The Discomfort Zone

The Discomfort Zone

headfirstonly's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

Every year I've done Fifty/Ninety, I've set myself the challenge of writing at least one song by pretending to be Steely Dan. This is this year's attempt.


You've seen this scenario before
The way she smiles
As she glides across the floor

You're discovered
Your cover's blown
Step inside
The Discomfort Zone

It looks as bad as it can be
It's already
Much too late to flee

Your backup's nowhere to be found
Your ship's come in
But it's already run aground

You might still have a winning hand
So long as you escape
The fate that they have planned...

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


billwhite51's picture

i wouldnt know a steely dan song if i heard one, but if they are anything like this i know i would like them

Jerry Pettit's picture

Man, you DO have skills putting these arrangements together.

Steely Dan? That vocal was really, really Bowie to me! Anybody ever tell you that?!

Great job!

Saltyjohn's picture

Excellent, production and performance. Well done.

tjeff's picture

I second the David Bowie-ish vocal. And to me a James Bond-ish arrangement, that low brass really cool. Yeah, the lead guitar has some Steely Dan, as does that solo line in the middle.

tamsnumber4's picture

You had the attention of my 12 year old who is a huge Steely Dan fan! Nice production, love the hook.

atitlan's picture

Heard the bones of this on your Twitch broadcast - it turned out brilliantly. The horn arrangement is really excellent. Chorus is very hook-y.

philmcmill's picture

I like it! The chorus sounds a little bit like Rob From Amersfoort. Ah, that lead guitar is very Steely Dan-ish. Great production, lush sounds. (You probably know Steely Dan is also the name of a dildo from Naked Lunch. I'm assuming you're referring to the band).

Robyn Mackenzie's picture

I totally third the Bowie comparison. This is dramatic, energetic, and rich. I like the harmonies in the chorus.

Tim Fatchen's picture

You're having huge fun with Spitfire, I can tell. Lush, gun lyric, dark as dark. yes I like the guitar too! You like me could look back to a great future for film & TV music in a parallel universe! Enjoyed this!

Calum Carlyle's picture

Really love the concept, but also the way you've approached it. The counterpoint is lovely, and the fact you've done it on these flute and ominous brass sounds is great. Gives it a real ominous seventies kind of feel. That tremelo piano part is lovely as well. And the concept of the discomfort zone is great. It's quite an important concept that many people don't spend any time with, but without a discomfort zone, we can't learn anything outside, well, outside our comfort zone!

Candle's picture

Marvellous brass & flutes, accentuated by the piano. And that guitar cuts through just perfectly. This does have a very Steely Dan feel. Another wonderful song, Chris!

See You In The Shadows…

crisp1's picture

Lots going on here -- clearly worth all the effort you must've put in. Nice work!

ballyhoot's picture

That opening is great and the horn sounds are well done. Nice electric guitar, too, and the vocals fit well into the soundscape. I like how the music swells at the end and then abruptly ends. Not familiar enough with Steely Dan to know how similar this is to their music, but this is very listenable and engaging.

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

Those horns are great, as are the little touches like the bells. "Ominous 70s" captures the feel. Tasty electric guitar! So many things going on at the same time, but it all goes together beautifully. Have you heard Simon Warner? The arrangement sounds a bit like his songs. Check it out!