Written by Me – a mastery of the simplicity of acoustic indie music
Netherlands songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Written by Me AKA WbM has been an active musician for 20 years first under the name Isobel (released one song on Kid Antrim Music compilation called “Don’t be Sad”) and later as member of the band MusicMind which folded after short time. Says WbM: “In my teens I traded the piano for the guitar, but have mastered neither. Now much older, I write songs from experiences and I hope these songs spark a smile, even if it is a small one.” Written by Me mainly use session vocalists for his songs, to which he writes the music and lyrics, as well as plays all instruments himself. With a growing catalog of varied genres, WbM is currently promoting two songs – the striped down acoustic driven, female sung “Solo”, and the mellow folk-tinged “School Days”.
Written by Me proves his powerful skills as a songwriter and lyricist, through his depiction of the failures of love on “Solo”, as the songstress croons: “So you’re ready to be on your own, so willing to be gone. So ready to leave your home. And you will not look back no more. Don’t you go, I can’t be on my own.”
The way that WbM illustrates love and loss at the same time is relatable for many on all levels. On the surface, the track seems like your typical artist-with-an-acoustic-guitar-spills-their-guts record that we all hear from time to time. In fact, it’s really not all that different from that approach.
But what I can tell you is that Written by Me does it by the book better than anyone else doing it by the book. The track is visceral and close to the bone, both musically and lyrically. Each is essential without unnecessary embellishments getting in the way of the message and mood.
The underlying emotional weight, one hundred percent relatable lyrics, and an incredibly moving, but understated vocal performance, all have something to do with it too. Everything sung in the lyric is as important as how the singer conveys the emotions behind those words.
That’s why a line as simple as “Don’t you go, I can’t be on my own” sticks out amongst everything else. The female singer here has the rare gift of poetic vocals, and what I mean by that is everything she sings sounds like a masterfully composed metaphor.
So, at this point what you know is this music is worthwhile because of the voice, the lyrics and the feel. It’s true that those are the primary strengths of Written by Me’s songs, but there’s also more to expound upon. “School Days”, for example, brings more melody and harmony. Showcasing a mastery of the simplicity of the acoustic indie genre of music.
The track also shows promise to the singer-songwriter genre that is becoming infested with subpar artists. Written by Me’s simplicity makes his music accessible and his songs tell stories that someone actually might enjoy listening to. This song in particular is another reminder that although WbM will sometimes use the simplest of words, the poignant way they are articulated leaves listeners feeling the weight of each syllable.
This again shows Written by Me’s good choice of collaborative singers, together with flowing organic music that never gets in the way of the melody. Music like this tends to command the attention of those with whom it resonates emotionally, and those willing to pay it the diligence it deserves.
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