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Singled Out: See Green's Goldmine

05/10/2010
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Welcome to Singled Out! where we ask artists to tell us the inside story of their latest single. Today Courtenay Green from See Green tells us about "Goldmine" from their brand new EP "Violet". We now turn it over to Courtenay for the story:

I'm a sucker for a harpsichord. Ever since I studied baroque music in school, I'd been fascinated by the idea of the "basso continuo," so I'd been itching to use one in a song somehow, but only if it was appropriate. When I initially came up with the chord progression for "Goldmine," something about it sounded so classical…so naturally, I couldn't resist! I wrote the harpsichord and drum parts and then decided to add a bass line that complemented it with little classically-inspired runs that build throughout the song until they become fully ascending scales in the final verse. And then, to keep it all sounding modern, I added some fuzzy electric guitars and synth sounds. Musically, I liked what I had, but lyrically, there was nothing except the word "goldmine," which kept popping into my head every time I hummed the chorus.

After listening to the instrumental track a few times, there was something that felt really dramatic about it. Too dramatic to make it personal- almost like it needed to be a story that sort of built with the music and became equally chaotic by the end. Around that time, I happened to be watching some mindless gossip show on TV, and they were chronicling the trials and tribulations of a certain reality TV star. The story seemed so familiar at that point, like it was following a trajectory I'd seen 100 times before. Person gets fame-hungry, wants to capitalize on the "goldmine" of our current cultural climate, gets famous for doing very little, hits a peak, then experiences insane backlash and a sort of fall from grace as the people who built them up tear them down. And then they're begging to be left alone, when the attention they're getting was completely self-initiated. It's something that I find both horrifying and fascinating in all its sordid glory.

In any event, much like the music, the story seemed very old in some ways, but very current in others, so I decided to use that as a jumping off point. And basically, the lyrics (as best as they can in three minutes!) chronicle this sort of rise and fall from a first-person perspective, starting with someone who thinks they have everything under control and ending with someone who is BEING completely controlled. So I had the main melody/lyrics, and then on top of it, I added a lot more backing vocals than I usually do- sort of a nod to the old "Chorus" idea from plays. And with that, Goldmine was born!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the EP - right here!

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