Hello out there. I swore to myself I was going to relax and get away from my computer, so naturally I decided to start a blog on my computer. I'm Arielle, aka Girl Blue. I put together this cover of "Normal Girl" by SZA over the past few days this week, and just figured I'd chit and chat about it a lil bit.
So. Normal Girl.
When I first heard the song, I was really taken by the melody. SZA is a serious vocalist and I love the way she writes melody, super free form, reminds me of Frank Ocean, melody is shaped around the lyric and delivered like jazz. Refreshing. . It's fun and playful to sing, but also sad at the bottom of everything, which basically checks off all my boxes.
Initially I was going to do a stripped down, one-mic/one-take video cover. Then, after 3 hours of trying, I remembered that I hate making those, so decided to just stick to audio. Starting from that take off point -- the one-mic/one-take feel (which turned into a two-mic/one-take deal) my aim was to keep it all incredibly simple. Let that melody speak for itself. I ended up adding a few elements to fill out the arrangement -- the song uses the same four chord progression throughout and that became a *touch* monotonous without anything else going on -- mainly a sparkly synth inspired by the original track, some light percush (it's okay, I hate me sometimes too), a few counter melodies on guitar and, of course, I can never resist a deep synthy bass making everything feel a little more terrifying.
This simple stripped down cover became one thousand times more frustrating because A) I insisted on tracking the initial vocal and guitar simultaneously and without headphones/click because I wanted to capture a "live, unencumbered" performance (sure) and B) I decided to support that decision even after I had begun the uphill battle that is tracking to something off the grid. I know, I should've known, and I did, but apparently I like to hurt myself and create more work. Next time I will choose metronome over passion. Note to everyone: If you're gonna do something, just do it, don't keep downplaying through the whole process to justify your own laziness. It's gonna get there eventually, it's just going to take a whole lot more effort and maddening anxiety. Anyway, basically I had to work around a lot of really subtle meter fluctuations that I shouldn't have had to worry about if I hadn't insisted on being a lazy piece of poop. Lesson learned.
BUT, it is what it is. I think it's kind of cute and I generally like it. Hope you do, too.