Shawn Mocey

Make a Change (prod. by Andrew Meoray)

The new single is here!

“Make a Change” was produced by our old friend Andrew Meoray – who you might remember as one of the guests on our last LP, Right NowAndrew has been making a name for himself as both an artist and as a producer in the Philadelphia music scene and beyond it.  We were really excited to collaborate with him on this track.

The credits for “Make a Change”:

Shawn Mocey – vocals, rhythm guitar, keys
Andrew Meoray – lead guitar, keys, programming
Emcee Abdul – vocals
Joe Adams – vocals

(You can hear Ab and Joe join me on the choruses)

Mixed by Andrew Meoray and Shawn Mocey.  Mastered by Bill Henderson at Azimuth Mastering.  Published by Kiera Plan Music, BMI.  Brought to you by Awesome Records.

We have another very special new track coming your way this August!  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up on all the latest news.

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.

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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.

 

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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: “You Are Not Alone”

Get “You Are Not Alone” on iTunes or Amazon.

This is a fun one for me.  I used to play bass in a band called Jealousy Faction.  I’d been involved in other bands growing up, but this was the first group of mine to actually release something.

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Jealousy Faction in 2000 left to right: Chris Meservey, Ben Davis, me (Shawn Mocey), and Dan Stahlecker

The first track on our first real EP was called “You Are Not Alone.”  We went on to put out some tracks with more polish, but there was always something I really liked about this one:  the energy, the fun – it all reminds me of those early days making music.

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Shawn playing with Jealousy Faction at CBGBs in the summer of 2000

The singer and songwriter for “You Are Not Alone” was my friend Chris Meservey, and a few years ago (maybe 2012) I caught up with Chris and asked him if I could put out a Kiera Plan cover of Jealousy Faction’s original track.  An idea had struck me one day on a commute to work:  “You Are Not Alone” came on shuffle, and I was feeling like there was a piece missing to the original, so I was there in the car and I started making trumpet sounds over the track, imagining this song was by Reel Big Fish or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones instead of Jealousy Faction.  Our original was very straightforward pop-punk, no horns to be found.  I took a voice memo down, and when I got home, I set to work transcribing my fake trumpet part for the real thing.

When it came time to put it all together, I was excited to have my new bandmates in on this older song.  Tim Zaprala, who’d been performing with me in the Kiera Plan for several years, tracked the bass, adding some flare to the original part.

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TKP bassist Tim Zaprala

Kiera Plan drummer Kevin Brown came through and delivered the acoustic guitar that bookends the track.

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TKP drummer Kevin Brown (who dropped some electric and acoustic guitar on our album Right Now)

It’s been almost 17 years since Jealousy Faction put out the original, but here’s hoping you still have fun rocking out to “You Are Not Alone.”

All the best,

Shawn

Music Monday: “Starting Over Today”

Get “Starting Over Today” on iTunes or Amazon.

“Starting Over” seemed thematically appropriate to kick off the  New Year and all of our resolutions to strive for a better life this year.

There are a couple people who continue to make this song really special for me.  One of those people is Dan Pawlovich.

Dan Studio Crop

 

You might know Dan as the drummer for Valencia on their last record, or from his group Mosey.  Most recently, you would have seen him on tour drumming for Panic at the Disco.  I felt lucky to have Dan involved in the second Kiera Plan album – he hit the studio with Vincent Ratti and me to lay down 11 tracks of amazing percussion in just 2 days!

What amazes me listening to Dan’s drum work on “Starting Over” is knowing that Dan came up with this more or less on the spot.  He had heard my demos for the full album, but we only had one practice before our recording session – and we didn’t get to “Starting Over”!

When recording day came, Dan and I sat down with Vince Ratti at the Skylight Studio, played through each song a few times, and then BAM! – the red light went on, and Dan made it happen.  I was blown away by how naturally he was able to get a feel for a song and to really bring it to life on his kit.

When you’re making a record, after you lay down all the tracks – instruments, vocals, etc. – the next phase is mixing it all together.  You start mixing when you know the recording is all done.  That’s where we were for Right Now when one afternoon  I happened to hear at work what I thought was Christina Aguilera on the radio – I was wrong.  It turned out that it was my new colleague Stephanie Brown singing live for a special event.  I couldn’t believe what a strong voice Steph had!  I didn’t want to put the new record out without her on it.  Fortunately, Steph was down to record with us.  So, we put the mix on hold, scheduled one last recording session with Steph, and the rest is on the record.  You’ll definitely know when Steph’s voice comes in on “Starting Over”!

Steph Radio Screenshot

 

I hope you enjoy it!  We’ll have another track for you next Monday, and in the meantime we’ll be live-Tweeting from the studio this Wednesday January 6th from 11am until 4pm and posting pics on our Instagram as we finish up some brand new music!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Shawn

Music Monday: “Time Flies”

Get “Time Flies” on iTunes or Amazon.

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So many Kiera Plan songs started out as little ideas on my acoustic guitar.  Since we started in 2006,  there have been almost as many intimate acoustic performances as there have been full-band, electric shows.  It almost surprises me then to realize that the only real acoustic recording is this version of “Time Flies” I put out back in 2011.

It came up on shuffle while I was on my way home from work a couple nights ago, and I was pleasantly surprised to realize how much I still enjoy it.  I guess some part of me didn’t expect it to hold up.  Don’t get me wrong:  I was into it at the time, but something about the stripped down simplicity of acoustic guitar and vocals – a vibe I’d loved in so many great songs by other people – made me a little nervous when applied to my own efforts.

Something I appreciate so much about producer Vince Ratti (who recorded this and everything else from TKP between 2006-2014), is that he would never let you go out in a bad way on a record.  He’s always worked so hard to make each track something special, and I hope you hear that love on this one.

I’ll have another track (with another story) for you right here next Monday.

For now, I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year!

Shawn