Singled Out: Arden Kaywin
"Let It Go" was actually one of the last songs I wrote for my new album '.' It's funny how songs come into being in so many different ways. At the time, I was working with my co-writer/producer Eve Nelson on some music to submit for a TV show. They were looking for female driven quirky pop songs, so Eve and I scheduled a session to write something for that. We ended up being so in love with the song we created that I kept it for my album and we bailed on selling it to the TV show. The song was "Let It Go" and it became my single.
This is how it went down. . . . .I had been playing around with a new piano riff that I really liked and I'd come into the session that afternoon with the chords and vocal line for what eventually became the verse of "Let It Go". At that point though, I was thinking of it more as a chorus and I didn't really have any ideas for a verse yet. So Eve and I spent a few minutes tossing around our thoughts when she had the brilliant idea that we make the original riff the verse, and come up with a new chorus. Eve sat down at the piano next to me and started to jam until we found the right chords for the chorus. It happened really quickly. My memory of this song is that it kind of wrote itself. We only spent about 3hrs in the studio that day and by the time I left, we had the basic arrangement and production elements of the track all dialed in. I went home with a disc to spend some time thinking about melody line and lyrics.
Sometimes I get performance anxiety when I have to write lyrics for a song that hasn't evolved from some cathartic need to talk about an emotional issue I'm going through. It's so much easier if I'm hurt, or excited, or in love because then I have all of those emotions brimming over and lyrics will flow much more easily out of that experience. But in the case of "Let It Go", we still thought we were writing a quirky pop song for a TV show and it could be about anything. So I procrastinated because I really didn't know what I wanted to write about. Finally, I'd put it off until the day we were supposed to record the thing. There's nothing like the pressure of a deadline to get the ideas moving.
I remember taking my laptop and headphones out into my backyard. I really had no idea what direction to take the lyrics other then I'd known from the very beginning when I wrote the original piano riff that the hook would be "let it go". I lay in my lounge chair staring up through the leaves thinking about my life, thinking about the phrase "let it go" and wondering why those three words were in my subconscious the day I came up with the riff. It was kind of a cool mediation because I came to the realization that I had spent a good part of the last year of my life cleaning out and getting rid of that which didn't serve me. I thought about everything from my bad relationship to toxic or paralyzing ways I can often view the world. Then it became clear to me why I needed to write this song because I'd realized the virtue of letting things go. So at its core, "Let It Go" became about my year of realization and some of the things I'd figured out.
I think "Let It Go" is the kind of song that can speak to a lot of people. . . .everybody at one point or another has metaphorically cleaned house. I also think "Let It Go" is one of the most sonically interesting tracks on my new record. The arrangement is fairly sparse. Every sound from the pizzicato strings to the loops and that bizarrely Beatles sounding guitar in the chorus was carefully chosen to fill a certain space. I really like to play around with sounds - I don't do it to be overtly weird or anything, but I like taking a normal sound and tweaking it so that it's more interesting then what it was originally intended to be. Ultimately that's the fun of being a recording artist and songwriter in this digital age. Take a listen to "Let It Go" and tell me if you agree =)
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!
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