A Songwriter’s Story: Oak & Gorski, “Sounds Like Love”

Written by A Songwriter's Story, Music

Oak & Gorski’s Ken Oak discusses the inspiration behind the duo’s new single

Oak & Gorski, "Sounds Like Love

It was a few months since the release of our last EP. Ed and I were on a somewhat regimented writing schedule, making a conscious effort to write songs with more of a “pop” appeal. We’d been in touch with a music supervisor at Disney over the past year, sending him demos of almost every new song we wrote. His feedback was consistent: Make the chorus more memorable. Use the cello more for runs than static notes. Basically, write better songs…with better arrangements.

A song called “Two Ships” finally caught his attention as something he could use. Upbeat and catchy, it would regularly get kids dancing at our residency at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. He said to keep writing in this vein. Enter “Sounds Like Love” (free download here). A song that started during impromptu jam sessions between our performances on the street. Ultra-simple chord progression, reminiscent of early U2.

I remember sitting at the Mac with the MIDI keyboard plugged in when we decided to tackle the melody. Ed had lyrics for a verse and most of the chorus in one of his iPhone Notes — not an unusual starting point for our newer songs. We wanted the melody to move in a way that was compelling throughout. Under normal circumstances we would be sitting around with two acoustic guitars, humming and singing. This time we decided to start the melody on a keyboard, an idea we’d been toying with for some time. I remember the synth sound being some spaced out ’70s shit. I’d recently read an article about the pentatonic being the most universal scale. And so it began. It’s our first / night together / and I can’t / sleep a wink … not even halfway into the first verse and it already sounded like a hook. By the time we had the melody for the verse and chorus — that was the moment. Six years and four albums into our career, we had finally learned to write a proper pop song.

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