Ep. 118: Song “End Of My Rope” (Influenced By Spoon)

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

This song is influenced by Spoon, particularly their song “Got Nuffin” from their 2010 album, Transference. I like how the song has a really steady beat with minimal chord changes, but with bursts of chaos happening around it. I also like that there’s a bit of tension and darkness to the mood of the song, so I tried to incorporate some of those elements into my song.

Here’s a clip of the original voice memo I recorded as I was writing the song. I’m improvising the lyrics and melody, so forgive me that it’s a little shaky:

To start with the recording, I laid down some very basic rhythm guitars. There’s an acoustic and an 2 electrics, which play the same parts, which is a super simple eighth note strumming. It’s literally two chords over and over for the entire song, A minor and A major.

For the drums, I found a loop I liked from the Circles Drum Library. For the heavy parts I added open hats to give it a louder, punchier sound.

Next a super simple bass line. It’s basically the same two notes over and over again. But I think it works because it plays off the kick drum rhythm. It also has some holes, in the sense that it only plays a couple notes and then rests for a few beats, over and over. These moments of rest give it a little bit of groove and counter the steady eighth notes of the guitars.

With all the basic steady parts taken care of, I did two takes of a lead guitar part, with the intention of keeping whichever one turned out better. I ended up liking elements of both of them, so I ended up keeping them both and panning them all the way to the right and left speakers. They actually ended up complementing each other really well and at times, they do kind of a call and response thing, which was completely by accident. 

The finishing touch was using my Korg Kaossilator, which is a noise pad synthesizer you play by moving your fingers across the surface. It’s pretty fun to play and added a little more chaos and weirdness to the song.

For the sound of the vocals, I added a thick distortion and delay effect which pushes harder during the refrain parts.

Lyrically, this one is about feeling intense moments of depression and anxiety. In these dark moments, it feels like everything is collapsing in, that the world is out to get you and there’s no end in sight. The line about “a rabbit in the headlights” is a nod to the Thom Yorke song, which had similar themes. 

Something kind of unique I did with this song was try to make the production match the lyrics. The simple two-chord progression and steady beat are at odds with the very chaotic, noisy lead guitar parts that dual with each other. The intention is to simulate the intense chaos going on in a person’s head on top of the repetitive monotony of day-to-day life. The words and sound represent a breaking point.

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. Get 50% off your purchase until June 11th, using the promo code “songoftheweek” at checkout. Find it at archesaudio.com or click the link in the description. 

Also, for listeners of this podcast, Arches Audio is offering an additional 10% off your purchase of this and 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.

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