“Ghost Town”

Your heart’s a ghost town
Drive by baby, ain’t a soul to be found
Think there’s a hole in your chest
‘Cause the beating’s at rest
Let me give you a temporary fix
To start it up again

– Cafe <3


This was my second collaboration with The Butcher (check out the first one here).

I insisted that we make this a duet — he has one of my favourite voices ever.  Thanks to today’s digitally-connected world, a guy from Germany and a girl from Canada can do just that :)

— The Songwriting Process —

Lyrics: I sent The Butcher my first attempt at the lyrics back in January 2014 — Verse 1 (which hasn’t changed) and a Chorus.

The original Chorus was the lyric you see above, which included lines from another song I had been writing called “Temporary Fix”. However, once putting it to music, I realized that there were too many syllables and it didn’t sing well.

The Butcher loved it overall though and wanted me to “explain the pictures” so he could better understand what the lyric was about to help finish writing it (English isn’t his first language).

So, I went through some of the images, like: “Got a thing or two that you could say ’bout that empty feeling standing in your grave” is about him being physically alive but his soul feeling “dead” — and knowing this feeling all too well in his life.

Drive by baby, ain’t a soul to be found“, for me, evoked this image of the singer driving around inside his heart, which looked like a barren, dusty ghost town — the kind you see in those Western movies.

From there, The Butcher added a Verse 2; but later on, he expressed that the lyrics would feel “more like one” if I wrote all of it. I did keep most of his revision of the Chorus though and Verse 2 ended up being a mix of both of our ideas.

Overall, I tried not to obsess too much with the lyrics. This song is mostly about creating a particular feeling and mood: mystery, sadness, and a hint of sensuality.

Music: Soon after sending The Butcher my initial Verse + Chorus, he got inspired to record some guitar + melody ideas.

I loved the vibe, but it wasn’t until May that we picked back up with the song. At that point, The Butcher sent another recording that was much closer to the final melody.

His vision was to use synths, strings and beats to create an “eerie” sound for the song. In June, he had an instrumental to work off of that sounds close to the final version.

I finally started recording some vox and we went back and forth discussing where the melody needed to be tweaked. The Butcher threw the best snippets from both of our multiple vocal tracks to come up with an idea of how “Ghost Town” could sound. It was an exciting moment to hear the potential!

The Butcher also “had a guy” who wanted to try some electronic beats, and the talented Unklang ended up with the percussion, plus some strings and mixing creds on the track.

Finally, although The Butcher wasn’t sure that singing together was the best thing for the song, I was determined to see my vision of a “duet” through. So I asked him to piece together our tracks in the arrangement I imagined and in September 2014 …

“Ghost Town” was laid to rest!

Okay, it was really done in November with the final mix :)

Lessons Learned: Open communication is always number one in a collaboration. For example, the Butcher didn’t hesitate to tell me that my initial Chorus melody needed more movement. That led to the soaring notes of “Your heart’s a gho—st to—wn” and less spacing between the Chorus lines, which I think worked much better.

We also came to an agreement that we would each focus more on our strengths — me on the lyrics and him on the music. But we also constantly gave each other feedback on our ideas — this allowed the song to progress, plus we were able to push each other past any mental blocks we were experiencing with our parts.

The Art of Collaboration

The first time I collaborated with someone on writing a song together was about a month and a half into my songwriting journey, just over a year ago.

It was such a nerve-wrecking idea that I would be adding my own creation to someone’s else’s creation in the hopes of making it bigger and better!

Well, I have to say that partnering up with Adam Boddy was just about the best introduction I could have asked for to the art of collaborating.

What makes an awesome collaboration partner?  Someone who is a good communicator and responsive (in terms of timeliness and giving constructive feedback), as well as encouraging and honest. It also helped that we both just happened to be on the same page about a lot of things!

It doesn’t always come that easy though.

Some of you have heard our song “For Simone” before but I’m putting it up now as I’m currently into a new collaboration and needing to find some inspiration somewhere! Anywhere!

I guess it’s this way with anything in life — sometimes you have to work with people who maybe don’t do things the way you normally do.  And you’re given a challenging task and could use all the encouragement and feedback that you can get … but, instead, there is silence on the other end.  [Cue the cricket chirp].

Well, we can always learn something from the experience though and use it to better our half of being a collaborative partner.  Always a silver lining to everything!

Have you ever had a challenging collaboration that you worked your way through?

– Cafe <3

“Phoenix Rising”

In the dark corner of my life
I hide in my shell
Escaping the stabs of your blade
But they still penetrate
Keep cutting me down.

Try to run, you won’t let me run
Pull me back into hell
Drowning fast into emptiness
I can’t see myself
You’re cutting me down.

But hold on, it’s not over yet
I will rescue what’s left
This crumpled heap of dreams
Will be rebuilt, redeemed
The fearful whisper that was my voice
Will echo loudly through the noise.

I will rise out of the fire
You can burn down alone
I am free
I’m finally free.

– Cafe <3


This is an original song of mine that started out as a 1+1 (just voice and guitar).

Once “The Butcher” — my songwriting friend from Germany — stepped into the picture as a collaborator, it soared to another level that I could have never achieved on my own.

My (Sort of) Last Blog Post on Your Daily Dose

Dear blogging friends,

I guess this may come as a surprise to many of you. But I’ve given it a lot of thought. And I have decided to make this my last blog post here on Your Daily Dose.

It has been an amazing journey since I opened up shop here about a year and a half ago. I can still remember when I used to only get two comments on a post. Now, there’s almost 600 bloggers subscribed (minus you blogging robots ;), plus anyone following through Facebook and Twitter. Over 35,000 page views. 5,500 comments (including my own, of course). It seems crazy to walk away from such amazing readership, but I really do believe that it is the right time for me.

You’re probably wondering: Why? Well, I think there are a few reasons. But the most important one is that I no longer feel that I can maintain this blog with the same consistency and drive that I’ve had in the past year and a half. And those are two things that are important to me, as a blogger. I would rather walk away on a high note than drag it out, sporadically popping in and out and not necessarily having the same level of inspiration and love for writing behind each and every post that I’ve always strived for. I am really sad at the thought of this being the end, but I want to just reflect on all of the great things that have come out of blogging here at Your Daily Dose.

It’s very apparent to me now that through this blogging experience, I’ve been blessed with the motivation to pursue my creative passions — especially music — and to be more fearless in going after the dreams I always thought were unreachable. I have all of you to thank for your constant encouragement, support, and words of motivation. Without your help, I wouldn’t have gained the confidence to keep going full speed ahead :)

I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for every time you dropped by the cafe to chat with me. Thank you to anyone who has read, liked, re-blogged, and/or commented on a post. Thank you to everyone who has been so thoughtful to pass on a blogging award this way. I feel truly honoured that you have shared your own personal stories, experiences, thoughts and advice here with me and others. I have been inspired and moved, and have learned so much from you all. It really has been all about creating a blogging community here for me, and you guys have helped make that happen.

I will be leaving this blog post up and exporting everything else to another, private site, just to have as an archive. I will be closing my Facebook and Twitter pages in a day or two, but I for sure will still be on SoundCloud where you can feel free to follow me and check out what’s going on in my songwriting journey. If I happen to create another site within the next year, I’ll be sure to update you guys here with a new post so that we might reconnect elsewhere in the world wide web (so don’t unsubscribe yet! :).

But that doesn’t mean we won’t ever meet again! I hope to find time in the future to drop by many of your blogs, to say hi and see how you’re all doing. But in the meantime, I find comfort in knowing that you have an amazing blogging family around you that will continue to inspire you, cry and laugh with you, and cheer you on in this crazy thing called life :)

Again, it’s been an incredible experience and joy spending the time that I have with you all. I wish everyone the absolute best. Don’t ever stop dreaming big and going after your life goals. Always keep searching for ways to be inspired. And always remember what and who are truly the most important things in your life. Time is too precious and life is to short to waste on doing anything other than that.

Your friend, Cafe <3

Update: I’ve been really touched reading all of your heart-felt comments so far and will try to post an update on any new songs I write during the year for anyone who would rather follow here than through SoundCloud. Thank you to everyone who has made me and this blog feel truly special! xoxo

Update – Part 2: Visit here to find out what’s happening with Your Daily Dose!

Now and Then: What’s Changed with the World?


I can still remember when I used to type on a typewriter. The old school kind with no white-out tape. When you made a mistake it was the worst shit ever. You’d tear out that piece of paper, virtually all white space but for two sentences and the big fat error, and fling it with fury into the garbage to start all over again.

There are other things about back-in-the-day technology (DOS operating system, anyone?) that make me feel slightly ancient now when I see small infants playing on their iPhones.

I feel really ancient when I find myself thinking: I am not going to allow my future kid to have those things at such a young age and be busting it out at the dinner table.

(Well, they won’t be busting it out at the dinner table if they don’t have it in the first place, so forget I said the second thing …)

But you know what I’m sayin’.

Is all this new technology necessarily a bad change the world has gone through? No. But it certainly is strange — and nostalgic — for me to have grown up both in the generation of rotary telephones and in the generation of the technology/social media boom.

When the following generations grow up knowing only a world of high-speed, digital communication and advanced technological entertainment, how will they, as people, be different from their … um … forefathers? (I know, ancient talk lol).

– Cafe <3

Take a few minutes to ask yourself: What are some ways — good and bad — that the world has changed since you were a kid?

Write a post about it, share it in the comment box below, or just keep it to yourself ;)  

Photo Credit: http://thoughtquestions.com/archives/3725