I recorded this “album” for The RPM Challenge. Similar to NaSoAlMo, the goal is to write and record 10 songs or 35 minutes of music during the month of February.
I really struggled to come up with music for some reason, and I couldn’t really commit to a theme. I also misplaced most of the notes I’d written myself throughout the month, so the bulk of writing and recording happened during the last 3 days.
As a result, I don’t know if it really feels like a complete album, and there are some pretty cringeworthy moments if you ask me, but I learned a few things in the process as well.
Looking for out-of-tune, badly recorded pop songs inspired by The X-Files? Then you’ve come to the right place. This year’s NaSoAlMo offering fits that description pretty well.
I decided to stick with last year’s theme and write songs inspired by one episode from each season, except this time I made a conscious effort to find something in the episode I could relate to my own experiences, hence, the album title: Hybrid.
There is no Track 5, as the track numbers were to correspond to the season numbers, and I ran out of time before I could get a song written for season five. Track 9 also became an unintentional instrumental.
This year’s NaSoAlMo album File Under X is a tribute to The X-Files.
I started out drawing inspiration from episodes picked at random before deciding to select one episode from each season and also include a cover of the theme music.
Despite suffering from a slough of technical difficulties and audio shortcomings, I think I would consider this my most successful NaSoAlMo venture to date.
On the morning of November 30th, I had only two songs recorded (Badlaa & Hell Money), though I had MIDI sequences and some lyrics written for several others. So, I spent that Sunday filling in the gaps and recording vocals and instrument tracks for five songs and three instrumentals. I finished the last song just a few minutes before midnight, and had time to record the little 1013 thingy.
While the mixes could use a lot of work to make them easier on the ears, I’ve left them as is, except for adding a second or two of silence to the last track.
Some of the lyrics were lifted directly from the dialogue, and at least one song (Badlaa) borrows a musical phrase from Mark Snow’s score.
DISCLAIMER: The X-Files is the property of Chris Carter, 20th Century Fox, and 1013 Productions. Everything used without permission. Don’t sue me, guys. I’m just a fan.
Clip from The X-Files: Fight the Future featuring David Duchovny
01 – Born Again – This was one of the episodes picked at random, and I’m glad it was because I would never have picked this episode on my own. It is also one of the songs where I had to finish writing the lyrics just minutes before I started recording the vocals.
Episode Credits: Written by Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa ; Directed by Jerrold Freedman
Episode Credits: Written by Glen Morgan & James Wong; Directed by Kim Manners
03 – Hell Money – This was the second song I recorded. I actually goofed up the lyrics a little when I recorded the vocal. I also had tried to pick a melodic phrase from Mark Snow’s score, but I couldn’t really pick one out.
Episode Credits: Written by Jeffrey Vlaming; Directed by Tucker Gates
04 – Paper Hearts – I remember coming up with the chorus late one night on the way to and from the convenience store to get some snacks.
Episode Credits: Written by Vince Gilligan; Directed by Rob Bowman
05 – Kill Switch (Instrumental) – I think I actually started this instrumental before I came up with the X-Files theme, so it was more of a “Which episode can I associate this with?” kind of thing.
Episode Credits: Written by William Gibson & Tom Maddox; Directed by Rob Bowman
06 – The Rain King – I came up with the idea of the chorus and first verse early on. The second verse was written just before recording, I think.
Episode Credits: Written by Jeffrey Bell; Directed by Kim Manners
07 – Hollywood A.D. – The lyrics were mostly lifted from a transcript of the episode. Originally, the music was supposed to fade out, but I forgot when I was mixing the tracks.
Episode Credits: Written by David Duchovny; Directed by David Duchovny
08 – Badlaa – This was the first song that was written and recorded. I wrote down all of the episodes (for another project, actually) and put them in a container. I then drew a random epidsode. I borrowed a musical phrase from Mark Snow’s score (or at least as best as I could recreate it) and took most of the lyrics from the episode’s dialogue.
Episode Credits: Written by John Shiban; Directed by Tony Wharmby
09 – Lord of the Flies– I had started this song before I decided on the X-Files theme. I had partial lyrics to the chorus and pre-chorus and a melody in my head. Near the end of the month I decided to try to adapt it to this episode. I wish I had changed the “yeah”s to “uh huh”s. There was a slight delay when I recorded the vocals, and I didn’t have time to line all the tracks up properly, so it’s sounds a little draggy.
Episode Credits: Written by Thomas Schnauz; Directed by Kim Manners