the story that's told in this song, and it's kinda crazy that it came out of a random mishmash brain dump exercise!

As for the title, the original note in Evernote has this listed as Fever Haze. But somewhere along the line, Fever Dream popped in there and I like it. Once I added the "er" I REALLY liked it.

Here's the final product from the album:

Lyrics:

Give me too much
Give me two reasons
Give me the time back
And I'll sleep longer
Give me some sheets
And a fever
Give me my life back
I'm dreamin'
Give me the time for love
Give me the time for something more
Give me the time
Nothin stands before
Takin' the drug
Takin' the power
Drinkin' the life blood
That turned sour
Deep in the dark
Away from the filter
Taking my life back
From the thunder
Give me the time for love
Give me the time for something more
Give me the time
Nothin stands before
Give me the time
Nothing less nothing more