Ep. 114: Song “Killing Time” (Influenced by Wilco)

In this episode, I break apart a song called, “Killing time.” This comes from my album Starting Over released back in August of 2022.

This song is influenced by the band, Wilco, particularly their song “California Stars.”

I liked the beat and laid back feel of the arrangement on their song. So, I tried to incorporate some of those elements into my song. 

So to start with, I recorded an acoustic guitar play the chords with a pretty straight forward strumming. Then I played the same rhythm guitar part again but with a clean electric sound to give it more texture. For the percussion, I started by putting a beat together using samples from the Circles drum library and a tambourine. Then during the chorus, the beat is fairly steady and kind of similar to Wilco’s California Stars with a shaker added in on the bridge.

For verses 1 and 3, I give it a beat similar to the Fleet Foxes song “Battery Kinzie.” 

It kind of reminds me of an old Motown style beat. I also layered on this lofi drum machine throughout the song but you mostly notice on the Verses 1 and 3 when most of the instruments are cut out.

Most of the song, including the solo, has this retro sound organ to fill things out. Again I took some inspiration from hearing this type of sound on some of Wilco’s music. During the solo, I added a really buzzy synth, which is typically a little out of place for this sound but I thought added something kind of unique and gives the song a little more edge to it.

For the vocals, I doubled them up and added a heavy slapback echo reverb sound, which gives it kind of a murky vibe.

Lyrically, this one is a story from the perspective of a teenager struggling to find a purpose in life. They’re watching the world fall apart, the future looks bleak, their parents are constantly yelling at them, and they start feeling like “what’s the point?” They’re never going to be satisfied with life so it feels like they’re just running out the clock, killing time until they kick the bucket. 

I think many of us can occasionally get caught in a similar rut. This song is supposed to represent just a snapshot, that hopefully this type of thinking is temporary and that we overcome it and find a way to gather some meaning and purpose going forward.      

And with that, here’s the complete song. I hope you like it.

And that’s our episode . If you’re interested, I made a music video for this song, which you can find on YouTube or in the description.

Also, This song is available to license for your projects like podcasts and videos. Find it at archesaudio.com. Use the promo code “songoftheweek” at checkout to get 50% off your purchase of this song until March 19th.

Also, for listeners of this podcast, Arches Audio is offering  10% off your purchase of the other songs in the music library, as well as any services, including audio editing, artwork, and a new course on podcasting. Visit archesaudio.com and use promo code “makingmusic” at checkout.

That’s all. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.

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