Hit Songwriting: “The Other” by Lauv

LauvAlthough I usually feature songs at the top of the mainstream music charts in this section, today I want to look at “The Other” by Lauv, an artist who took a different path to success and whose work and career provide plenty of inspiration for independent artists and songwriters.

Lauv’s self-produced singles “The Other” and “I Like Me Better” have collectively had over 450 million listens on Spotify and launched a sold-out tour. Yet he has never had a Billboard chart hit as an artist. (Although after his solo records went viral, he co-wrote charting songs for Charli XCX and Cheat Codes w/ Demi Lovato.)

Produced by Lauv and co-written with Michael Matosic, “The Other,” debuted on a friend’s music blog (Oblivious Pop) and was picked up by other bloggers, spreading virally through blog aggregator Hype Machine. It just goes to prove that listeners WILL spread the word when they find good music.

“THE OTHER” – LAUV (Pop)

Writers:  Ari Staprans Leff (Lauv), Michael Matosic

TECHNIQUES TO HEAR AND TRY:

  • Flesh out a basic verse-chorus structure.
  • Build your lyric around a peak moment.
  • Keep your listeners involved with images and actions.
  • Create contrast in your melody with octaves and beat emphasis.

Read the lyric here.

Watch on YouTube.

GENRE / STYLE (What is a genre? Watch the genre video.)

“The Other” is in the Pop/Singer-Songwriter genre, but a heavy R&B influence, creates a contemporary, fresh, soul-infused sound that’s very appealing to listeners and works well for Film & TV. Continue reading

Writing With Images: John Mayer
& Sara Bareilles

Using images in your lyrics  is a quick and powerful way to connect with listeners. Let’s take a look at a couple of strong image-based song lyrics. To find them, we need look no further than today’s successful singer-songwriters. This style relies heavily on the use of images to express personal experiences and emotions.

SONG #1: “SLOW DANCING IN A BURNING ROOM” – JOHN MAYER
Writer: John Mayer

Read the lyric here.

Watch on YouTube.

 

IMAGES IN THE SONG

THE TITLE IMAGE: The title of this song is an intensely powerful visual image. Who can resist picturing this couple and the destruction happening around them? Continue reading

It’s 2018 and my newsletter is baaaack!

2018Sooooo, 2017 turned out to be the year I finally created my online course “Shortcuts to Great Song Lyrics.” I worked my tail off and I’m very proud of the way it turned out. (You can find out more by clicking here.) But because I was so focused on the course, I let the newsletter languish in a dark corner somewhere at the back of my closet. I apologize to the newsletter and to you.

Well, I’m back now and I’m making a few changes. This year I’m going to break up the newsletter into two parts – a song tip and a song guide – and send one of them out each month, instead of trying to do both of them together.  My emails were so long they were turning into ebooks!

My January 2018 newsletter is out now and has FIVE great tips for making 2018 your most creative, productive year ever! If you sign up for my newsletter before Feb. 7, you’ll get them in your inbox just like that!

So, don’t miss out. Sign up now. Drop your email address into the sign up form in the righthand sidebar on this page.

May your songs flow in 2018!

Robin