I Can't Hear You

I Can't Hear You

Calum Carlyle's picture



Liner Notes: 

I think it's a stretch to tag this for the week one challenge, but well, i did it. I did think it was going to be for that challenge, but this is what came out.
I used the xaphoon and the mandola. The metal bit on the xaphoon had actually got some verdigris on it it has been so long since i used it! Very frustrating how much i can't play the xaphoon, i hope it isn't too intrusive here.

Suggestions for changes always welcome, including changes to the title. I'm not honestly sure why i write songs any more, it isn't as though anything is going to happen with them. It is possible i literally only write them with the idea that you songwriters might hear them and like them! So i hope you do like it.


On the train, in the rain
I'm drifting off into reverie
Who are you? what do you do?
Tell me something you'll never be

Gliding by, tell me why
Why do we have to travel fast?
High speed lives are comprised
Of things we know can never last

Look up from your screen, what can you find?
Close your email, open up your mind
Refocus, take a look around
Too much noise, can't hear any sound

Where did you go?
And how could i look for you?
Lost in the crowd
And i can't hear you

On the train, in the rain
I'm drifting off into reverie
Who are you? what do you do?
Tell me something you'll never be

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Kurtis Kanttila's picture

Oh man this instrumental is awesome! Both channels have way different things going and it works so well. Your vocals glide through it very well, I like the lyrics and the feel of the tune. I didn't even know what a xaphoon but I thought it was a nice touch on this track and that part was a cool break.

billwhite51's picture

thus remunds me of some of the songs david crosby wrote when he was in the biyrds. also the one pf his jefferson airplane recorded, triad. it has that psychedelic sense of harmonic dissonance that is really not at all dissonant, but harmony based on counterpoint rather than stacked thirds. the vocal melody also has that feel of sailing between ,mythical cliffs in a sea of monsters.

fresh spotless youth's picture

I don't know what those instrument are, but I like the way this sounds. Somehow it feels highly structure and chaotic at the same time. I love the line, "Tell me something you'll never be." This is a very compelling tune and performance.

Nothing's going to happen with your songs? Isn't that the very definition of art? La finalité sans fin

G3 Darnell's picture

This is magic to my ears. I'm an old guy and people like the young Dave Crosby and The Incredible String Band were the music of my youth, and here you are in 2020 doing your own thing and I can hear echoes of them. I hope you don't mind me making comparisons.You have a good voice as well as your instrumental dexterity.
i thought this was fabulous, you don't hear psychedelic folk music anymore.
By the way i must thank you for playing a song of mine on your radio show, when I read of your intention i didn't quite take it seriously. A Spanish rock station based in Edinburgh sounded a bit far fetched.

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

Beautiful instrumentation ... love the exotic sounds. Nicely psychedelic feel and cool laid-back vocals!

IA's picture

Such interesting rhythm section with those duel-riffing instruments. So cool!

and "High speed lives are comprised of things we know can never last" is a very intriguing thought. Rings true, certainly. Then it makes me think about the things that truly do last..

This is great. Full of wisdom and even some mysticism.

ustaknow's picture

Great strings orchestration, original and well done, great demo enjoyed listening.

msculli1's picture

I think this is great. Love your voice. The sounds together work well and the horn sound reminds me of an early Roxy song for some reason. This is an enjoyable listen. Now I'm off to Google the instruments you used. Every day in FAWM/5090 is a lesson. Cheers.

Jeuse's picture

The xaphoon I had to look up as I (a yankee) have never heard of it. It sounded like a bowed at first! It's strangely beautiful and I love it's use, here. Your vocal approach fits very nicely with the percussive plucking. I like this.

Vegansongs's picture

This is beautiful- soothing and also disturbing. Love your jazz vocals . And the pictures form in my mind as though I am on the train!

Chip Withrow's picture

I just listened to your other one, had to hear this one!
The instruments you play sound incredible together, and your impressive vocal range is really suited to the lyrics you sing. Good stuff here!
Kind of with you on not knowing why I write songs anymore. Yet I continue to do so, too.

ballyhoot's picture

Love the instrumentation you're playing here. Really interesting and such a cool sound. Your vocals work quite well layered on top of it. I like the lyrics, too, and the instrumental break works very well. Great rhythm, tone, and feel to everything. Thanks for sharing this!

cleanshoes's picture

I love the instrumentation and some of the unexpected melodic twists and turns this takes. Such an engaging sound, and right up my alley!

Jessica Szturmann's picture

You created lovely melodies here. The Mandela has such a magical sound. Very relaxing to listen to!

barbara's picture

Boy, I’m so happy you posted this! Your mandola sounds fantastic in the role of a couple of oud players getting down. Beautiful! The word “Persian” keeps ricocheting around my mind. The lyrics and your passionate delivery really express the angst of a failure to connect that is rampant in our society, but they do it so personally and in such a present tense way that is riveting. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen, including the lovely warmup/getting situated part that feels like a live performance (how I miss that!). Downloaded with thanks.

katpiercemusic's picture

Xaphoon is so cool. There used to be a guy who made them out of bamboo at the Faire I work at. Made them with all different scales too. I love the combinations of mandola and xaphoon. You might have lost some playing ability on it but you play it in a way that it sounds intentional. The harmonic/ melodic material is fantastic. Your performance too. Loved it.