November 2019 Playlist: lonely, the playlist
hi all, it’s been a while. about 4 years since i’ve done one of these. a nice sit down and explain the music inside my head. a proper catch up might take too long, so we’ll skip what you missed on glee. thank you for reading this. it means the world that you, or anyone cares at all about about what i do.
relative in comparison to what’s going on in the world, sometimes it’s easy to feel lost in the shuffle, to wonder how you cut through the all the noise of everything going on. is it selfish to even want to? how could songs i make in my living room stand up to the importance of the countless things, amazing and bad, that move so quickly and spread across the internet faster than ever before? to answer that, i have to acknowledge one thing i found over the last few years: my purpose and place in the world.
music has always been my strongest passion, above anything and everything in the world. i never really stopped writing. i certainly wrote less, but as much as entrepreneurship and running my business took over my time, i never tapped out. today, being able to feel exactly how i felt when i started cody t in 2014 is my road sign from the universe that i’m back on the highway i belong on. not that lost bros isn’t the highway i should be on, it certainly is and is such a big part of my heart and brain, but lucky for me, i have a few whips for a few different highways lol.
my passion led to this song lonely. to understand why i made this playlist, i want to show you a quote from a brilliant author and spiritual navigator of the 21st century, Austin Kleon:
“Think about your favourite work and your creative heroes. What did they miss? What didn't they make? What could've been made better? If they were still alive, what would they be making today? If all your favourite makers got together and collaborated, what would they make with you leading the crew?”
I firmly believe, his teachings in my own words, that we are a tequila cocktail of every piece of inspiration/art/human/moment/memory/etc we have ever experienced. A complex mix, sometimes unbalanced (specifically in my case) blend of every self-curated ingredient we’ve ever absorbed. the moment I understood this concept, everything changed. the way i looked at my art and what i could create would never be the same. i realized that what i had always been wrong about with my art was that i was always worried about carving some sort of impossible path of uniqueness and perfection. so much so that even when i was touring and releasing music, it was so infrequent because i was trying to achieve the impossible. but now i knew what i was supposed to be doing. not being afraid to dump my favorite artists/songs/stories/emotions/sounds in a cocktail shaker, and throwing that thing against the fucking wall.
my music is now, objectively, perfect to the only person it needs to be perfect to. me, bitch. (referring to life, not you the reader) with my new understanding of art and how it’s made, i learned how to do the impossible. if i could make a song that was exactly perfect to me, if i could curate the perfect recipe of late drunk nights, my best and worst ins and outs of love and other matters of the heart, and the chaos that is being in your 20’s, with my favorite sounds and instruments, i would inherently create something so singularly unique because no one on this earth is me, or could share that recipe with me.
armed with my new notebook of cocktail recipes and mixes, i’ve been making music that is so self serving. it’s everything i want to hear. it blends everything i’ve always wanted to hear mashed up that no one had done before. it was so fulfilling. it was so unbelievably fulfilling. it changed my life. i’m proud our every demo, warm up, and scratch i have saved on this computer because of that. slowly, very slowly, one song after another, i realized that i know exactly what i’m doing here.
so now i have lonely. and this story needs to tie back to the introduction for a literary punchline. how do i cut through the noise? is it selfish to want to be heard over everything else in the world right now? would these be more impossible struggles of an artist? no, i’m not that guy. these songs are helping me so much. they’re honest and real. i cant say much about the weekend because you'll have to wait and listen, but they’re basically like this conversation we’re having now for me, very therapeutic. they mean a lot to me and i hope they will mean something to you. the response to lonely has been so special, and more people have emotionally connected to it than any other thing ive ever done. to me, that’s been something i’ve decided would be selfish told onto for myself.
as far cutting through the noise? im not worried about that right now. i’m enjoying lounging out in obscurity, and the comfort of not having any pressure. id currently rather focus on the connecting with the few people who are listening now and starting a secret society. maybe one day people will line up to join what i’m starting, maybe not. no matter what i have myself, i have my songs that i love so much, and i have you.
what i now would like to leave you with is my cocktail recipe for my song Lonely. a playlist of songs that i remember constantly listening to while writing it, or that i drew inspiration and emotion from while putting it together. i hope you enjoy them, and my song lonely. thank you again for reading all of this and we’ll chat soon. keep in touch and let me know what songs you like and don’t!!
love u v much
Weekend - Priory
the beginning of the weekend. i heard it many many years ago on a playlist at my favorite job ever serving sushi back in jupiter at a restaurant my best friend tyler and i ran. i remember literal waves of emotion when i first heard it. it felt like a literal war cry for our early 20s. the group vocals on “it’s the weekend”. the way ahead of its time indie sound. the angsty rebellion and punch of the hook. this song has shaped my life and been a part of so many memories and i still listen to it every week and turn tf up to it.
recommended use: friday night when you’re out of the 9-5 and about to hit the streets
Beg - Jack and Jack
this one is such a fun hit. i knew jack and jack back from youtube/playlist live days. my friend aaron wrote some songs for their first EP. it was nothing crazy, but sure enough years later this song shows up on discover weekly. the production is amazing, and so simple. i love the muted chugging guitars. playing around and learning how to play this on guitar was how i accidentally wrote the verse riffs in lonely. i loved that i was able to take something really happy sounding and use it in such an emosh way
Come A Little Closer - Skizzy Mars
if you know me at all you know skizz is my favorite rapper to ever do it. lonely started in march of 2018, but didnt get recorded or finished being written actually until the end of 2018 on a trip to palm beach for the holidays. i remember this was the only song i would ever listened to. it’s so perfect. the guitars, the minimal production, prelow and skizzys voices working off each other. i hate being that girl in 2018 but its SUCH a vibe lmao. i’ll always think of this song when i think of tracking that first batch of songs almost a year ago. driving up and down from west palm to orlando. i have meet and greet with skizzy mars in november woth my friend cam that i paid too much for. i have NEVER paid for one of those at a concert before lol.
You’re Not Missing Me - Chelsea Cutler
chelsea cutlers music really opened my brain up to new sounds of music. she was doing EVERYTHING the soundcloud/youtube indie/pop producers we’re doing with synths and vocal chops, but was dropping in her delayed and echoey guitar so tastefully wherever she wanted and it felt like such a personal contribution. when i was started all this cody t, i wasn’t sure there was any place for a guitar in kind of music i was making at the time, but guitar was always my life and history. i was in bands my whole life, and i want my music to represent that. when i was arranging lonely, im glad i had chelseas music to learn from on the value of putting the important parts of you in your music. my favorite part of you’re not missing me instrumentally is the guitar.
Lost in Japan - Shawn Mendes
this song came out the week we started writing lonely. i remember thinking “oh shit, shawn is not vine music child anymore”. this man had a sexy funk pop song. not only that, but i seriously thought the lyrics were so perfect and personal and intimate for someone who had just spent the last 2 years rocketing to stardom and being a superstar. i listened to this song alone in my car at night all the time. i couldn’t stop. it paints such a detailed picture of his nightly “ u still up? adventure”. when i wrote lonely, i kept making sure that what i was writing would tell hopefully as detailed and intimate as a story.
You - The 1975
you is by far one of my favorite songs by the 1975. the riff after the first chorus is fucking insane, and milk is also a favorite. this came out before the first album and was in those amazing early ep songs. it’s so unique and emotional. i love how it makes me feel when that lick drum comes in under the riff after matty says “it jus takes a little more”.i will transparently say lonely sounded a lot like this before it sounded how it did now. the chorus wasn’t the fun pop drop, it was a clean electric guitar doing for strumming with an acoustic kick drum and felt more like a sad emotional build. the bridge felt the same but ended with a big drum kit and electric guitar battle, kinda manchester orchestra-y, that was very inspired by this song but ultimately did not feel right at all. i’m glad it changed but i love this song still
recommended use: crying over a girl in 2015 that straight up wants nothing to do with u half the time u want her
I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis / Betty Who
This one is a two for and is the most important. It’s one of the best, most fun, and iconic timeless love songs ever written. every human on earth has heard this song. When i played my scratch chorus, the one mentioned above, it had picking muted guitars come in with a tambourine, like the Donna Lewis version of this song. my good friend ricky who i wrote the song with showed me it and we listened to it a bunch, as well as the betty who version. i loved bettys arrangement with the huge indie pop drums and muted guitars. i remember thinking i wanted the production to be so similar and to have it feel the same. the tempos were so different that it didn’t work out, but there are nods to her production all over lonely, including the old chorus thats somewhere in a demo ill post one day