August 19, 2022
"SIDEWAYS"

dave charles - randall creasi - chris harris

SIDEWAYS

This song was tough to write, because it was born from our witnessing of the tragedy and loss of my brother's life's work, resulting from the Zippah studios fire in December of 2021. I had the music and verses but emotionally couldn't complete the choruses. I called Pop aficionado, Corin Ashley with the initial plan to rewrite the lyrics according to a more-traditional pseudo-fictional pop tale with a much lighter subject. But Corin encouraged me to stay on track with the original theme of the song, as it was from the heart. Together over a bottle of wine and with guitars, we collaborated and came up with new music and lyrics to the chorus -- and "Sideways" remained with its original subject intact.

The Plot Thickens...

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As it turns out, my brother, Brian had a last-minute session cancellation at Mad Oak studios in Boston and he called me to ask if there was anything that could benefit from his help and expertise, in place of his session there. Reluctantly, I came forward with my need to record vocals for "Sideways" (not yet disclosing to my brother that the song was written about him).

He urged me to come to the studio and so I did -- with all lyrics written, except for the bridge...

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At the studio and ready to record vocals with Brian at the console, he asked for the lyrics sheet... I realized that upon reading them that he'd figure it was about his tragic situation, and so I let him know right there that I had attempted to reframe the song, but kept it due to encouragement from Corin. A moment of silence passed as my brother sat at the console reviewing the lyrics -- and I was ready for him to chime in on whether he felt comfortable with my releasing it (I would gladly follow his wishes, no matter the outcome, under the circumstances). To my relief, he turned to me with gratitude, "thank you for writing this," likely knowing that it was from the heart, and we got to work on opposite sides of the glass to have my vocals recorded and finalized. 

The fuzzy time machine feeling, and that missing Bridge

After having recorded vocals for these past 8 project songs alone from my basement, it was an eye (and ear) opener to have Brian Charles coach me on vocal arrangements, performance characteristics, and of course, it was a luxury to have him as such a fluid engineer to handle all of the mechanics of recording, so that I could focus solely on singing. This process took me back in my mind to 15+ years ago (at his now tragically lost recording studio) Zippah, with Brian in the talkback from the control room. Simply closing my eyes took me back there during the recording of this vocal session... His work process, interaction cadence, and the resulting sound familiarity through the headphones was transcendent.

Oh - the missing bridge... There was great pressure with having to discretely come up with bridge lyrics while we were recording vocals during this active recording session. I was avoiding this until the last possible moment, assuming that a bridge lyric was going to be tough to materialize while being in the same room with the subject.
But when the time came, the feeling of being back at Zippah eased out the following line, without hesitation,

"Impossible means don't have to lead to impossible ends..."
And hope was more than just a song theme here -- it felt like the convergence of chapter and life events making a hopeful prediction.

 

This also gave me an appreciation and desire to work more-closely with my brother, like we used to do. I'm certain that reuniting with Brian musically would yield the most impactful memories and songs in my lifetime -- and I hope that we can find a way to make music together in a future chapter.

You woke up from a bad dream
Because they tried to mess with you
But when you felt the cold breeze
Reality confronted you
Your world is gone, it's only you
Don’t let it get to you
 
Some things fly sideways; wax wings close to the sun
Hold on ‘til the sorrow fades and all the damage is done
Hope’s headed your way… your way
 
Far too proud to take the hand
That tragedy afforded you
No matter how deep the hurt
Giving is the only rule
Always pushing through
No matter what’s in front of you
 
Some things fly sideways; wax wings close to the sun
Hold on ‘til the sorrow fades and all the damage is done
Hope’s headed your way
Hope’s headed your way… your way
 
Impossible means don’t have to lead to impossible ends
Don’t try to pretend that you’re on the mend, you can rely on the friends you’ve made
 
Forget about the bad dreams
And focus on the melody
Warming up the mic pre’s
And making hi-fidelity
 
Some things fly sideways; wax wings close to the sun
Hold on ‘til the sorrow fades and all the damage is done
Hope’s headed your way
Hope’s headed your way… your way

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Release Date: August 19, 2022
Music and lyrics: Dave Charles & Corin Ashley
Vocals - Dave Charles
Guitars - Dave Charles
Bass - Randall Creasi
Drums - Chris Harris
Producer - Dave Charles
Basics Co-Engineer - Richard Kaye
Recorded at underdog studio, boston, ma, usa 

Vocals recorded at mad oak studios, boston, ma, usa with amazing engineering and production help from Brian Charles

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