Finishing my Origin Of A Song series for The Daily Listening with the song that began it all; it’s almost poetic! This song changed my life. Sounds really dramatic, doesn’t it? But it really has. Because of this song, I now have two new best friends and a girlfriend, so I think that statement is justified.
I explained in the first post for “A Song for Charlie” how Jake and I first met. Our second meeting was where this song was born. As I explained in my first post, Jake sent me a batch of great tracks and the music for what became “One Last Chance” just instantly grabbed me! That into riff the big chorus…everything! So the second time Jake and I hung out, he came to my old studio flat in London and brought his acoustic guitar. We had planned to just jam out to some songs we loved and see how we clicked musically. When he arrived, he took out his guitar and realized two of the strings were broken so we were a bit stuck. Instead he suggested we try writing lyrics to some of the music and I instantly jumped at the chance to write something for “One Last Chance.”
I explained beforehand that before this day, I’d only really written one song and it had taken me four years. So Jake told me a few of his tricks for lyric writing and the one that really stuck with me was to choose a theme first. So Jake asked what I thought the theme of this song should be and I was really keen to write the song as like a final warning, telling somebody they’ve used up all their lives and this is it. Jake asked why I’d chosen this and I poured out all my reasons, telling him some pretty dark stuff that I’d only told a handful of friends in the past – this all to a guy who I’d met once before and known only part of a week.
We sat down and played the track over and over adding line by line and when I sung back the first verse, Jake harmonized the backing parts completely unplanned and I just started getting these unreal goosebumps. There was just this look of, ‘yes, this works.’ I think that’s where we first realized we could really contrast our voices to really give songs a great dynamic, something a lot of the reviews of our debut EP commented on.
This song is the first one we wrote together and it’s the one most people seem to take to, so it’s become our anthem in a way. This was very clear from the first few shows which is why we chose to name the EP after it. I think the reason it’s really resonated with so many people is the fact that it’s a situation I think everyone has felt before – taken advantage of, pushed a bit too far or taken for granted. Like the lyrics say, “We’ve all been there.”
The second half of the first verse, “You showed me the sweetest scene, you played the perfect part, you made me live a dream, breaking hearts like a work of art,” I think captures and summarizes the whole theme of the song; to be built up and excited only to be let down and broken. It’s basically a metaphor for false promises. I think anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a very forgiving person, sometimes to my detriment.
We recorded a demo for this track using the music Jake had composed with him playing both bass and guitar. We added in synthesized drums as well. We released the song as a lyric video just to see how it would be received and it’s safe to say it massively surpassed expectations. I pushed it onto industry friends a lot of who I’d not spoken to for up to nine years and there was a buzz around the song which was great. Friends messaged me who I’d not heard from for a long time to say they loved it. We knew then we had something.
I think one of the biggest signs of this was when my dad – who my whole life has ALWAYS poked fun at my music tastes – saw me play once as a kid at my 18th birthday party and his comments were, “I’m just really glad you had fun” along with, “It’s not as bad as I expected.” I sent him the demo track and he called me ten minutes later and just went on about how great he thought it was, how much he loved it, how he’d taken it straight to show one of his friends he was with who also loved it and asked if we had any more songs. I don’t think anything will ever really hit me the way that did, so that was an amazing moment for me.
I’d moved to London for a job and because a girl I was seeing lived here we’d known each other a long time but the distance was starting to take it’s toll. I got offered a great job here so it just made sense. It didn’t work out though, and we ended it on very good terms. She’s still a friend today. A few months later I dated another girl who I was absolutely blown away by. We’d met in the most amazing way and when we spent time together it was incredible then all of a sudden from nowhere she ended it. I’m not afraid to say I was devastated. I quickly realized I was very alone in London and had nothing but my job here. That kind of put me in a very dark place for a while, so reaching out for someone to play music with was my way of escaping that and Cuecliché has massively helped me in that so I owe Jake and Keith a lot.
One other person who got in touch after hearing the song was was the amazing girl I dated who ended it abruptly. She said she’d heard the song and it was amazing. She’d been wanting to get back in touch for a while and hearing this song felt like it was aimed at her and she only had one last chance with me. Just over a year after we first shared that demo, she’s currently snoring next to me as I write this, so there’s a happy ending.
This whole journey has been pretty amazing. I’ve gone from a real dark and lonely place to being able to honestly say the last 12 months of my life have probably been the best…and it all started with this song.
I do have to clarify that this song was not about her. In fact, a lot of people have asked me if they are the inspiration behind this song. Probably everyone but the person who it actually is about (well the person who inspired my input to the song, I can’t speak for Jake). I am going to be a real tease though and say I’m not going to say who it’s about, mainly because it wouldn’t be fair. “One Last Chance” is very much a lot of what I’d like to say to this person but probably never will.
And so we reach the end of Origin Of A Song for Cuecliché’s debut EP, One Last Chance. I want to take this moment to say the biggest thank you possible to Tina. Firstly for giving me the platform to tell these small stories and for editing them all – that couldn’t have been easy! I’m very grateful to “One Last Chance” because if it hadn’t happened I may never have gotten in touch with her. I’ve loved some of the pieces she’s written and she’s come to be a good friend so thank you Tara, or was it Tanya? I don’t know, who cares about actually learning people’s names? (Inside joke). Editor’s note: When will PR ever get my name right? 😉
Huge thank you to Jake and Keith, without them there would have been no songs to write about!
And thank you to everyone who’s read these pieces and hopefully listened to the songs! We have a new EP out January 18! Hopefully this wasn’t our one last chance and we’ll meet again? (See what I did there?)