Draw Me Close to You is another one of those classic songs I've wanted to record for a while, but I'd been holding off doing it for some time because I wanted to find the right person to collaborate with. Well, I recently met Elisha thanks to the suggestion of a mutual friend and after some brief discussion, we settled on this one as the first song we'd cover together (more collabs coming in the future Lord-willing).
Arrangement Partially Inspired by Michael W. Smith
Ever since I played To The Moon by Freebird Games (the game that this song was written for), I've wanted to make a cover of Everything's Alright by Laura Shigihara. I have a thing for story games and this one is particularly touching and heartbreaking. The developer, Kan Gao, is a genius, and Laura's original song for it just knocks it completely out of the park. If you haven't already played To The Moon yourself, I highly recommend it.
The hammer-on technique used here in the intro and the transitions took a bit of time and effort to get right, but I think I finally nailed it. Originally, I only planned to make this arrangement for voice and guitar only, but after getting the idea to try adding a clarinet (which I eventually decided against), I simply couldn't help myself and ended up going all out with the orchestration. Writing / arranging for orchestral instruments is a skill I've previously had almost no experience with, so this project ended up being my first example of a rather successful attempt at it. Personally I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
I've wanted to cover White Christmas for a long time (it's so fun to sing!) but always felt weird singing it since I don't actually celebrate Christmas. Well, last night was the first night of Hanukkah (today is the first day!) and we got snow! As soon as I began to come up with some fun lyric changes, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to re-interpret the song in a more personally relevant way. :)
This video hit a lot of firsts for me:
It was the first time I've gone from idea to finished, posted product in less than 24 hours on this channel.
It was the first time I've actually filmed myself singing in snow.
It was the first time I've written / recorded an instrument solo for an arrangement.
And finally, it was the first time I've used a reed organ as part of a larger project instead of simply by itself!
All super fun milestones for me personally.
Every sound you hear in this video (with the exception of the jingle bells since I still haven't gotten my hands on a set of those yet) was recorded with its corresponding physical instrument - that includes my voice (obviously), ukulele, bass, cajon with brushes, and reed organ. I'm really excited that I'm getting to the point where music production of this caliber is possible without having to rely so heavily on samples or synthesized instruments.
Last Tuesday, the 17th of November, marks the 1 year anniversary of the day that my friend and I (a different friend - not Jessie) first found Lauryn Marie's channel and subscribed to it! Lauryn is still my favorite artist a year later and I thought it would be fitting to commemorate the occasion by covering another one of her songs! (I can't believe it's been a whole year! 😯) This song - The Optimist - is the sequel / sister song to The Fear, which I covered back in May of this year.
The Optimist means quite a bit to me right now because lately I've found myself in the same position that it was written from. The world has been so full of evil men, immorality, and corruption lately that I've found it difficult to know how to encourage friends - and frankly I've been feeling like the situation is little hopeless myself. But praise God that we know Who wins in the end and it ain't the enemy!
More info about the backstory below. :)
In Colorado, we got our first snow of the season on September 8th, 2020. Yes, you read that correctly, *September* 8th! I recorded this video last week. xD Hit "read more" below the video to hear the story of how this project came to be.
This video is the result of about a month of work, haha. As soon as I heard Lauryn play her song "The Fear" for the first time on a livestream, I was totally hooked and I decided I just *had* to learn it. This is actually the first song I've learned on guitar that uses an alternate tuning (Open G) so that part definitely took a bit. A week or two later, she posted a produced version of it (linked below) on her YouTube channel, and I used that to figure out the each of the parts for the various instruments. It took me a few tries to get something that I really like, but I'm a huge fan of the end result. :)
Along with being a YouTuber, Filmmaker, Photographer, and Geocacher, Joshua is also a musician. Every so often he tries to post a new song cover on his JRM Vlogs YouTube channel. This page collects them all into a neat little group. :)