January Through December Cover

January Through December: Saint John Musician Journals Raw Musical Process

Maybe you’ve noticed, but there’s something wrong with the Grammys. Or maybe a few things wrong. But let’s try to keep this brief, okay?

If you were listening to the music that was performed at Sunday’s award show, or really any time in the last decade, it probably all sounded like one perfectly over-produced homogenous blare that somehow required at least a half-dozen songwriters to come up with. It’s nothing new. Song-writing in modern pop music has become more science than soul. Any spontaneity, creativity, and energy has been bled from the process, and it has become the antithesis of music. It is little more than charming, well-honed, noise.

Saint John musician, Clinton Charlton (Bonnett House/Penny Blacks/Jessica Rhaye) is combating this. He has stripped the machine back to the bare essentials and will be sharing the process with you to guarantee its authenticity. For the first time in seven years, Charlton his resurrecting his ‘January Through December’ project in which he will be documenting his process of song-writing and recording one song a month, each month of the year.

“The idea is to create with no boundaries of creating an album, to create as close to the source as possible,” says Charlton.

He explains that he feels his decision to revive the project is something of a necessity. It comes from a natural impulse to create, but also the constraints of time. Life gets busy, and sometimes you need to make time to flex forgotten muscles.

The entire song creation process will be conducted at Charlton’s home: everything from song-writing and documenting to recording. The blog itself will provide Charlton’s explanations on his inspirations, how the songs were made, and anything else he feels might be pertinent to the listening experience.

Most importantly, at the heart of the project is raw creation.

“There’s no time to put a lot of foresight into it. I don’t have the luxury of making sure it suits me stylistically, or the time to mould it into specific ways. It’s more of a demo aesthetic.

The nucleus of this project doesn’t allow me to overthink it or make sure it fits in a mould. I don’t have the luxury of tracking order, re-writes, etc.”

Charlton has already released the first song for the month of January, titled ‘The Night Is Long, The Morning Is Coming,’ about the passing of a neighbour on an otherwise beautiful day. The track feels like a bare-bones Bon Iver.

So instead of tuning in to Ryan Seacrest’s Spotify account, take some time to check out someone getting their hands good and dirty. If Charlton’s first installment is any indication, the next eleven months should yield some interesting results.

January Through December: WEB