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Hi everyone! It has been a while since Matt and I have managed to post anything. I've been starting my own business (still working on that) and Matt had the summer off from school, which means he spends a lot more time with his family. We've actually been working away in bits on this song since May, but just finally got our act together last week to finish it.

Okay, it was me. I finally got my act together. Smith had his act together all along.

The music came to me with the title Mayday on it and immediately inspired the direction of the lyrics; the illustrious Ed Hannifin has referred to our songs in the past as the Big Purdy Opera because they seem to tell a story and I think there's a lot of truth there. This song was deliberately written as a companion to Mermaid (I even cop some of the lyrics) which I originaly wrote about five years ago, when it was acceptable to me to write a song about a man saving a woman from an unhappy existence. The person I am today can't imagine writing a song with lyrics like that, so I wrote this song as a bookend. I think it's pretty much the end of the BPO. Matt and I have one more song in the works and then we're going to choose the songs for our album (I know, freakin' finally...) and start reworking those.

With that in mind, please feel free to comment openly and honestly on literally any detail of this song. We want your critical assistance. If you like it, it's cool to say that too, of course. I have my reservations about my vocal. I will actually probably resing it. If anyone has suggestions about where I'm going wrong with it, I'm open to hearing them.

This was mixed mostly on cans with Matt sending me the mix for feedback. There's some headphone candy in there and I think it's worth listening that way.

I'm pretty happy to be posting something again. I miss you guys and being part of the fun. I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends this week and hopefully making some new ones.

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I think I know this ship is sinking
and the radio's gone out
lifeboats wait along the shoreline
gonna save me from myself.
But, this song is not a mayday,
an SOS or cry for help.

Met a sailor on these seas
found his way inside of me
laid his heart against my hand,
said we'd sleep here on the sand.

I looked upon this broken sea
and wished some days I could float free.
But, this song is not a mayday
an SOS or cry for help.

Met a sailor on these seas
turned a knife inside of me
tore my heart out with his hand,
left it beating on the sand.

I shot the albatross
and for a time, I was lost.
I shot the albatross
and for a time, I was lost.
I shot the albatross.

But this song is not a mayday
an SOS or cry for help.
(an S-O-S-O-S-O S)
Song Stats
Hits: 4695
Comments: 28
Fans: 23
Plays: 128
Downloads: 125
Votes: 5
Uploaded: Sep 16, 2009 - 01:46:35 AM
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2009 - 01:46:35 AM Last Played: Jan 19, 2018 - 07:35:36 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons

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Matt's mysterious synths of wonder. Rode Nt-1a, PreSonus Firebox, Sony MDR-7506's Event ALP 5's.
Logic Studio.
MannequinRaces said 3110 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
This doesn't grab me like some of your older stuff. Parts of it just sound too repetitive (vocal melody, main 'riff'). I found myself wandering and getting bored.

I really like the main 'riff' but I think it was used too much . The bridge was good. Backing vocals are excellent. The music bed definitely sounds pretty fresh and reminds me of a song off of the movie Wall-E (the song played during the ending credits by Peter Gabriel).

Anyway, I think this song has potential but needs more variation. It's good but not great/fantastic. I have high expectations for your work and this one didn't rub my sweet spot!

I hope these comments help. Let me know if you would like me to clarify anything!

Check out my latest song called Parsec to Parsec
The Orbiting said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
Rubbing Spots
Thanks, Adam. I genuinely appreciate you being so honest in your response. I love Matt's music so much in this song and I really want to bring more to the song with my vocal. You nailed a lot of the spots that I was focused on myself (but have limited time to sing and am generally neurotic, so thought I'd post it here to see if I was right or just neurotic). I agree that I need to mix up the vocal melody, or at the very least get some more harmonies going. It's nice to hear that you have high expectations for us normally and I think this one has potential to grow into something, especially with good feedback from the gang. I'm stoked to head over and hear what you've been up to. You're one of my faves. Last.fm keeps recommending Piscean Dream to me, btw. -- L
Check out my latest song called Waiting By The Stars
MannequinRaces said 3109 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
That's hilarious. I forgot that Piscean Dream was on Last.fm! I need to get Mannequin Races on there. I've just been busy concentrating on writing songs. I figure I need to have the wagon full before the horse can pull it! Anyway I would really like to see some more vocal harmony lines in the song. The ones you have in there currently are delicious! I think I judge all of your songs based on your song Wake Up. That seems to be the epoch by which others are judged in my book! Keep plugging away at this because with a few minor improvements could be stellar!
Check out my latest song called Parsec to Parsec
Feter said 3110 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
Lovely production ...very open and sweet crystal
pure sound ...the vocal so special as always and
so happy to revisit ..good emotional song here .
very nice arrangement ..kudos ..thnx alot for
sharin !!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
The Orbiting said 3108 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
So nice
Thank you, sweet Feter. It's so good to see you here. It's like coming home.
Check out my latest song called Waiting By The Stars
Jim Bouchard said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
great song
I like the story being told here, as it seems tidy and easily grasped. I like the pop-ness off it.

That said, I am not crazy about the vocal, just like you. It sounds like you are trying too hard, sometimes, and there are parts where it's very good and parts where it sounds strained. The beginning of the "I shot the albatross" part is good but then it gets not so good. Everytime you sing "inside of me" is good, but a lot of the rest is sort of eh. There's a stentorian quality to the vocal in general and I think that you're at your best with a quieter less forced style. You're trying to be too big, almost. That's my open opinion, and of course others probably will disagree, but since you asked... And believe you me, I do know how hard it is to get back into singing after a long time off! I'm one to speak!
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
The Orbiting said 3108 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
That's the word...stentorian! I was definitely making the effort to be bigger. I'll often sing on something uptempo that I thought I was really giving my all on, like the end of Wake Up, then I'll listen back and think I sound like I was singing on Quaaludes, so I was trying not to fall into that trap this time and I was pretty sure I'd overshot it.

That said, I am totally thrilled we passed the Bouchard Loudness test. :)
Check out my latest song called Waiting By The Stars
ktb said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
look forward to listening to a new Orbiting track. I think the call and answer with the vocals works extremely well. There are parts where it sounds like you're still refining the vocal approach. Its hard for me to say that, as I simply love your vocal presence in all manner, and I can't sing worth a damn, so I don't feel qualified to weigh in there.

Total ear candy with the cans, I couldn't agree more. There's hidden treats all over the musical score. Kudo's to Sensai Smith on the bed. I can hear his magic sprinkled in there.

Way cool artwork, btw...and best of luck in the new biz!

Check out my latest song called Blackwater (by Tokai)
lavalamp said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
Great to see ya
I think this is quite inventive. Reminded me of Peter Gabriel in some parts. I also think Lisa's voice is rather good on this track, almost a raw soulful thing to it.

Btw, I'm the FIRST person to use albatross in a song. Look it up!

Criticism: The vox may seem a little out of tune in places. A bit of a mantra feel in all. Nothing wrong with the lyrics.

I mean this would be a 10th or 11th track on a album if you were to do one.

It's great to see ya back.

Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
blaky smith said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
So nice to see you back and to hear you again... Great piece here in every way. I can't give my critical assistance (I'm not enough an expert and you know my pitiful language) but it's especially because I like this tune such as it is. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Un jour de décembre
drakonis said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
ancient mariners return to rime
So good to have you two back again! Wow... much to critique here... I lay my thoughts at your feet:
-Really nice evocative lyrics to chew on as always, perfect... I love the little nuances and ambivalence hidden in there, your lyrics are always the pearl in the oyster :-)
-gorgeous artwork
-Weird mandolin(?) triplet, the second note doesn't fit with the background (major note over a minor chord?) but my ears tend to be more conventional, so this is a personal tick of mine. I'm sure it is intentional, but it seems distracting to me.
-The backing music is VERY pretty, but it is also very "busy" and vies for attention as you sing, making it hard for me to focus on your lyrics/singing... maybe have the music leads alternate between your sung lines more?
-The melody line you sing is self-similar throughout, so there's not much of a change-up/chorus type thing in there, I found myself wanting a part to be a break from the slow-ish meter somewhere.
-Your singing is actually quite good in here, and yes, you can probably nail it with some more sing-throughs, but your voice really works well for this, sort of a dreamy liquid texture we love to drown in.

I dunno, is that at all helpful? Great work you two!
Check out my latest song called Miwok
ic42 said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
how the boards did shrink
a tale of caution on the sea of life. is it of any comfort to know of others making navigational miscalculations? others waiting by the broken radio? it is a tale of woe. it touches the heart. this heart weeps as well. it is a touching lament. 0x0
Check out my latest song called Mars à Oublier - 0x01
The Orbiting said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
Thanks Guys
I had sleep issues last night and my brain isn't firing properly enough to formulate thoughts well, but my biorhythms usually wake me up later in the day, when I'll come back to reply individually and return listens, but I wanted to be sure my quietness wasn't interpreted as displeasure at the critiques. Thank you so much, guys! It's all very helpful and as far as the vocals go, it's good to get the suggestions for improvement. I'm not sensitive about it, because I know I've sung better in my life and always want to improve, anyway. Please keep wielding the axes and kisses, gang. Thank you!
Check out my latest song called Waiting By The Stars
bud said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
I think if you hadn't asked for it
I wouldn't have listened as critically to your vocals. There are parts that are slightly of kilter - but I don't hear that as a bad thing. Actually I like the direction your voice is taking here and could imagine a little more abandon. Now that's hard to do and stay musical - but it could be worth a go. Musically everything works well for me - but I agree that more variation or change of tone or texture is always welcome. More important than all these little details is that you're back in action and that's fantastic.
Check out my latest song called new leaf 123117
mybravedesign said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
this is awesome...i love the entire production... it's like the poor mans postal service... the vocals are a bit off in places and could be mixed better.... i do the same thing where i'm not sure about a vocals so i mix it low instead of recording it over and over or fixing it.... i guess i'm just lazy like that..... i would love to do some call and response vocals on something like this....
Check out my latest song called good day (to go out tonight) demo 2.0
said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
welcome back Lisa
this is very cool

. - Harold
MarkHolbrook said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
Good to
hear again! Some cool sounds going on in this... Vocals are great of course!!! Nicely done!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
Vic Holman said 3109 days ago (September 16th, 2009)
getting the act together
dang real life

excellent tune. it is good to hear a new orbiting tune. it has been long overdue.

actually it all works for me. i like complexity.
Check out my latest song called Age and Denial
lengold said 3109 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
Great to have
you both back.
Fantastic song and mix - I honestly can't hear anything wrong at all with the vocal. Sounds very powerful and effective to me. Hit song in my opinion.
Downloaded. Thanks.

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
Ed Hannifin said 3108 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
Yo! Lisa! (and yeah, I just know it's you....) What's up with posting new and long-awaited songs at 2:46 AM EST? A person could feel a bit... excluded...from the mad firsties rush...

This is an unusual day, in which I don't have to go to work until 4:00 in the afternoon, and the reason that's at all relevant, other than what it may say about my state of mind, is that I've got the house to myself and I can play this LOUD and over speakers, which I have just done... Now, because I am the kind of person who always follows instructions, I am RE-listening over my best headphones. Because someone said there'd be candy... And despite what she did to my elves, I continue to trust her...

She...said... there would... be... candy...

Plus, she and I belong to the exclusive club of MacJammers Whose Recent Lyrics Reference Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner... There are so few of us out there...

Okay, I'm fooling around here, and that's because 1) I love this, and 2) There's all this cool stuff in it, and I totally know that I will not be hearing or getting or being able to write down all that's in it... So I can gleefully give up and just love it...

Lisa, you are one clever and intelligent lyricist, one who combines that intelligence and cleverness with great emotion and great physicalness... You wrote songs that can be felt in the body...

I love the "lie-lie-lie" bits, and wish I'd thought of that one... Hmm... Theft is always an option...

I love your singing and I'm just blown away every time I hear something new by how far you have taken yourself in terms of your daring as a vocalist... 'Daring', but with steadily improving time and pitch and control and all the technical stuff... Yes, I can hear some strain or uncertainty at a couple of spots, as Jim notes, but I'm listening for the fourth time now, and that says something, and it stands out less and less rather than more and more and that says something... I suspect now that you've got this track so together that you can just sing along to it a bunch and loosen up and do again the parts that you want to be better for the eventual CD... If I wasn't listening hard to it, I'd have just shrugged it off as a dip in the direction of Fiona Apple...

Now, Lisa, you also get a lot of attention in these productions, 'cause it's easy to tell that the voice is you and the lyrics are you, but after that I'm not sure what the division of labor is... I always assume that Matt's stamp on things comes to the fore in the music, in the production, in the backing tracks and all the slicing and dicing that's done with them. And I love all that stuff, too... I like the artful use of distorted timbres in ways that are musical and not simply annoying... and the blending of timbres so that multi synth parts can all all be heard and each contributes something and works with the other parts... The percusion/rhythmic elements and the bass keep a neat rocking feel and pulse, and never sound like 'whacketa-whacketa' electronica... I always imagine people dancing to these tunes, and people who can actually DANCE, ya know? So large, negotiable kudos to Matt for what his genius brings to that...Neat bass bits that have impact regardless of what I listen to it over...

I also love the mermaid in the bathtub...

AND, wait'll my son hears it...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
blindsidedpoets said 3108 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
I am not familiar with your older stuff, so I can only go off of this tune... It's really good. Wonderful writing! Great passion, and dynamics! Thoroughly enjoyed listening.
Check out my latest song called Meaning Of
Parichayaka said 3108 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
you guys are awesome...
Finally listened to this with my good headphones. Wow! VERY impressive synth track in the background. Love it when I can discover different elements every time I listen to a song. Another multi-layered testament to Matt's experience and musical talent. The vocals are great too of course, the ending is especially beautiful. Here is the thing - maybe I've listening to Imogen Heap for too long, but for some reason I felt that with all the detail in the background the reverb on the vocals didn't seem all that necessary. I imagined a more breathy, crisp/dry sound almost contrasting the saturated soundscape in the background (that's post production, not the actual sound of your voice, which always blends perfectly). And trust me I feel silly saying this (what's the guys name on American Idol...Randy?), but there are few places where the vocals are just a tiny bit flat. Details, and I'm going there only because you mentioned in your interesting description and this just is such an awesome track that certainly warrants countless hours of tweaking! Let us know when you put something up in iTunes, I'm starting to feel guilty downloading all your songs for free!
Check out my latest song called shake hands
magnatone said 3108 days ago (September 17th, 2009)
what a total pleasure to hear new music from this great collab team! you've gotten all kinds of feedback already - i'll just say i enjoyed it thoroughly, and hope this means The Orbiting will be more active on MJ now!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
Mike_Lynn said 3107 days ago (September 18th, 2009)
Professional Mix
Well written & delivered with good vocals & clean mix. Cheers / Mike
Check out my latest song called Moods
jiguma said 3107 days ago (September 18th, 2009)
What a great piece of work. Great production and instrumentation - Lisa, your voice has never sounded better. Must get back together for another song soon (ish).

Best wishes to you both from Oz.
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
cchaplin said 3105 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
Hey, Lisa and Matt are back !
Love the fact that your lyrics always tell a bit of a dark story... I'm a sucker for that ! Production is tops, as always.
Check out my latest song called IV
Henke said 3100 days ago (September 25th, 2009)
My new favorite
I just wanted to say that this song is going through my head most every minute of my life at the moment, very catchy to say the least. I don't know, maybe there are flaws in the mix, but surely that is of little consequence when the song is so d-rn good! Thanks for the download, so I can put it on repeat :-)

Check out my latest song called Summer (Promenade) (WIP)
ramonaji said 3082 days ago (October 14th, 2009)
you guys!
Check out my latest song called Say Bye Bye
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&t illuminati & ledebutant met right here at Macjams in 2005 and had so much fun on our first collaboration that we thought it would be great to do a whole album together. Why should 1,500 miles and the fact that we've only met once stop us? Mat... [see more]

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