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about

The story behind the writing & recording of Awkward. (by Cynthia Catania)
I remember the afternoon Annmarie brought Awkward to our writing session. It had a pretty wonderful, immediate hook. We were very excited about the idea, and spent some time flushing out the lyrics. Intentionally NOT being lazy about repeats in choruses & verses. The story was something I could really connect with, as many people can. The awkwardness of running into an ex at a party, she’s with someone new & hot; you’re dying inside, covering up with bad jokes, over-drinking to quell painful feelings, pining, doubtful about falling in love again – yup, been there, done that. Once the song was written (the bridge was an afterthought of that initial session. I remember we wrote that section over skype, which was a first. ☺ I was at my antique piano in Atwater Village, and Annmarie was on her acoustic guitar in West Hollywood).

The original rhythms of the song were more rock, and folk based strum patterns. In our first band rehearsal – we experimented with groovier Motown style bass & drum parts. Simplifying that original rhythm (which only exists now in the bridge breakdown section where Annmarie takes the lead vocal). Now the rest of the song is based around the guitar motif, bass line, and off-beat guitar hits. Until the chorus, which builds into indie-rock glory. Capturing this arrangement on “tape” was a long, experimental process. We used old WFL drums, , old cymbals, odd, shitty mics. ☺ For bass tracking we borrowed an old P-bass from a friend. I recorded & re-recorded the guitars several times. Trying to find the right delay, vintage tones, ample space – but more energy & grit in the choruses. It’s funny with bringing songs to life – sometimes they’re just wrong, until they’re just right. I find that my partnership with the band works really well in this regard, as if I lose perspective getting so inside the track and the aesthetics of the arrangement, they often lends a fresh ear to help guide me back to the song. That objectivity is an important part of our process.

lyrics

AWKWARD
Awkward, walk into the room it's so awkward Trophy girl with you, it's too awkward
Like being back in school it's so awkward, nails on chalk board
Stupid, open up my mouth and sound stupid Choke on the small talk it's so useless
Steal your bow and arrow kill cupid, just kill cupid
AAH OOOH….Every word out of my mouth falls short, heads south Cabernet all on my dress, nervous jokes no-one gets
Awkward, feel my stomach sink it's too awkward Tears on the brink, walking backwards
Resist the urge to mix with your exes, no drunk texting!
AAH OOOH….Every word out of my mouth falls short, heads south Triggers been shot from your hip, hold my tongue, bite my lip
AAH OOOH
It's all the same it's never gonna change, let go
Awkward, Trophy Girl with you it's too awkward, awkward AWKWARD
AAH OOH…Take me home, take off my dress... prolong this mess

credits

from Trophy Girl (Parts 1 & 2), released July 1, 2012
Written by Annmarie Cullen (Sesac/Imro) & Cynthia Catania (Sesac)
Published by Rathdown Park Music (Sesac) & olivoiL music (Sesac)
Produced by Cynthia Catania
Mixed by Cynthia Catania & Michael James
Mastered by Dave Donnelly/DNA Mastering
Bass guitar: Steve Giles
Drums: Megan Jane
Guitars: Cynthia & Annmarie
Vocals: Cynthia & Annmarie
Wurly & add’l keyboards: Cynthia
Background Vox: Cynthia & Annmarie

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