Ironic Veronica

As stated in my project proposal I will be creating an all-original extended play with Adam Thraves. This will include original songs written by me, some of which I’ve made rudimentary demos of in the past, and making them come up to a professional standard through the use of the skills I’ve acquired.

The first studio session was dedicated to recording ‘Ironic Veronica’: a song that I wrote last year. The demo (posted above) was quite low-key and only featured an acoustic guitar, voice and brief solo. For the studio session, I decided I wanted to embellish the song with more arrangement and a focus of cleaner production (LO2). I’d say my main influences for the song is R.E.M – ‘Out of Time’ (1991) and ‘Automatic for the People’ (1992) in particular. This will impact on the sound and the direction I’d like to take the production in. The jangle-rock and folk inspirations shine through on their albums and I would like to achieve that bright sound whilst making it my own. A song that I think sums up the overall sonic landscape that I wish to achieve is ‘Near Wild Heaven’ off of the former album (LO3).

The first part of the session was dedicated to recording the rhythm guitar track which would lay the foundations for the rest of the song. To achieve we set a click-track to maintain correct timings. I haven’t had much experience recording with one so there was some initial difficulty but I overcame that and managed to get a good take (LO2). I recorded with a 12 string acoustic guitar as well which gave a different timbre to that of a regular 6 string. I was hesitant at first whether it would sound right but the chime-esque ring it gave off seemed to suit the song. I’m a fan of the sound and cite influences such as ‘David Bowie’ and ‘The Byrds’ examples of this (LO3).

I then laid down an electric guitar track which accompanied the rhythm. I played arpeggios with a capo on the 7th fret to once again get a different sound to that of the 12 string. This is a common method that was used by such bands ‘The Beatles’ (George Harrison in particular) to alter tonality/differentiate between guitars. I also played 2 guitar solos in the song (one in a bridge and an outro) which I had developed from the original demo above (LO2) The new and improved one fit the song a lot better and the use of the click track helped the structure of the song too in terms of about of bars for the solo.

12 String

Next up was the vocals of the song. I had done a guide vocal after the rhythm guitar so that Adam could work out where each part of the song started and ended (the chords are the same for the verse and chorus). After this I laid down the lead vocal of which I performed 3 takes which we will then select the best parts from to make one single lead vocal track. I sang a bit deeper than I had on the original demo (not by design, and the key hadn’t changed either) and the SE2200A-II seemed to pick up the bass frequencies in my voice a lot better. It was set to cardioid polar pattern as it records the sound predominantly from the front (LO1). I also performed backing vocals on the song which were worked out at the piano to ensure the blend of the harmonies fit the song. I kept these until the end of the song as a way of layering the various points in the structure. This is evident in ‘Near Wild Heaven’ and ‘Out of Time’ as a whole where different parts of the arrangement are introduced as the song progresses (LO3).











Update: I’ve made a rough mix of the song which has been inserted below. I will revisit this as time goes on to improve on my mixing skills (LO1)


Lyrics and Chords:

G             C               G        C

She spends all day on the funny farm

Writing bad jokes, that don’t do any harm

Am         G           Am        G

And then she goes for a sip of wine

Spouting gibberish until a-quarter to 9

G             C               G        C

I’ve got an ache that just won’t quit

And a broken tap that just won’t drip.

Bm7                C

But now I see her frown, and I sing

G             C               G        C

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la


She stands up, upon the stage

Reads a book, but her least favourite page

And nobody there, says a word

Her real voice will never be heard

I’ve got an ache that just won’t quit

And a broken tap that just won’t drip.

But now I see she’s down, and I sing

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la


Bm7       C                                   Em              D

And she may share her thoughts, her feelings and fears

Am        G                       D                                    Dsus4   D   Dsus2

They all smile at first but by the end they’re all in floods of tears


It may be summer, but it’s not that bright

Spinning in daffodils, flying your kite

But I just stand aloof and stare

She starts with a joke but ends on a prayer

And I’ve got a pain that just won’t quit

And a broken clock that just won’t tick.

But now I see she’s proud, and I sing

La, la – ironic Veronica, La, la – loves electronica

La, la – ironic Veronica, La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la



Oliver Cobbin – 12 String Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm & Lead Guitar, Harmonics, Bass, Keys, Percussion, Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Production, Mixing

Adam Thraves – Drums, Tambourine, Production, Mixing

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