Powderfinger’s My Happiness

Powderfinger. Probably one of Australia’s greatest homegrown rock acts and they definitely write some of the best songs for their style. And so I thought I’d look at “My Happiness”.

It starts out with a guitar intro: acoustic strumming and an electric lead that follows the melody. Then the lyrics come in with imagery of a loved one coming home after a long period -it’s a way of describing it
by seeing the “shadow” and hearing the “click” of footsteps that make it powerful rather than just say “I missed you and love you etc…” directly. As listeners we relate to it because we learn to recognise things like this with people we know really well. But the lyrics also seem to indicate tensions in the relationship as well which draws our curiosity.

So, the verse comes in and builds up to a ripper of a chorus with simple, direct chords, great lyrics and a great melody. One of the great things about Powderfinger is that they can come up with fantastic “anthem-like” chorus from the simplest of chords rather than trying to be two complicated and “arty” (but don’t get their first album). Classic.

So, if you’ve spun a complicated song with complex jazz chords, awkward time signatures and syncopated riffs, maybe just try and simplify it, which can be the hardest thing to do, (perhaps because we feel we’ve put in so much effort it seems wasteful to cut back). But if the song sounds ‘difficult’ or doesn’t seem to flow, give it a try. Alternatively you can start from scratch, pour yourself a glass of red wine and muck around on your acoustic with just basic chords and melody. Remember KISS. I’ve written some of my favourite songs that way.


4 Responses to “Powderfinger’s My Happiness”

  1. 1 weberc2
    December 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I love that the lead singer is rocking a tambourine. And the fact that a slinky was skateboarding. That may sound like criticism, but it’s 6AM my time and I’ve barely slept tonight so I genuinely appreciate all of that. And I think I would after having slept a long time anyways. Good tune. I’d like to comment on the musical attributes but I can competently play guitar and carry a tune (albeit I require a bucket) so I won’t waste anyone’s time.

    Much Love.

  2. December 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    You don’t have to be able to play anything, just be passionate about the music… If you really like a song and listen to it a lot, you probably hear more things in that song than some maestro who listens casually…

  3. 3 weberc2
    January 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you. I appreciate that advice. Sorry it took me so long to follow up. I’m just now figuring out that WordPress keeps track of comments I make on other blogs and am therefore able to follow up. Thanks again. So do you post your thoughts about politics or religion on here? If so, could I get some links?

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