Music Monday

Music Monday: “The End of the Dream”

Get “The End of the Dream” on iTunes or Amazon.

This song, like a lot of songs I write, started with the bassline.  I wrote this line back in 2000, for what would have been a uptempo high-energy rock song if my band at the time had put it out.  It never came all the way together in the studio though, so years later, when drummer John Collier and I were working on music for the first Kiera Plan album, it was still something I was playing around with.

YANA Shawn CBGB

Shawn at CBGBs in NYC, in June of 2000

A cool thing happened, as it often does when you’re collaborating: John heard something very different in the line, and started laying down a different kind of beat than I was expecting:  it was chill, and paired with the bassline the song suddenly seemed to have a vibe I didn’t even plan on.

So “The End of the Dream” became a really unique song on that first album; it became one big experiment with a lot of little experiments in it.  I had never really grabbed that vibe before, so it led to trying a lot of things for the first time – the dueling synthesizers you’ll hear being one of my favorites.

These experimental songs have really held up for me in a way that not everything does.  I’m always excited to hear “The End of the Dream” when it comes on shuffle, and I still love what a unique track it is in the Kiera Plan catalog.

In a few weeks, we’ll be taking this bold experimentation to a whole new level when we start releasing the first 3 singles from what will ultimately be the 3rd Kiera Plan LP.   In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the vibe of “The End of the Dream.”

Shawn

Music Monday: “We’re Gone”

1045 Shawn GR 600Sometimes all you get is a fragment – a small glimpse of what your great new song could be.  Maybe you get a melody or two; maybe a couple lines you think you could do something with.   If you have a little luck going, you get both.

I’ve learned to try to capture these little bursts of inspiration when they happen, because you might not remember that riff the next time you pick up the guitar.  And even when you jot down some lyrics, you can’t always get back the vocal melody that made you think you had something in the first place.

That’s how it started with “We’re Gone”: I only had a few short seconds of song at first, but it felt good.  I knew right away that I wanted to flush out these ideas and have it on our sophomore album, Right Now.

By August of 2011, I was close to having the full fledged song, but back in January of 2011, this demo fragment was all I had to go on:

Rough around the edges, but there’s something cool about it, right?

Flash forward to February 2012, and I’m in the studio with drummer Dan Pavlovich and producer Vincent Ratti recording “We’re Gone” for real, as part of the Right Now sessions.   With additional help from guitarist Kevin Brown, and guest vocalists Alison Cloud and Shawn Gamble, we had our song.  I hope you enjoy the finished “We’re Gone”!

Shawn

Get “We’re Gone” on iTunes or Amazon.

 

Music Monday: “Right Now”

Get “Right Now” on iTunes or Amazon.

“Right Now” was a relief.

It was 2008, and drummer John Collier and I had recently finished recording the first Kiera Plan album, Dedication, and were preparing to release it.  “The album” had always been the goal, so this was an exciting time, having it completed.  But after the whirlwind of writing and recording that was 2006-2008, finally having the album in hand, strangely, I started to worry: was this all I had in me?

I felt like I’d put everything I had into Dedication, every musical idea, every feeling – they were all on that record.  Other than a couple unfinished fragments, I didn’t have any material in reserve.

So, when I sat down one day with my guitar, and in one burst of inspiration came what felt like a fairly complete “Right Now,” I was ecstatic.  I had a new song!  There was going to be a musical life after “the album.”

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me (Shawn Mocey) in the studio

Other songs quickly followed, and my worry about the creative well drying up turned out to be unfounded.  Nowadays I feel like I can start putting a new song together whenever I can make time to sit down and start playing.

There is a lot I love about the song “Right Now” itself, and I feel like it’s a good bridge between the first album and the album Right Now which followed it in 2014.  It’s got the blend of edgy-er rock and pop that some of my favorite songs from Dedication had.  You’ll hear the incredible percussion of Dan Pawlovich here again, and if you listen close to the “na na na” stuff at the end, you’ll be able to hear our awesome guest vocalists Alison Cloud and Shawn Gamble.   You might want to check out Mr. Gamble’s new project Danger Club, while you’re at it: I believe have a new record on the way.

 

Studio 2012 Shawn G and Alison C 1000

l-r: Shawn Gamble and Alison Cloud

Speaking of new records on the way, we just finished mixing 3 brand new Kiera Plan songs which will be coming your way in installments over the next few months.  I can’t tell you how psyched I am to share these songs with you, or how psyched I am for what I hope this new phase of the project will mean.

For right now, I just hope you enjoy “Right Now” from Right Now. Right now, or whenever you feel like rocking to it.

Hope you have a great week!

Shawn

 

Music Monday: “Time Flies” (Electric)

Get “Time Flies” on iTunes or Amazon.

A few weeks ago, we posted the acoustic version of “Time Flies” for Music Monday, but I had to point to the full-band electric version (from 2014’s Right Now) as well, because there is so much about this version that blows me away.  I’ve got 3 highlights for you:

1. Dan Pawlovich – When I listen to anything from Right Now, I’m still kind of amazed that we managed to get drummer Dan Pawlovich to do this record.  The guy is incredible!  He is so expressive on the kit, and has such a great knack for knowing what’s right for a particular song.  He kills it here on “Time Flies.”  [If you want to hear more from Dan, he’s now drumming for Panic at the Disco, and you can check him out on their new record]

2. Rachel Minton – My wife and I are both huge fans of Rachel’s band Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer – we were in the live audience when Zolof performed on MTV as part of the Dew Circuit Breakout back in 2006.  I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have Rachel lend her voice to several Kiera Plan songs, and “Time Flies” might be my favorite.  When Rachel comes in during the second verse, despite having heard this song several hundred times, I still have a “That’s Rachel from Zolof!  Oh, my goodness, that’s RACHEL FROM ZOLOF!!!” moment.  Every time.

3. J.J. Davis – Keyboardist J.J. Davis had been a part of the Kiera Plan even before 2009’s Dedication was released.  There were several acoustic shows where TKP was just me and Jay.  I knew from hearing his original music that he is just incredibly creative and adventurous on those keys.  So, for album 2, I knew I wanted to get him recorded for posterity.  I gave him what I had for “Time Flies” and asked him for a big key solo for the bridge – I wanted to really feature J.J., and every time we get to that bridge solo, with everything going, and the synth just ablaze with what Jay is laying down – I just love it!

TKP JJ Shawn NorthStar

l-r: J.J. Davis, Shawn Mocey @The North Star Bar in Philly back in 2013

I feel really lucky to have had these amazing people involved with this music, and I hope you’ll enjoy “Time Flies” as much as I do.

For a visual, check out the lyric video:

Hope you all have a great week!

Shawn

Music Monday: “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry”

Get “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry” on iTunes or Amazon.

Though drummer John Collier and I had collaborated initially on an EP that pre-dates The Kiera Plan, in truth “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry” was the first Kiera Plan song.  John and I had so enjoyed our first collaboration, which we’d initially thought might be just for that EP, that we decided to press forward together and make an album.  We decided to call ourselves The Kiera Plan, and that album would be 2009’s Dedication.

We first hit the studio in 2006 and recorded a single track with producer Vince Ratti.  It was our first as The Kiera Plan, it definitely set the tone for the album it started, and it was called “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry.”

That single version may only have appeared on our MySpace page – remember MySpace?!  But a polished up version 2.0 appeared on Dedication, and with it came this montage clip to celebrate:

It was filmed at a 2009 show with The Kiera Plan, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, and The Pink Spiders – a show that remains a highlight for me.  While the lighting was dim, the fun factor was high, Philly was dancing, and two of my favorite people – Chris and Steve Mocey – make an early cameo in the video!

Joining me in The Kiera Plan line-up at the show was Greg Park on bass (and getting down), Tim Balch on the drums, and incredible guitarist Jessica Stefanov.  Greg and Jess joined me for a number of great shows that year, including the first-ever Kiera Plan performance on Radio 104.5!

I hope you enjoy the clip, and the song!

Shawn

Music Monday: “It Only Takes One”

Get “It Only Takes One” on iTunes or Amazon.

Short and sweet – that was the goal here.  When drummer John Collier and I put together “It Only Takes One” we were hoping to deliver a full song worth of energy in something like half the time.  At 1:43, 2 verses, 3 choruses, and 1 bridge, I feel like we did it.

studio7 john  jan2008

Drummer John Collier in the studio back in Jan. 2008

Why shoot for that, right?  Take your time fellas.

The thing is, I remember hearing “Argh I’m a Pirate” by Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, clocking in around just 2 minutes, and I couldn’t stop listening to it.  I was playing this track 3 or 4 times at a shot.  I figured there had to be something to that.


This would have been 2005, and my introduction to Zolof.  So, by the time John and I were ready to hit the studio to start making the first Kiera Plan record,  I was a huge Zolof fan.  So, to get to record with Vince Ratti, guitarist from Zolof, and to have Vince and Zolof singer Rachel Minton perform with us on that first record – it was just incredible!

More on those guest appearances later.  For now, I just hope you enjoy “It Only Takes One” and that maybe you listen to it 3 or 4 times at a shot.

🙂

Shawn