Nadine de Macedo feat. I AM MEADOWS - Don't tell me if it hurts
Music,  Release

Don’t tell me if it hurts – The fear of confessing love

Our new song “Don’t tell me if it hurts” deals with the fear of confessing love. Everything started with a very special type of music collab, you may never guess after listening to the result. Read the full background story here.

Some songs are special and deserve special treatment. “Don’t tell me if it hurts” is one of them. Believe it or not, but the journey started with a random generator. Yes, a random generator pairing lyricists with composers. In this particular case, I applied as composer and got matched with singer-songwriter Nate Gerry. I had no idea about his topics and his musical taste. Two days later, I received an e-mail with a superb pair of lyrics and no words with direction to take.

Starting a songwriting sketch

The lyrics of “Don’t tell me if it hurts” are about a young man who fell deeply in love and fears rejection. He struggles, if he should confess his love, because he barely knows the person. The lack of information is a real struggle since everything can fall back to him. He still hopes that his love interest feels the same and doesn’t say anything for the same reason.

Entering a random collaboration for the first time, I was completely puzzled how to start a song based on some lyrics, but my concerns were absolutely unjustified. When I read Nate’s words, I instantly came up with a vocal melody for the chorus. It is catchy yet complex. Sitting on the keyboard, I harmonized the melody within a couple of minutes. Doing this, I realized, that the piano is the wrong instrument, so I decided to rewrite my sketch for guitar. Not every strumming and picking pattern works with a complex vocal melody. So the acoustic pop song turned into a full band pop rock production. I programmed the rhythms for the drums and jammed the bassline on my keyboard. It’s one of the fewer songs that I wrote within 5 hours. This is what I call inspired.

As the vocal phrasing is quite complicated, I had to record a flat vocal sketch and show it to Nate. I am happy that he liked my vision. We both knew that this song is going to be something special – but not how I sang and programmed it. Not knowing anything about the person I worked with, I decided to check out his songs. I did not listen to one song. I listened to two albums in a row.

Turning a sketch into a song

As said before, “Don’t tell me if it hurts” is the type of song I could NEVER finish on my own. It needs an emotional male voice with an outstanding range. These lyrics are honest and heartfelt, they need a voice you can sympathize with. A broken-hearted guy next door, no classically trained voice or a musical singer. Further, I completely lack of guitar skills and the amount of chord changes make it hard to perform. Any attempt on simplifying the song would destroy it.

I am happy, that I AM MEADOWS joined the project. We knew each other from working on “Sleepless“. He has the perfect voice for “Don’t tell me if it hurts”, but we had to transpose it down. This changed the vibe of the song completely, so we had to rearrange several instruments. For example, the acoustic guitar solo didn’t work any more, so he played something similar on his electric guitar and added a dip of his style. He pushed the song slightly towards grunge and came up with an organ. We reworked the drum programming and added a real bass. Finally, I added an e-piano and a cello. Diving deep into the arrangement has been worth it!

The song is finished!

That’s been a tough amount of words, but I hope they were interesting enough to read until here. You can listen to it on SoundCloud and YouTube. The mastered version will be part of my album “Going My Way” that will be released on Bandcamp on July 1st. YES, my album is ready – Watch Out!

Nadine de Macedo feat. I AM MEADOWS - Don't tell me if it hurts
Nadine de Macedo feat. I AM MEADOWS – Don’t tell me if it hurts

I’d like to thank Nate Gerry and I AM MEADOWS for working on that song for more than one year. Every minute that you put into that project is well-appreciated. We can be very proud of the result. On top of that, “Don’t tell me if it hurts” became one of the reasons, why I started to learn acoustic guitar. Someday, I want to play this song and cry, like I did, when I read the lyrics. I recommend listening to Nate Gerry‘s and I AM MEADOWS‘ music – They’re both awesome and versatile artists.

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