Homecooked: Songs From FAWM 2013

by TA Walker

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The fourteen tracks in this collection were all composed and (with one exception) recorded from scratch, between 1st-28th February 2013 for that year's FAWM (February Album Writing Month) challenge. (The exception is the version of "An Anniversary Song" included here - whilst the song was written and submitted (demo 1) on the 26th February, the version here is the more "polished" second demo, recorded on 1st March as a present to my wife for our wedding anniversary the following day.)

These demos are presented here more or less in the state in which they were uploaded during the challenge period, and have not been reworked, nor have any parts been re-recorded. Considering that each song was written and recorded over an average period of two days... well, the listener can work out for themselves what this may mean!

That said, I have remixed and generally "buffed up" all the demos for this release, so they should sound generally better than the rough mixes I uploaded to the FAWM site during the challenge itself.

All the demos here were recorded mostly (and in many cases, entirely) on an iPhone 4S using the Garageband and Multitrack DAW apps (plus various instrument apps as well), with only occasional synth overdubs and mixing/mastering taking place in Logic Pro on a Mac.

I may well return to some of these songs at a later date to re-work or re-record them, but for now, here are my submissions for FAWM 2013, just as I presented them...

(If you enjoy the album, please consider giving me something for it... not least because it will increase the chances of me being able to spend more time/effort/etc on the next project - many thanks!)


released March 4, 2013

Produced by T.A. Walker for Sidingsound Productions
Guitars, guitalele, guitar/keyboard/touch synths, ukulele, percussion, programming, piano, voices, vocoder - T.A. Walker
All songs written by T.A. Walker during FAWM (February Album Writing Month) 2013
Recorded and programmed by Tim on an iPhone 4S and iPod Touch (with additional synth overdubs in Logic Pro) between 1-28 February 2013
Apps (software) used: Garageband, Multitrack DAW, FunkBox, Sunrizer XS, JamUp Pro XT, Audiobus, TASCAM PCM Recorder
Extra recording and mixing by T.A. Walker @ Sidingsound, England - spring 2013 Cover photo by tim
Thanks to my family (mainly for patience), my fellow FAWM'ers and listeners, and you
Play with consideration
For Joy and Naomi xxx




TA Walker UK

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter, often with "electronica" and "prog" inclinations. Will that do?

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Track Name: Back On The Bus
The last tour that you played
It ended last July
Off-track, time to kick back
Look for patterns in the sky
Now the crowds call your name again
From St Ives to Whitley Bay
Your transport’s here, so you concentrate
On remembering how to play

You’ve had your rest, it’s time to rise, get
Back on the bus
The road ahead, new lands that lie
In wait for us
Won't get there by lying here
Back on the bus...

Your band has pitched their camp
And grass has grown beneath
Guy-ropes - they've got high hopes
Of a life like Mick and Keith
But the bills won't pay themselves this month
And your fans have waited long
So the roadie's brought the Transit round
And the highway starts its song

You've had your rest...

The glaring lights, adoring crowds await you
Your career has come to this - it's not too late to
Reach for the sky
Track Name: St Ives State Of Mind
Five hours’ drive from a Monday morning
Leaving with the tide
A vintage split-screen camper van
The only wheels to ride, to...

(St Ives) A haven by the sea
(St Ives) A hundred galleries
(St Ives) It waits for you and me
In my St Ives state of mind

Ambling through the tiny streets
Past gift-shops, artists’ nests
The seagulls’ song reminds us of
The town we love the best

(St Ives) Sea-breeze on my face
(St Ives) Far from the rat-race
(St Ives) Trawlers catching plaice
In my St Ives state of mind

Fishing-boats in harbour
Look out on passing ships
The seagulls divebomb people’s lunch
‘Cos they love that fish-and-chips!


From the azure waves of Carbis Bay
To the Hayle estuary
The clearest light in England fair
Guess where I love to be

(St Ives) The artists’ balconies
(St Ives) Face the ocean breeze
(St Ives) Picture my memories
In my St Ives state of mind
Track Name: The Future (Isn't What It Used To Be)
Trocadero - late-80s
Neon lights, mirrored screens
Soundtracked by Walkman
I play "The Man-Machine"

Step out to the dirty streets
The present, unexpectedly
Maybe the future
Isn't what it used to be

Automatic - "Metamatic"
Jet-packs, flying cars
The Net came from nowhere
So near, yet so far

A super-computer
In every hand I see
Maybe the future
Isn't what it used to be

The sky - no limit
Bases on the moon
Four decades - low orbit
Flying nowhere soon

The stars we aimed for
And missed totally
Maybe the future
Isn't what it used to be
Track Name: Before The War
In springtime years ago they met by the stream
Paddled in the shallows, talked about the wind
As days grew longer, new pastimes they would dream
Meadows bloom, daisies by the score
Before the war

Taking walks on verdant hills, skylark song above
That summer barely passed, as if it wouldn't end
It felt to them the hedgerows would celebrate their love
Like the larks, their insides seemed to soar
Before the war

Sometimes the words get in the way
Sometimes there's nothing right to say

September brought the gathering storm, and cast a shadow long
An argument of distant men, sweeping all before
To fight and hurt for others' hate - they felt it surely wrong
Still the letter came, dropping through their door
And then the war


Sometimes the words...

They do their best to shield the flame, despite their time apart
Pen and ink are now their tongue, for now it has to do
The nights pass quiet and empty - when will they meet again?
And somewhere still, the stream will ever pour - like it did
Before the war
Track Name: Quick Song
I've got to write this quick song for you
Can't guarantee a masterpiece to set the world aflame
The melody and chords aren't all that new
And you could've heard some other songs that maybe sound the same

But it's a quick song - it's your song
Especially for you
It's a quick song - it's your song
And the latest... in the queue

Do you mind the demo's slightly rough?
I was thwarted in my attempts to book the Wrecking Crew
So it's just me, this old guitar and a beatbox on my phone
And for our present purposes, I hope that it will do

But it's a quick song...
Track Name: Alaska
Then here you came, blown by north winds
A winter visitor, welcome still
Settled quickly in a warm nest
Shielded from the Arctic chill

Whither Greenland, or Alaska
Icy wings that bank and soar
Shelter on our balmy marshes
'Til the cold retreats once more

Go no wandering, while the blizzards
Coat your distant breeding ground
Take our rain- and wind-swept island
For this time, to stay around

Whither Greenland...

And then we'll turn one day
And all we'll find
A lighter mist for lighter days
And next year left behind
Track Name: In The Corner At Parties
Not much good at bowling
Down the gutter, every time
The others get the beers in
I nurse my Coke and lime

That's me in the corner at parties
Wonder why I bother showing up

Not quite a wow with ladies
Eye-contact, distant dream
Got a girlfriend with my pension
That's just the way it seems

That's me in the corner at parties
Wonder why I bother showing up

Then one fateful night, I dropped a contact lens
Crawling round a dance-floor - so this is how it ends
I thought
But guess who gave it back to me - she was a shy one too
We'd gone to the same parties, with never the same view

That's not us in the corner at parties
And you know we're glad we bothered showing up that night
Track Name: Fiction
When a Briton asks the Met Office about tomorrow's weather
When a £5 wallet from a market claims it's real leather
When a politician postulates "we're all in this together" - oh
Perhaps they're definitions of "fiction"

When the National Enquirer swears that Elvis is alive
When it's preferable to travel hopefully than to arrive
When the latest manufactured star is billed as singing "live"
They may be three examples of "fiction"

When someone claims agreement from "the vast majority"
When something that looks really cool is advertised as "free"
When you hold forth with your narrow views, then claim to speak for me
I heartily suspect a work of "fiction"
To pass it off as truth engenders friction
Yes, it fits the definition of fiction
Track Name: Being Your Film
From the day that the lights came on
My Oscar shortlist was down to one
The statuette, the second prize
To your embrace, your loving eyes

Forget the Tinseltown reception
I wish upon a star to be your film

The critics' views don't interest me
When I stay for the matinée
You're the feature - me, the cartoon
The "Heaven's Gate" to your "High Noon"

Romance, horror or comedy
Every day I want to be your film

Frame by frame - you make yourself a name
More and more - you get to write the score
Track Name: With Snowdrops
Remember the walk that we took in the spring?
Lined with snowdrops
The quickening year could bring anything
The future in seed

Winter dissolves into springtime
Running to meet you
Your hair like a rippling stream
Through the fields

Remember the hill that we climbed in the sun?
Alive with daisies
Stopped for the view - did time stand still
For you and for me?

Springtime dissolves into summer
Running to catch you
Your feet through the grassy waves
Across the fields
Track Name: Nearly Run
Been running for a lifetime
Now the home straight's hoving into view
Those muscles feel on fire
These legs are running out on you
A second wind awaits you
When the fans prepare to cheer you home

Carry on, your race is nearly run (x3)
And the time to stop is when you're done

Recall the sights that passed you
But don't look back until the end
No time to fall to pieces
Those aches will fade, that tear will mend
Around this final corner
Just one more spurt, and then the prize

Keep on, your race is nearly run (x3)
And the time to stop is when you're done
Track Name: An Anniversary Song (second demo)
A bright warm day in early spring
Found us both in Cheongryangri
Dressed our once-in-a-lifetime best
And joined by friends and family
It seemed even the cherry trees
Had thought to blossom early
A present for our special day
Especially for you and me

Eleven springs have rolled around
Through rain and sun and heat and snow
Still we walk this lane as one
Past snowdrops bursting from below
Each spring renews our memories
Our garden grows a cherry tree
Our daughter catches petals, as we
Recall that spring in Cheongryangri
Track Name: Away With The Tide
See where the water and sky overlap
The sea-spray and clouds become one
Follow the line from horizon to shore
This time tomorrow, we've gone

Over the waves and far away
Over the salt-crests we'll ride
Away with the tide