Love Is Strange

Love Is Strange

Calum Carlyle's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

So i have spent a full two evenings on this. It still sounds like a rough demo. Not only that but i have lost all of this evening's work, except for the actual stereo mix that you hear. Somehow i was tired and said no instead of yes when shutting down, but at least i got this mix. So the organ parts and all the mixing and effects are lost, but never mind, it just sounded like a demo anyway.

I would love to be able to push this up to the level where it sounds like an actual record, i don't know if there are any competent producers out there that fancy joining me in a project to make music like that, also not totally sure what i would do with good quality recordings if i could ever make them.

Anyway, here it is. Comments welcome, on the production as well as the songwriting. This started as a simple acoustic number like the rest yesterday but it has ended up like this with just the lyrics staying the same as when i started writing it. Hope you enjoy!


In the time before the flood there was no rain
And unicorns and giants used to roam across the plain
there's a guy in the sky who decides just when you die
And if you don't believe then it's eternal pain

Love is strange
Love will make you do the things you never would
Love is strange
I always thought that we could make it work
Maybe we still could

And an omnipresent god can't help you now
We're all just worthless sinners and we all must scrape and bow
And all the pain is pre-ordained and we can never stop the rain
From falling on this barren rocky ground

Love is strange
Love will make you do the things you never would
Love is strange
I always thought that we could make it work
Maybe we still could

And i tried to live according to what you say
But no matter what i did i could never find the way
Now i know that i am me and that is who i'm meant to be
And the only time that matters is today

Love is strange
Love will make you do the things you never would
Love is strange
I always thought that we could make it work
Maybe we still could

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


deffo has an 80s vibe! liking the structure of the lyrics and they also contain good variation of descriptions of love, and think it could work as a synth dance track with the production ramped up to your vision - i might be thinking of joy division or someone similiar? could really see me dancing to this in some club in a local town with the strobe lighting! Smile

billwhite51's picture

im glad you chose this style of arrangement it. to me, ut falls somewhere between echo and the bunnymen and depech mode. the lyrics are excellent, and you sing them very well and distinctly leaving eough breathing space for them to sink in. i like the way the chorus seems to have little connection to the verses because it makes me stop and think about the correlations between the various themes running through the song.

Robyn Mackenzie's picture

This has Bowie/Depeche Mode vibes and I'm here for it. Fantastic lyrics and I really like how the chorus is structured. It builds really organically and that solo is just awesome. Killer job!

coolparadiso's picture

Oh yeah 80s synth pop for sure! And well done as well. Very enjoyable!

Saltyjohn's picture

This is excellent, Calum, like something from Top of the Pops 1989! Good job.

fresh spotless youth's picture

I appreciated your comment about not knowing what to do with good recordings--if you had them. Personally, I think this sounds awesome, but I'm one of the worst musicians and home recording engineers on this site.

The chorus is REALLY damned awesome. The whole thing is great. I love the pulsing beat along with that sort of flat-affect vocal. The solo is excellent. I love the outro. I don't know what to say. This is a winner in every respect, from my point of view

sbs2018's picture

Really cool - love it! Nice beat underlying the kind of Chad and Jeremy type vocals. Guitar comes in at just the right point. Stops and then the synth takes its turn. You’ve inspired me.

mike skliar's picture

great stuff! I love everything about this... excellent lyric, great arrangement and production. If i had to make any production comments, i'd say 1-lower the volume on the stuff under 120 hz a bit, so its just a bit less 'boomy' 2- one more overdub of a guitar or keyboard doing a few fills, etc, (or a harmonica or horn?) would be nice- just give it that extra sizzle? 3- an overdub of a higher pitched percussion part (tambourine or shaker?) in either the verse or chorus (not both) might give it an extra pop as well?
otherwise- good to go, i think!

nancyrost's picture

Dark and lovely. Love the lyrics. I like the contrast of the intimate vocal with the electropop rhythm. This seems like the kind of thing that Kristian or Boy At Heart would be good at producing, at a guess.

Tonally, this reminds me strongly of "Man, It's So Loud In Here" by TMBG. Don't worry about the quality of the demo, because if the song's good, it'll shine through regardless, and this really does shine. And let's face it, if something here is tagged "80s synthpop" I am totally there for it.

(I do agree with @mike skliar's comment though: drop a high pass filter on the mix at around 120 Hz and you should get rid of the mud in the bottom end.)

cleanshoes's picture

Very nice. The 80s synthpop sound is super catchy, as is the slightly dark melody. Love your vocal delivery, and the slight disconnect between verse and chorus (I agree with @billwhite51--it makes you stop and think). The organ solo is my favorite bit! No real comments on production as that's not my wheelhouse, but it sounds good to me!

dzd's picture

Really awesome vibe in this! Some early echo and the bunnymen vibes, I hear that everytime I hear acoustic and synths though, I'm a huge fan, so quite a compliment.... but with some better lyrics! Smile
I agree with Bill about the delivery give it lyrically just enough space to let the lyrics sink in, I like the matter of factness of the vocal delivery as well

Great organ solo!

liner notes cracked me up too, yeah I wouldn't know what to do with a good recording if I ever had any either hahah.........there are some really competent producers around though, but for me this works.... I don't look for "overproduced" stuff even when going for a purchase, as I'm old school and I still think you only get true studio sound out of a studio, no matter how hard try or spend money at home, it will always sound either plastic, or rough to me, but that's just me.

johnstaples's picture

Wow! If this is a "rough demo" I need to go back to school! Smile I think this is maybe the best, most finished song I've heard here this year! I love the overall vibe/groove and I love the god references! A very strong chorus that is instantly memorable. And I have to say your vocals are simply ACES! You line up your voice with the beat perfectly and every word seems carefully crafted into place in the melody. Awesome song, excellent performance and great production!

Edward Roussac's picture

Yeah, I definitely hear a new wave feel in this. Reminds me of David Bowie.
I like the deep, somewhat menacing vocal against the electronic rhythms. Nice mix of acoustic and synth instruments.
The lyrics in the chorus are so relatable.
Good keyboard solo at the 2:20 mark. The tone reminded me of a stylophone.