Jordan Hirsch: Technologist, Improviser, Rock Star

My Music

I've been a musician since the early 90's, but I only recently started recording; this change was due in large part to the push I got from participating in February Album Writing Month (aka FAWM), an annual challenge for songwriters to write and record 14 songs in 28 days. 2010 marked my second participation in FAWM, and the biggest increase in my musical output in years. I wrote a few more songs last summer, then another 14 for FAWM 2011. For more on FAWM, check out these entries from my blog.

If you're interested, you can download individual tracks here.

Creative Commons License
All tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License,
with the exception of "Divide the Storm" © Das Binky Music.

Liner Notes

  1. How Does It Feel?
    Music & Lyrics: Jordan Hirsch

    I wrote this one for FAWM 2010, and it was subsequently featured on both the 2010 FAWMpilation CD and the first release of the new netlabel "up your legs forever." I started out just playing around with some coold old-school 8-bit sounds, and ended up turning them into this song. The structure went through several revisions but I'm really happy with where the music ended up. And even though I hate it, I've always secretly wanted to play with autotune, so this was my chance.

    The lyrics started out as a bad breakup song, then my wife Amanda Hirsch (who's a great writer) helped me turn it into a much better breakup song, but in the end this song just didn't want to be a breakup song. It wanted to be a song about a killer ship's computer who falls in love with an astronaut and goes insane. That construct was loosely based on an iMusical show I saw where my friend Karen Lange played a ship's computer who falls in love. So I basically stole that idea and ran with it.

  2. Home Tonight
    Music & Lyrics: Jordan Hirsch

    I wrote this one for FAWM 2011. The lyrics started coming to me one cold night while I was riding my bike through Prospect Park. The sun was setting, and the sight of the snowy trees in the fading light got me thinking...and those thoughts turned into this song. I guess you could call it a protest song, which would be a first for me - though not really surprising, as I love protesting things.

  3. Divide The Storm
    Music & Lyrics: John Argentiero, Vocals/Piano: Jordan Hirsch

    My good friend and longtime (like, since high school) musical collaborator John Argentiero wrote this gorgeous song and invited me to sing on it (and contribute a piano part). I think this song makes a good case for me buying a better microphone for recording. My Shure SM-58, while a trusty companion, just doesn't capture the full range of recorded vocals. Anyone want to buy me a nice condenser mic?

  4. And Your Bird Can Sing
    Music & Lyrics: Lennon/McCartney

    During the summer months, the people behind FAWM put on another songwriting challenge called 50/90. The goal is to write 50 songs in 90 days. Last year I didn't even come close, but I did manage to crank out a couple covers during the coda to 50/90, which they call "Rocktober." Someone on the FAWM forums thought it would be cool for a bunch of people to each pick a track to cover from the Beatles' Revolver, and I chose this song, which I've long thought is one of their most under-rated songs. I turned it into a sort of shoegaze-electro thing, because I thought that sounded cool.

  5. Dark Room
    Music: Jordan Hirsch

    During FAWM 2011, the people behind FAWM would put out songwriting prompts on Twitter every day. One of them was to write a "techno or dance song." So I tried my hand it, and I was really happy with the result. The main thing that sounds like a didgeridoo is actually a saxophone sample slowed down and stretched out a bit. I like the vibe on this one, kind of like a nice controlled chaos.

  6. The Game
    Music: Kristian Børresen, Lyrics/Production/Vocals: Jordan Hirsch

    Another FAWM 2010 collaboration, this time with Norwegian electronic composer Kristian Børresen. Kristian wrote the music and posted on the FAWM forums that he was looking for a lyricist and vocalist. I filled both roles on this one. The lyrics just sort of popped into my head the first time I listened to his excellent music.

  7. Set You Free
    Music & Lyrics: Jordan Hirsch

    My first song for 50/90 2011. Had the tune rattling around my head for a while, finally turned it into a song. The high parts in the melody were written mostly as an excuse to use my new Rode NT1-A condenser microphone, which I love.

  8. Hey Girl
    Music: Jordan Hirsch, Lyrics/Vocals: Jordan Hirsch & Amanda Hirsch

    Amanda and I co-wrote this one for FAWM 2010. We were out at a bar on Valentine's Day, and some Barry White song came on the sound system. Then an R&B song. Then 10 more R&B songs. We were laughing at the way each one started with a long spoken intro, consisting mostly of the singer asking some girl if she was ready for him to begin. We wondered what a song might sound like if the girl was ready, but the guy wasn't. This song is the answer to that question.

    Both parts of this were improvised, then I looped and pasted Amanda's lines as needed to create the final product.

Thanks for listening!