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How to write an album

It’s day three of this album-in-a-month thing, and so far I’ve got five little piano themes written out and about a stanza and a half of lyrics, and they don’t go together, and in any case I’m still looking for some kind of sense of direction.

I didn’t have any over-arching theme when I did this three years ago; Manifests was largely just a collection of songs that happened, tied together more in musical/production terms than in any specific semantic sense.

Do I need a theme this time? Not necessarily. But sitting here and having songs not Just Happening, I’m looking for a hook. Something to bootstrap the writing process. An album about the arc of a fictional bad breakup? A series of songs about food in my fridge? What do I have something to say about right now?

I’ve thought about unabashedly starting with the music and worrying about the lyrics after, something that I have basically never done before. I like the idea in theory, for the adventure and for the idea that it might let me work in a different way, but I’m afraid it’ll just add up to me retrofitting lyrics awkwardly onto instrumental tracks.

Gotta come up with something. Month won’t last forever.

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