NEW EP: Sad Robot Finally Sees The Sun

Malan Darras - Sad Robot Finally Sees The Sun

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The Story of ‘Sad Robot Finally Sees The Sun’

Here’s what happened…

On November 1st, 2013 I decided it was time to end a long period of musical drought.

This may sound strange but not creating music is physically uncomfortable for me. So, when that discomfort reached a point that it could no longer be ignored…

I decided it was time to write some f#cking songs.

I read somewhere about how much you can accomplish if you consistently put in just (1) one hour of work per day. So my plan was to work on music  for one hour a day, 7 days a week for a month and see what happened.

Writing sessions would be the first thing I did in the morning – when my brain is best. So I created a pattern where I woke up around 5:00am, went to the bathroom, made a coffee and sat down and started writing.

Things got interesting

The most interesting part of the daily ritual was that just as each 1 hour session ended I would be either exactly at the end of the song or at the perfect stopping point.

sunrise
Session Photo

Also, because this was in the winter months the sun would start rising at the same time. So just as the writing session ended – the sun would come up.

It was the most fascinating experience. I began writing in the dark, the sky would slowly get brighter and then as I ended – it would explode with light.

On November 31st 2013 I stopped. I had 38 ideas recorded. I put the files away and prepared for holiday travel – 2-3 weeks in Oklahoma with my family.

Today is January 30th, 2014

I’ve had ideas of grand releases and music videos and re-recording the songs in major label studios and painting pictures to go with them and on and on and on…

But I once heard an artist say “A painting is not finished until it has been viewed by someone other than the artist”. And taking his cue I have decided to release several of the songs here, as they are, in lo-fi demo format so that they can be done.

Gear

I did everything in Ableton Live, a mini AKAI midi keyboard and a $99 M-AUDIO usb microphone. I wanted the setup to be clean and mobile. No interface. No phantom powered mics that required powered amps. Just a few simple pieces that I could toss in a bag and set up in a hotel room if needed.

I wrote all the drums from scratch. Something I’ve never been able to do in the past.

Listening Advice:

For best results do what I do. Put on a pair of decent headphones or earbuds and turn the volume up as high as you can without causing discomfort. This is how I listen to them and this is how they sound best.

Don’t expect to hear catchy choruses and hooks

sketch3These aren’t songs to make you dance. These are early morning sketches, drawn while watching the sun rise from the 15th floor of a glass tower in Hollywood, California.

From the time I was a teenager – I have privately written dreary, strange, sad songs. They were never used in the bands I played in. Never performed. When I look back at my musical history I think those simple, soft, sad songs are my best work. These remind me of them.

Track List

I’m starting with 3 songs. There are 5 more that I planned on including that I may add later. That’s the nice thing about digital releases, you can add more tracks later without have to press a new batch of CDs. This page will change over time.

These new songs are melancholy

The songs feel sad to me, but I think the sunrises that I saw each day while writing helped to add a touch of hope.

My recordings have always less than perfect, and these are no exception – I never had patience to master musical engineering or spend a lot of time on finishing touches. But to be honest – I have never left a major studio with a recording that captured the song better than the original bedroom demo.

I guess I’m a Lo-Fi Guy

Some day I may work them up a little more. But someday I might also travel in time.

All of the vocal tracks are the first take. There are voice cracks and missed notes. They were all left there on purpose. Many of my favorite singers have awful voices, I like hearing mistakes.

You will also notice that not every song has vocals. That is because not all songs need vocals. Most of the music I listen to these days is instrumental.

So enjoy the songs – and I’ll keep telling myself it’s better done than perfect.

P.S. Do Me a Favor?

If you like find this page or the music interesting would you please consider sharing it? I’ve provided big, blue buttons for you to help spread the word. I’d appreciate it, but of course, it’s up to you.

Before you go: Do you have any questions? Just post them in the comments below and I’ll answer. What do you think of this method of releasing songs? Does anyone still want physical CDs?

 

  • Jered Burright

    Sounds great!! Happy to hear new music from you. Sounds like I possibly hear some strong “Coyne” influence in there. I think the digital releases are awesome. Nobody wants to buy CD’s anymore…..Now Vinyl, That is a whole different story. If you ever want to start laying some wax, I would definitly support that!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Jered – i’d love to do something on vinyl some day. There’s probably already a usb vinyl record creator app in existence. haha.

      yeah it’s weird. I don’t like CDs anymore either. They have cases and take up space and fill up my car’s console. I’ve pretty much stopped buying them completely.

      Also – Does anyone ever download the album artwork when a band offers that as part of a package?

      • Jered Burright

        I cant speak for anyone else but I always download a keep artwork with digital downloads. Even if the artist doesn’t specifically include it in a .pdf I find it on the web and save it in my library.

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          ah thanks, i didn’t think of doing the art for the itunes library (i mainly use spotify). cool I may add a zip for download soon. is pdf the normal format used?

          • Jered Burright

            Most of the bigger artist I follow use pdf. and they include everything you would normally find in a CD booklet like lyrics, credits, artwork etc..

          • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

            Perfect. I’ll put that on my to do list. I never download that stuff, but now I get it

  • Tom Blackshire

    This is awesome!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Thanks Tom – I think I saw you on Soundcloud. Was that you (VERY.)?

      • Tom Blackshire

        Yeah that was me, though the music on there is very old now. I really need to dedicate some time to it!

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          You should, the style is very cool. What software do use?

  • Jonathan Pierce

    cool all the way around. one of the most appealing aspects to the whole thing is how honest you are with what you’ve written here. I enjoyed these tracks, and there will be worse music and better music, but what you’re doing here in this post as well as your whole blog platform is making us care. care enough to listen. the more I read, the more I was ready to click play on the next track. enjoyed it.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Jonathan. big time.

  • Jay Palmer

    I was looking forward to this. Man I haven’t got the guts to upload any of my stuff yet

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      I get caught up in that a lot Jay. you gotta go for it.

      funny thing is when you share it, it feels really good. and it clears the way for the next thing.

      releasing music is therapeutic – I was just re-introduced to that feeling today. thanks for listening and taking the time to comment.

      • http://www.withjay.com/ Jay Palmer

        I’m working on something – I’ll fill you in when I upload it mate. Just brought a sweet acoustic in Thailand and in transit back home now so I’ll have to hit the MegaDesk and get a bit of recording done

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          haha #MegaDesk. I used to have MegaStudioDesk. Spent a huge amount of money on gear, racks of stuff that took up an entire room… and it was so overwhelming I never used any of it.

          I do best with a laptop, Ableton, a cheap mic and a midi keyboard. I guess I’m just kind of a thrift-shop musician

  • Robert Cook

    Nice, good job Malan!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Thanks brotha!

  • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

    Yeah Ableton is the one for me. I setup with ProTools a few years ago but it was so foreign to me that it stopped my progress completely.

    Then I went back to Ableton and did 38 songs in a month…

  • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

    yeah Ableton is my fasted route to creating music. it’s like magic for me.

  • Remy

    I’ve been writing music secretly since I was in middle school. It takes a lot of courage to release them to the world. I gotta hand it to you. You did good with all this and have inspired me to start playing again.

    I haven’t picked up my guitar in about 6 years. I have the same feelngs you do if I don’t create something whether it be music or just writing. It was a form of therapy for me that I forgot somehow when I started having a family.

    Thanks for the inspiration Malan. You rock man.

    -Remy

  • carla

    Love it. very introspective

  • Pamela

    I really like it malan,its different from when you were in rewakebut different is a good thing ,youre awesome

  • John James Robbins

    My mum heard this, said “are you listening to the Beatles or Pink Floyd” I think that speaks for itself….album end of 2016?

  • selben

    Dude….this is awesome. Clicked on this from your article about creating a routine to help with depression. Thanks for be inspiring. 🙂