“Be Flat” [Song Demo]

And we’re off. Humble though this home demo may be, it is a kick to hear it built out even just to this extent, and it’s gratifying to finally have a little bit of an audible example of what I’ve been working on with the Mutineer project to share with other people.

Under the Influence

The Trews at London Music Hall in 2016

The Trews at London Music Hall in 2016, the same venue I’d seen them 6 years earlier (and several other times besides)

“Be Flat” was originally conceived in early 2011. I was listening to a lot of The Trews music at the time. But then, I listen to The Trews, a terrific rock band from Eastern Canada, just about anytime! One of my  favorite songs back then was a track of theirs called “Love Is The Real Thing.” Like “Be Flat,” “Love Is The Real Thing” is a simple little pop-rock song with a pretty infectious hook. It starts with just percussive, repetitive note on the electric guitar before the song builds (for the life of me, I cannot understand how that song was not released as a single, but it was not). So I suppose you could say that my song was heavily influenced by The Trews (among others, I suspect).

As a quick aside, for the life of me, I cannot understand how that song (“Love is the Real Thing”) was not released as a single, but it wasn’t. Too “pop” for rock radio? I don’t know. But I’ve always wondered.

Life at the Time

Lyric Slide from "Be Flat"

One of my favourite lyric lines from the song, “Be Flat.”

I first heard The Trews play that song at the London Music Hall on December 10th 2010. I will never forget it. That show happened when I was in the middle of trying to navigate through what turned out to be a separation and eventual divorce. My wife at the time had entered into another relationship, and so when I went with my friend Paul to see The Trews, so many of their songs resonated with me very deeply. They played “Love Is The Real Thing” that night, and even though I had never heard it before that, I knew instantly that I loved it and that it completely connected with what I was feeling at the time.

Aside from finding a few very poor quality YouTube videos in the time after the concert, I had to wait months for the new CD to be released just to hear the song again (that album was “Hope & Ruin,” mentioned as part of my Top 10 Most Influential Albums ever in this blog). I remember the release day. I was about to travel up to a place called Lindsay, Ontario, which is about a four-hour drive away. I didn’t leave myself enough time to download the whole album the morning that it was released, but I made sure to purchase and download that one song and I listened to it many, many times on that trip.

That gives you a little backdrop for understanding where the song came from: my life as I’d known it had fallen apart, I was feeeling cheated and deceived, and I was listening to The Trews. A lot.

A Song is Born

I can recall sitting on the edge of my bed with my guitar and just percussively strumming a note in B Flat. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted this song arranged, because it almost seemed too simple. The other beef I had with it was that the lyrics offered no clear title. So I started calling it “B Flat” but without the “E” after the “B,” simply because the first chord in the song is B Flat. Listening to it now, if you have a keen ear, you might say, “Well Kevin, that note is actually ‘A.'” You’d be right, except that it sounds like that  because the guitar is tuned a half step down. And the chord I’m playing on the electric guitar is actually a B-Flat chord (although, I guess that if the guitar is tuned down it’s not a B-flat cord at all: it’s an ‘A’ chord with different tuning. Anyway, you get my point).

What’s In a Name?

After a while of the song sitting around without any title, I recognized that the tone of the lyrics was of someone that was feeling pretty “flat.” It’s a stretch, I’ll grant you, but what I decided to do at that point was put the “E” after the “B” and then just call it “Be Flat,” fully intending to come up with a proper name for it at some point later on.

Well, it now happens to be one of my older son’s favorite songs and so we have been referring to it as “Be Flat” for a long time. Although it’s a kind of wonky title, it would seem strange to change it now.

What Would You Call It?

Looking at the lyrics (below), what would you call it? There’s a challenge for you!

I also recall that, at first, I was not sure what I wanted to do with this song. It feels more like a pop song and doesn’t sound anywhere near as heavy as some of the other Mutineer songs are. But it fits the theme lyrically and I figured it might be neat to have a melodic little pop number as part of the group of songs. We’ll see how it mixes in with the rest as I get to them. Meantime, I hope you like it! Let’s see how it continues to evolve and change as this process goes along!

Stream the song on SoundCloud by clicking here or on the image below.

Soundcloud Button

 

 

 

 

Be Flat
By Kevin Bulmer (SOCAN | ASCAP)
©2011 Kevin Bulmer Enterprises

Somebody wake me
Won’t somebody shake me
And get me away from this crazy dream

It isn’t quite fair
Waking in a nightmare
Nothing really is like the way that it seems

At my attention
Is that I’m in detention
For trying to keep along with the golden rule

I didn’t waste it
And you didn’t face it
And I’m not sure who is really the fool

And I don’t know that I can explain
How a heart could ever heal from so much pain
And it’ll never ever be the same
But I know one way or the other
It’ll be okay

Can be a big load
Shoulderin’ the high road
When nobody else is makin’ a fuss

I’m gettin’ queasy
Seeing how easy
It was for you to throw me under the bus

And I don’t know that I can explain
How a heart could ever heal from so much pain
And it’ll never ever be the same
But I know one way or the other
It’ll be okay

And now the fellow in the mirror’s
Coming in a little clearer
And he looks a little lost
With a little bit a fear
Yeah, but the shadow of integrity’s
Exactly where it’s supposed to be

And you know that he’ll be back
His soul is still intact
They took everything else
But they ain’t never gettin’ that …

And I don’t know that I can explain
How a heart could ever heal from so much pain
And it’ll never ever be the same
But I know one way or the other
It’ll be okay

Somebody wake me
Won’t somebody shake me
And get me away from this crazy dream

Page Divider Line

Need music for a video, film, television show or other production? Do you work with a Publishing Company? Looking for songs for your artists or band? Kevin has hundreds of original songs in acoustic and rock styles, and some instrumental. Contact Kevin here for more information.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *