The Post-Timey String Band is a tight blend of pick-up players and songwriters. The band combines a diverse palette of lush instrumentation to create moving compositions that explore rich sonic landscapes. Their song “The River” is braided with layers of fiddle, guitars and elegiac harmonies alongside a haunting lamentation about loss and change. Post-Timey’s main collaborators Kelley McLachlan and Sean Thomson, joined me to talk about their songwriting process, nightmares, and frog fart sonic textures.
Check out “River Song” here.
SC: How do you view the lyrical repetition working in conjunction with the pauses in between verses and the turn around?
KM: River is meant to convey a sort of dreamy meditation on a woman’s past. When I wrote the song, I left pauses in between certain transitions, mostly because my average guitar playing skills kept my fingers from moving fast enough to transition smoothly,
SC: What was your songwriting process like for this song?
KM: I woke up from a nightmare one night singing the song. I’d often have dreams that the people I loved were in danger, that they were struggling and drowning in a certain darkness. River felt like a song that connected my sorrows and darkness with others. Somehow it spoke relief into my heart to think that I was united in beautiful sadness with a community of people, relying on each others' strength to swim against the current of a black sea and make their way to safety.
ST: Well I didn't have much to do with the songwriting in the lyric sense but sonically I try to make it sound like a river. You have calm smooth sailing parts that lead to rocky rapids that eventually lead to a mellow, peaceful sort of stream.
SC: How often do you write? Do you keep a songwriting schedule?
KM: I try to write/ start writing a song a week. They are often just rambling nonsense, but the consistency keeps my brain reaching for those rare moments of clarity when words enhance or inform a feeling, story, or situation. Lots of my writing is simply for my own catharsis.
ST: I don't really do too much songwriting due to my lack of know words how do good well. Arranging and painting scenes with weird noises to convey feelings that fit the song. That's more of my cup of tea. I guess that could be a form of songwriting? I dunno . . . Maybe song-aiding? Song-Doodling?
SC: How does your community influence your songwriting?
KM: I am blessed to be part of the music community in Columbia, South Carolina. The people I play with, I truly believe are some of the most talented, skilled, and creative musicians in the world. The songwriters, fiddle players, guitar masters, etc . . . are on par with those in Nashville, Austin, or anywhere on the map. It's impossible not to be influenced by them or imagine their parts on just about every song I write.
ST: Well if you consider what I do "Songwriting". . . Ha . . . There's a lot of great sonic color here in Columbia. And there's not a hint of arrogance in it. If we someone comes up with a cool way of making a guitar sound like a frog fart, they want to share it with the group.
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