Welcome to Singled Out! where we ask artists to tell us the inside story of their latest single. Today Katie Kerkhover tells us about "Habit " from her album "Blister". We now turn it over to Katie for the story:
"Habit," like most of the songs on the "Blister" record originated from a work tape. Any time I have a riff idea or possible chorus or verse idea they get logged into Garage Band as a work tape. From there, Tim Craven (my producer, co-writer and band mate) and I pull ideas together, mull them over, and reshape them into songs. "Habit" actually was the combination of two ideas we found in my work tapes that, with some subtle manipulation, came together to create the opening riff sequence and the chorus.
Creating the song from the work tape idea is the process that is the most collaborative. After we pick the ideas we want to explore, Tim and I sit down with two acoustic guitars and flesh out the ideas into a song form. In this case, the chorus ideas lead to a verse chord progression and then to the bridge. The intro riff was set aside until much later. The songwriting process for us is not always a linear progression through the song, from the intro to the end. We often find ourselves starting in the middle of the song and working our way out.
After we created what we felt like was a solid verse idea and chorus idea, we began to discuss content. Tim and I both had been struggling with the sever addictions of close friends and family, as well as, had recently read a couple of books on the topic and thought it would be a great subject to explore in a song. We recorded a quick, acoustic guitar track of the verse and chorus idea into Garage Band and just let it loop over and over again as we formulated the lyrics. The first draft of the song was heavy on the drug addiction idea, with lots of heroin and alcohol references, but with further discussion and exploration we began to write with a broader stroke and used less specific lyrics to include what we felt like were addiction that are equally as hard to curb, but maybe be less easily discussed. What I feel we created is a song that, lyrically, can be interpreted in a several different ways.
With the song now complete, we were ready to head into the studio where we spent the next couple of days creating the basic track to "Habit." The track started with the creation of several drum loops, which would actually make it to the final mix. Then I record a scratch guitar and vocal over this track, which was used for tacking drums, bass, and final guitars.
I'm really happy with the way this song finished. After several weeks of recording guitar and vocal parts, along and rearranging song elements to better shape the song, I feel like we ended up with one of the strongest track on the records. I also feel like, with this song, we really refined our approach to writing, and learned a lot about the song creation process; which was that, it's not always a neat and organized process. It can be messy and scattered, coming from small snippets of half formulated ideas.
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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