In Spring of 2015, after years of writing mostly in Dutch, I suddenly wrote a couple of songs with English lyrics. It wasn’t planned. But sometimes things go the way they go. And soon I found out that writing in English is as hard as it is in Dutch, although sounds and expressions sometimes fit the music just a bit better. Also I noticed that I would put more of myself into the lyrics than I expected.

Eventually I had ten or so songs, of which four are on this EP. It took me a while to decide whether to release these songs. It is difficult to let go. But, as the chorus of “Gone” says: “Everything is clearer from a distance.” And today, distance is there.

Distance also is a theme in the four songs. Each in their own way they describe distance; sometimes distance is unbridgeable, sometimes emphasizing desire, sometimes distance brings clarity, sometimes it shows the way.

About the songs and recording:

“All I Want” is the most recent song. I wrote it in April 2016, after a break from songwriting. For a while I didn’t feel like searching within, which is what I need to do to write a semi-decent set of lyrics.

While fingerpicking on the couch I got the idea for the song. The basic form didn’t take long. Writing the lyrics did.

I had a rough outline of what the song was going to be about. My initial draft was in Dutch. But I could not get that to work. So I tried English.

I quickly found the words for the chorus (granted, that’s two lines, and not the most original words ever used in a song.) The rest though, 16 lines, turned out to be tricky. I have a notebook with jotted down lines, phrases, little poems, etc; mostly bad ideas. But I found some notes I had written down after a long conversation a while ago, and turned those into the first two verses.

Looking for inspiration in a friend’s writings (I love her writing; inspirational, passionate, true), I realized that what she touched upon was pretty much what the song was about. So I took some of her words and blended those with mine. These “stolen goods”, the extra layers they offered (it’s all there), and the slight change in direction also meant a lighter approach for the musical arrangement.

“Just A Day” is one of those songs that just presents itself, that you grab from the sky, that seems already written. Without having planned to write a song, it appeared. I woke up on a Saturday morning with a clear view of what a perfect day, a perfect life would be, and with who I would want to spend it. All I needed to do was write it down and sing the song. All in all it took only a couple of hours.

What you are hearing was recorded that day, sort of as a demo. I only added an electric piano recently. Small and initimate, which fits the song.

As easy and quick writing “Just A Day” went, as difficult it was to write the lyrics to “Gone”. “Gone” started life in August, with the two lines that form the chorus. A first version of the song was poppier, at a higher pace. Both the song and the words started to annoy me, so I started over, with the chorus, a melody here and there, and a pretty good idea of the story I wanted to tell.

Writing the lyrics took me days, weeks. Of the 16 lines that form the verses, there would be 10 to 12 lines that were good, and 4 to 6 lines that were less or just crap. And with every change the balance shifted. The final set of lyrics -a combination of roughly three stories- are about regret, hope and resilience.

Like “Just A Day” this song was recorded right after writing it. More a demo than a finished track. But it doesn’t need anything else.

“Lost For Love” is the oldest of the four songs. There was no plan when I started with the song. Musically it meant just following what I heard in my head. In the chorus I sang “lost for love”. Those words had been with me for a while. But I wasn’t sure it was proper English.

Having asked English/American friends, they presented some surprising variations on what I thought the words “lost for love” might mean, which only made it better. The rest of the words are based on a couple of notes I had made. The words speak for themselves, in their own vague and mysterious way.

And also:

The EP title, “One”, has several meanings. One is pretty simple: this is my first release in English. So, the first of several. How many, when and what I don’t know yet. But I have songs, I am writing, and we’ll see. Other meanings are “together” (we are one), “alone”, and “a person” (as a pronoun). Use your imagination.

This is a digital release, like my previous releases. In case you would like to have a physical copy, let me know and I will burn you a cd.

Download of the booklet with lyrics and info here (pdf, 2,4mb)

One – Antal Adriaanse
(Tal’s Muziek Fabriek – AAEP81 – Releasedate: 12/09/2016)

You can stream the EP at Spotify and download/buy it through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and others.


For J.

Nederlands? Klik hier.One - Antal Adriaanse

Available from:
Apple Music
Google Play

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All I Want Gone Just A Day Lost For Love