Track by track 8: They Broadcast My Birthday On A Numbers Station

Several years ago I wrote a songwriting blog. It no longer exists. But one of the things I created for it was a little melody writing exercise for which I used the lines:

“They broadcast my birthday on a numbers station
I still don’t know what it means”

I thought for years that is was too good a tune (and lyric) to just be an exercise in a songwriting blog, so I decided to turn it into a proper piece here.

Because the tune was originally written to be sung I think there’s a nice lyricism to this. The chords in the main section are really simple, it’s unambiguously in A minor and 4/4. This song has a nice energy to it and I think moves really naturally into a middle section that genuinely rocks.

It rocks, I think, because it was improvised. I set up a click track, jammed out on a guitar, edited that then built the track around it. As a consequence, even though the drums are programmed and it was recorded in stages, I think it really sounds like a band rocking out.

Bonus, slightly meta fact: on my song Happy People from my fifth solo album you can hear a numbers station broadcasting my birthday.

I think this track finishes off the album perfectly. Hopefully it’s the first album of many for Murder and Parliament. And hopefully it doesn’t take 15 years to get the next one finished.

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