Category Archives: Misc

State of Hero Falls, September 2020

August came and went without a track being released, which broke my streak. It’s not the end of the world, but you know, it kind of feels like the world is ending, and that’s part of the reason I’ve slowed down considerably on Hero Falls output.

Actually, let me break this down.

1. As I’ve been working from home, I have seen a sharp decline in my creativity and interest; it’s been difficult to remain productive, even though I have ideas for more songs and more characters. As COVID-19 drags on and the world feels very different from just nine months ago when I started releasing tracks, I have not taken refuge in this project. I would rather just spend my time doing other stuff, like playing games. My daily commute was actually a great time to work on lyrics or listen to snippets of songs and refine ideas. As soon as I lost that compartmentalized space, I lost momentum

2. My collaborators are dealing with the same pandemic issues in their own lives, which affects their speed and interest as well. Things that I thought would be quick turnarounds have dragged on weeks and months instead. There’s been some hurry-up-and-wait to this, because I am relying on their kindness. This stuff takes time and energy; I’m not going to demand either from my friends.

3. I can’t lie that I had also hoped more people would be listening to and talking about the songs by now, so the soft reaction hasn’t helped my motivation either. Original music is always a tough sell, but I’m giving it away for free, you know? I really thought the comic-book hook would help it stand out, but when I post about it, those posts are rarely shared. I appreciate the few bucks here and there, but I actually want to be paid in exposure. (I am considering buying some Facebook ads — just as friends are leaving the platform in droves!)

So, it’s been easy to back-burner this. I was mixing the next track tonight, so something will appear before too long, and I have another song partially written that I would like to invite several friends to play on. After that, I’m thinking I might revisit some of the characters I’ve introduced and tell a standalone story with them. So far all the songs have been origin stories or moments in time; Kat suggested I try writing stories first, then translating them to songs, and I’m not sure if this is what she meant, but it makes sense to me to do, like, a three-song EP that works like a three-issue comic arc. Dunno. I’m kicking that around.

So I’m not done with Hero Falls, but it’s been hard to want to create more of it right now. I’m expecting this funk to pass, so stay tuned.

July 2020 update

I record everything in Logic Pro X…and my Mac died this month. I have since had it repaired, but it did put me a bit behind schedule on the next song. I have the core instrumental track with vocal now, and I’m doing early mixes while I add a few solo instruments and embellishments here and there. I realized today that it’s a product of multiple influences — it’s sort of Barenaked Ladies by way of Tom Lehrer.

It’s coming, eventually.

The Release Plan for Hero Falls

So, I originally thought HF would be an EP because I only thought I was capable of writing four or five songs. Then I realized, hey, maybe I can stretch it to 8 or 9 and make it an album. Then my long-time friend and much more experienced musician friend Joe Iadanza said “Dude, albums don’t have impact anymore. You should release singles.”

But…that was my whole plan, for two years! I’ve got most of these songs close to done! I have go fever! I want to tell the world! But he’s right. Singles are how people discover music now, and having a constant stream of new content will help new people discover the thing — more opportunities to share socially and increase the chance that it appears in new people’s feeds. Plus, I’m doing a comic-book thing; what’s more on-brand than the idea of monthly issues?

So I’m planning to keep writing and recording steadily, with a release cadence of a new song every three or four weeks. I have various weird story and character ideas that span a bunch of different musical styles, different vignettes from different times in the history of Hero Falls, and relationships between songs and characters that may or may not be evident — but they’re in my story bible. Also, I’m thrilled that more and more of my vastly more talented friends are agreeing to contribute to tracks.

I am very excited about this year, and it’s hard for me to keep such a deliberate pace. But it’s for the best. Thanks, Joe.

Greetings from Hero Falls

Hey there. Welcome to a project I’ve been working on for the better part of two years.

Hero Falls is my first venture into original songwriting. I grew up loving “story songs” — songs that were more about characters and situations than mere professions of love or longing — so I wanted to write something in that tradition. These songs represent moments in time for different characters who have inhabited the town over several decades.

It’s not a musical, but there is a non-linear narrative at work thanks to Katrin Auch‘s skill at worldbuilding. Some of that backstory will come out as listeners connect the dots. That’s part of the fun for both of us.

This is the start of Hero Falls and I hope you like it.

Dan