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The Afterlust

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It feels like it's been forever since I've put out a proper Finn song! This one is about a recent relationship of mine which, while it didn't work out, was ultimately extremely positive and educational. I hope you enjoy it.

If you'd like to support me, you can buy this song on my Bandcamp:

Check out the video on Youtube:

Original background photo by Brent Leimenstoll -
https://www.flickr.com/photos/brentleimenstoll/ - then edited by me.

Take me as a child, learning what I want
I can't know without trying, even if I was wrong
You taught me so much and my thanks are not enough
I learnt more of who I am than I could, ever could, alone

And in the stillness of the road
That we walked at different paces
And in that stillness, now I know
It was better to end it there

'Cause I know, I know
This was the right decision
I know, I know that
I know, I know we're better off apart
I know, I know that
But it still hurts

Now I work on tomorrow, laying down new road
What shape is the best one for me to walk
With someone or alone

And in the stillness of the road
That we walked at different paces
And in that stillness, now I know
It was better to end it there

'Cause I know, I know
This was the right decision
I know, I know that
I know, I know we're better off apart
I know, I know that
But it still hurts
Like a storm in my shoes, so I can't sit still
Like I'm hooked on a drug and I lose my will
Like I'm speaking in tongues I don't understand
Do you understand?

One life, many roads, sometimes you must walk alone (x4)

- - - - -
Come hang out with me on the web!
Home: www.finnmk.com
Bandcamp: https://finnmk.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FinnMKMusic
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/finnmk
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/FinnMK

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Wow, Finn! You have such a great piece here and it shows me that you are both experienced and determined to produce the best work you can -- something I admire considerably!

Your intro is good, and it hooks me from the start. It also does a great job of showing off the recording quality of the song, which I will touch on soon. This intro is done the right way in my opinion.

The main body of the song sounds like something I would hear broadcasted on mainstream radio, or even something played on a TV show. The recording quality is very professional and is more than broadcast-ready. I can assume you've already done this, but I would see about getting some work pitched to advertisers. If you ever need help with that, just let me know.

You have your own style and you stick with it, which is good. I can tell you must be doing well for yourself, so I feel like there isn't much more that needs to be said. Overall, this song is done right.

Kind Regards,

FinnMK responds:

You're very kind Jon.

I'm fortunate enough to be writing music full-time already, but I'd never be fool enough to turn down an opportunity. I'll PM you!


This is excellent! Great melody, great mix, great composition. The only thing I notice that isn't *perfect* is a possible little mud on the vocals (400Hz build up maybe?) or something (listening to this on my crappy TV, which actually doesn't do this justice, but they're my only monitors).

But hot damn, this is absolutely radio-quality. I'm sure you will do really well in NGADM and I can't wait to see what you pull out next!

FinnMK responds:

Thanks a bunch!

Man. This contest was terrible timing for me to hear a song like this one. Relationship issues in my life at the same time, uff. Oh well.

Let's go!

Points of goodness:
- Very nice clear mix throughout the piece (with some minor mud at the climax).
- The drums have an extremely good tone.
- Overall, very nice themes and good organization for a pop-styled song, it works quite well and changes atmosphere through it.
- I know you play your instruments live - even if it's only most of them, or even just the singing in this, it sounds excellent and very live.

Points of Improvement:
- The piano doing constant chords throughout the piece gets quite tiring and really diminishes the atmosphere of the song.
- Overall composition thing: I think this piece really needs a good breakdown where you build it back up. I've commented on this kind of thing with other people before, but. Nearly *every* popular and good piece has at least one B section which breaks things down - rather than just getting more intense when it's already intense. Ramping the whole piece can fatigue listeners quite a bit.
- Honestly, the biggest issue with this whole piece, and the thing keeping it from taking the last step into high 9 territory, is that it really doesn't show that much technical expertise or uniqueness in its style. So, what I mean by that is that it doesn't really have anything that jumps out and makes me go "ok, that's definitely a song that Finn wrote". As for compositional skill, I would love to see a few more countermelodies or content that develops your melodies and ideas in a silghtly different direction. Something that sounds almost like the piece reflecting on itself and what it does - seeing what else you can explore.

Final score: 9.2

Excellent. Just needs a few final steps, and you got this contest in the bag.

FinnMK responds:

Ah, apologies on the terrible timing :p

Yes, all the instruments are live. The only synthetic thing is the little reversed cymbal near the beginning.

Good advice on all accounts! Thanks for the feedback.

Man, full disclosure, this track is so catchy that it's earwormed itself straight into my heart. It pops up in my head on a daily basis, which prompts me to find my way back to the track here, and now I'm giving it yet another listen as I write up your requested review. It simply does not get old, and is of such obvious professional quality that I am proud to offer you the courtesy of feedback.

Every time I listen to that intro, I feel as though I'm about to listen to the newest Coldplay hit! Hopefully you view that as a good thing, and I personally enjoy their music quite a bit despite all the crap that folks tend to give the group. But for the most part, that's where any similarities to preexisting tracks end.

All those live instruments sound so good, and you manage to combine each one together so that it has its own presence within the overall mix. That selfsame mix is quite clear, and your particularly well-sung vocals, which are also very well written, are loud enough to be understood even without the addition of lyrics. However, as I find to be the case quite often when such elements are mixed together, the music is a little on the loud side, while the vocals themselves could use just a little bit more volume to really give them all the presence they deserve.

You harmonize beautifully with yourself, Finn! And I know how very hard that can be to do. Your drumming is excellent, and I love that sparseness at 1:42 that leads up to the "...but it still hurts" where you drop everything, even the piano before coming in again with a full clash of instrumental brilliance at 2:07. Good heavens, what a hook! And then there's this section of marching snares that creates a wholly different kind of vibe that really gives me the feeling of walking with real purpose down that very road of which you speak.

What more can I even say? I'm already gushing way too much. Your bass playing should also be noted, not only because it's so good and probably one of the more overlooked facets of the music, but also because there's so much personality to it as you work the strings, especially with all those low fret sounds.

There are in fact a couple more elements that just don't quite come together for me, so I might as well get those out of the way. As I listen with headphones, there's a bit of sound left at the tail end that not only doesn't fade completely, it actually gets louder. Interestingly enough, while it feels a bit odd to me as it is, if it were still louder I feel that it would be a really interesting way to loop back to the beginning, should the listener desire. I've already mentioned the levels between the vocals and instrumentation, but since that's such a common occurrence, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that it's a much more subtle issue here than in most vocal tracks. I also feel like the level of reverb on the vocals could be turned down just a touch more to help compensate. And every once in a while I hear a vocal echo that feels like it lingers too far beyond the melody note being sung.

Finally, while sharing the lyrics with your listeners is never a prerequisite, you offer those up so that we can all follow - or heck, even sing - along! And while that doesn't actually add or subtract from your overall score, it is always thoroughly appreciated.

Suffice to say, I am really looking forward to hearing what you come up with next in the Round of 32! I hope you don't mind reading this daunting wall of text too much, but one thing is for certain: you earned your score with blood, sweet, tears, and sour milk. Rock on.

9.14 out of 10

FinnMK responds:

Your words are very kind, and thank you for the tips. I'll work them in to the firecracker I'm cooking up for next round!

I like the bright tone at the beginning and the powerful chords. The vocals are really smooth and rich, and overall the song is just really easy to listen to. The lyrics themselves are also pretty good, although they take a bit of a jarring turn in implication at 1:36. The pacing of the lyrics was also a bit slow, making the piece seem a bit dragged-out (it’s almost 5 minutes, after all). I also like how the second refrain at 3:09 was much more full-textured than the first, giving the piece a nice sense of direction. I really like the solo at 4:00, and the “hey-ey-ey” vocal motif is great throughout. The piece is really well-structured and smooth-flowing overall, and the mixing is top-notch. Perhaps the instrumentation here wasn’t as creative as it’s been in the past with your pieces, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless. The lyrics are really relatable, and I can’t help but think they’re almost an extension of your last piece. The protagonist wanted to put his ambitions in front of his emotional connections, but he can’t help but realize how others have contributed to his success. Really powerful work. Keep it up, FinnMK! :)


FinnMK responds:

Thanks for the tips as always!

Credits & Info


4.79 / 5.00

Jul 3, 2017
11:41 AM EDT
File Info
5.6 MB
4 min 54 sec

Licensing Terms

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

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You may not use this work for commercial purposes. *
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*Please contact me if you would like to use this in a commercial project. We can discuss the details.