Boy Golden had one of the best summers of his life. Lost in deep reflection, he wrote his new song “KD and Lunch Meat” on a crisp autumn day during one of his writing sessions in the studio. “I had relaxed for the first time in my adult life with someone that meant a lot to me,” he says. “I felt like I had figured out the secret to living cheap─eating cheap!”
Toss and turn / I’m late for work again / But I’m feeling good / Yeah, ’cause I just got stoned, I think I’m quittin’ my job today, he sings, depicting a new lease on life. I’m gonna get my tips and then I’m gonna walk away / Gonna get a new job or maybe take some time off.
“This song is a reminder to myself to have fun, to lighten up, keep my priorities straight,” he tells American Songwriter. “My priorities are good music and good community. It’s not glamorous, but eating cheap and making music is a pretty fun way to spend time.” A creative challenge to himself, he made a “habit of writing a new song every time I went into my studio. I had access to the studio four days a week, and I would try to write and demo something new every day.
“This is nerdy, but I love the mono mix on this one. The reverb is in stereo, but the mix itself is in mono. I kinda put a lot of tracks on it, which I don’t usually do, and having it in mono just feels so right,” he continues. “I like the melody, it feels good to me, and I like the long verses. When the verse feels really good, I like to hang on it. Getting to the chorus too fast can sometimes feel a little ‘phoney’ to me.”
Out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the singer-songwriter frequently lights up a “spliff, generally” before picking up an instrument in the studio. “I find something appealing harmonically or some sort of riff, and then I build a track. Usually I have the track looping,” he describes his songwriting process, “and I write lyrics and melodies, and then I just start fleshing out the recording, often redoing things several times until I am satisfied. Then, I like to leave it. I try not to listen to the music for as long as possible. I record my demos on cassette these days to enforce that rule. If I want to listen I have to put the tape in, find the song, get the mix right─usually that is too much work and I just leave it alone.
“On a good day, I love everything about songwriting. That said, I’m a pretty consistent songwriter, and that means it is not always fun,” he admits. “Sometimes it is hard and frustrating. It can be the hardest thing I do that day. In order to keep up the pace but take the pressure off, I try to make my songwriting/recording time (they are usually happening at the same time) sacred. Smoke a spliff, burn some wood, and get to it. It’s a great way to pass time.”
Boy Golden takes a moment to offer up some of the best songwriting advice he’s ever received. “Quantity and consistency over quantity─when you are starting out,” he shares. “As you go, you may not need to keep up a consistent practice, but I am happiest and growing most when I am consistently working.”
Conversely, he reflects upon the worst. “I feel like I block out advice that doesn’t work for me… I guess I can only say that there is no right way. There are a lot of good ideas on how to improve your songwriting, and many great ideas just won’t work for you. I would also say that I personally don’t find compromise useful in my creative process. If I am co-writing for my project and I do not like singing a line, I will find another.”