Behind The Song: Cold War
Take a peek into my personal songwriting journal—completely unedited.
The other day I was flipping through my songwriting notebooks and stumbled upon 'Cold War'. This particular song was a difficult one to write, and I find the more I wrestle with a song, the more intricate and detailed the notes turn out.
The chorus came pretty easily, but the verses really had me stumped. Notice on the first page, I circle certain words or phrases. When I'm troubleshooting, it usually helps when I focus in on strong themes. It's easier for me to come up with lyrics if I have specific imagery in mind. While building off the 'Cold War' theme worked really well for the bridge, it was not a good approach for the verses. This is why on the second page, I start slowly pulling away from the theme and instead begin fleshing out the story and emotions. By the third page, I have finally figured out that the verses must focus on the relationship from the perspective of the human experience rather than trying to use fancy words or cultural/symbolic references. Even though the line "It feels like we are constantly preparing for nuclear warfare" would've worked really well thematically, it's not nearly as powerful as simply saying "You don't look at me the same way anymore".
I hope you enjoy taking a peek into my journal! If you have any questions about my songwriting process or if there is something you wish I'd covered, feel free to leave a note in the comments.