A few years back – well, just over 5 years as it turns out – I became a semi-regular Songfight contender, submitting five tunes in total of various degrees of quality. The mechanics of Songfight are pretty simple. Write and record a song based on a supplied title, upload it within a specified time period, and have your song voted and commented on by the forum community. The time between the posting of the titles and the deadline for submissions is brutally short, usually somewhere between three and ten days but averaging under a week.
I tend to labour over a mix for weeks on end, and so I was reluctant to post any of the tunes here alongside some of my more polished efforts. But this tune, composed to the supplied title Save New Orleans and containing cable news sound bites as its sole vocal track, has withstood repeated listening (by my own estimation) and so during that brief annual window when Katrina is particularly topical, I’ve decided to share it with you here.
There are of course a few things I’d change if I remixed it. I didn’t intend for the electric piano track to sound so underwater (that description seems apt but its metaphoric nature was not intentional) and I’d probably brighten it up if I could. The outro drags on a couple of beats too long. But I’m very happy with the multi-layered clavinet part (inspired of course by Stevie Wonder), and the 60s R’n’B string line still strikes me as appropriately idiomatic.