There are times when you start to record a song in the studio and it just comes together in a way that you know you’ve got something special. That was the case with You Are Loved. A song that originally was not intended to be on this album, it had a singer songwriter vibe to it with just acoustic guitar and vocals. But I felt like it was a strong song that deserved to be on here.
So when I began recording it I started playing around with all these different sounds and this is a very guitar driven album, but for this song most of the guitars here are actually synth sounds. The main guitar riff on the verses is actually a midi harp instrument that I manipulated into something that I really liked in the end.
You Are Loved is a song I wrote a number of years ago about somebody that didn’t feel loved. I wanted to write a song that just expressed how much love there was actually for them. That God loves them and all of us beyond what we could ever know.
As I was going through the production process I felt like it needed a second vocal from someone else. Originally Joe Wenger, who helped out on several other songs on this album, was scheduled to come over to work on some extra vocals with me. But it didn’t work out and in the end I just started feeling more and more like I needed a female vocal. At the time, I didn’t know any female vocalists locally that would be a good fit for the song, and as I’ve done with a couple other parts of the album I considered hiring just a random person on a website called Fiverr to do it. And that probably would’ve turned out just fine. But I thought I probably could find someone else among the alumni from visible music college where I had attended many years earlier. So I asked in the alumni group on Facebook if anybody would be interested and someone suggested Eric Chambers. She responded and we connected via email. I listened to her music on Spotify and thought it was great and that she’d be a good fit. I didn’t know that she would be a good fit though. I had never worked with a vocalist on one of my songs that I didn’t know personally and I really hadn’t had an opportunity to record a female vocalist before. So I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I figured it was worth a try to see what Erica would come up with.
So after a few email exchanges and a couple months went by when I was finishing up some work on it, I finally sent Erica the song for her to contribute vocals to. When she sent me her sound files back I was just totally blown away. I had asked her to sing lead on the second verse and do background vocals and harmony parts on the choruses but I didn’t give her direct input on exactly what that should sound like on the choruses. What she sent me back was just amazing. It changed the song and made it something more than it otherwise would’ve been and I couldn’t have been more happy.
I always like to look back and see how a song changed through the production process. As I stated earlier You Are Loved originally started as a singer-songwriter song. Musically I ended up with a different feel for the song but the chord progression didn’t change at all. It’s a very simple chord progression. Just 2 chords on the verse, variations of those 2 chords on the chorus and then the bridge has a few other chords. I did make some small changes to my melody parts on the chorus. Something I often find with my songs is that I might play the song for years and think it sounds great, that is until I record it. Then I find that there’s some issues with the melody that aren’t quite as they should be. So other than changing a couple of the melody lines on the chorus and how I sang them, not much really changed on this song in terms of its structure. This is another song mixed by Harvey Marples. He did a great job on this one, as he did on the others. You Are Loved is the most straight up pop song on this album and really reflects the direction shift that I was going through in the process of making the album.
Of all the songs on the Brave Machine album, You Are Loved has gotten the most love (pun intended). It has regularly been played on Some Kind of Rock Show on WJTL Radio13.fm, Home.fm, TheBlast.fm and others that I am not even aware of. In my story of the history of Brave Machine, I mentioned some health issues that delayed finishing this album. One such major issue occurred just as the album was being released in 2021 and when I thought I’d be spending time promoting it, I was instead too ill to do much of anything for several months. To say that it was a let down would be an understatement. In the fast moving world of music releases, I felt like I had missed my window. Five years of effort and I didn’t have the energy to tell people about it.
Then something strange happened at the beginning of summer of 2022. You Are Loved showed up on the Christian radio charts in the Rhythmic category. I didn’t even know what stations were playing it at that time. It didn’t just show up but over the next weeks and months it climbed those charts. As of the time I am writing this, You Are Loved currently sits at #3. I’m totally blown away by this. A year after release and the song is getting played by radio stations that I’m not even aware of. I can’t express how grateful I am to those stations for believing in my little song. And to God for showing me that things aren’t always over even when they appear to be.
Next Song: Paths Unseen
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