Demonstration Tapes: The Infanta
We all raise our voices to the air (sotto voce)
Songs take very different journeys from their beginnings to their finishings — some songs come into the world a half-formed thing and require the intervention of a lot of minds and fingers before they begin to takes shape, while some songs arrive an entire organism. This one, “The Infanta,” was one of those latter ones, as evidenced by its demo. Lots and lots of instrumentation was added to the finished product — 65 tracks of instrumentation, if memory serves: drums and guitars and keyboards and percussion and horns and even a shofar — but the structure of the song stayed remarkably close to this single-take home recording. Even the key change and the modulation to that key change is there from the beginning, something I typically set aside for rehearsal or the studio. I don’t remember much about the writing of this song, aside from the fact that I’d wanted to do a kind of galloping spaghetti western-style song for a while. I was influenced, I recall, by a Belle & Sebastian song I can’t place anymore and Mirah’s Cold Cold Water. I’d also wanted to write a song about an infanta, a child monarch. Beyond that, not much remains. Makes me think I must’ve just written it in one quick go, which was typical in those heady days. Enjoy, ye paid subscribers!
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