Who will be number 32,006?
The money-can't-buy feeling of streaming
32,005 (at time of writing)
In the world of other artists, it’s a drop in the ocean but for me, it’s a first.
And it’s apt that this song should do something no other song of mine has done, because it’s like no other song I’ve ever written.
Knowing that people around the world have been listening to and, from what it seems, enjoying this track, is genuinely a thrill. Even if this number contributes very little to my economic portfolio of being a modern day musician ($3 split with my collaborator = $1.50, so far).
To give you some context of these streaming numbers, none of my previous songs have even reached 1000 listens and my monthly listenership has been at a steady 14 streams per month for the last couple of years.
I released Nobody’s Home (There’s Always a Crow) on the very first day of 2023 in a bid to hit the year running. It soon found its way onto a few Spotify playlists and I’ve been waking up everyday with new listener numbers in the thousands, clocking up 30,000+ in the first three weeks.
Want to make it 32,006???
Back in late 2021, Brisbane banjo artist Andrew Tuttle asked if I would like to rework a track from his upcoming album (Fleeting Adventure).
“I would love to,” I promptly replied, “Any rules?”
“None,” he answered.
To which I twiddled my fingers excitedly. I chose his instrumental There’s Always a Crow, knowing there were possibilities that could be teased out for a Cold Ghost song to sit inside, yet beyond.
While I was noodling with my ideas, I heard news that my Uncle Glenn had passed away, yet I was only learning of this some months later. At the same time, my family contracted Covid for the first time. These two circumstances led me through a reflective and isolated creative process as I bunkered down in my studio.
I had a close but troubled relationship with my uncle and the lyrics of my song explore the idea that I may have already undergone a sort of grieving process years ago when Glenn was still alive, but hard to reach. I remember times going over to my Nan’s house, where Glenn lived, knocking on the door and calling out. I was sure he was inside the house, but he never answer my calls.
This song has turned out to be the most personal song I have released and possibly the most beautiful. This is in part because of the lovely banjo playing by Andrew that frames this song. Also the field recordings that Andrew included in his original track played a big part of my interpretation. I used the crows and other bird sounds as an instrument of its own. Fellow guitarist Dan Booth made a trip down after his own bout of Covid to record his electric guitar stylings which add another layer of texture to the production.
And… for the first time Cold Ghost has a music video with the most wonderful help from film maker Mick Angus and Texas Tea songwriter/guitarist Ben Dougherty.
One Sunday afternoon, Ben and I took a trip up to Mick’s property on Mt Tamborine, a stunning area in the hinterland of the Gold Coast. We filmed around his garden and Mick also brought out his drone for some nice eagle-eye footage. Ben took the videos home and edited an epic 8 minute film clip.
This song has played a big part in framing my intentions for my latest project exploring the Nerang River. I hope to incorporate similar production techniques and field recordings to explore storytelling through sound and song.
There are so many possibilities to be had and so many different ways to share stories, textures and emotions .. and I hope, so many more thousands of people wanting to listen.