New Song – Blue Sunny Day
Unbelievably, there is a new song. As I’ve mentioned the couple of times I played this live, I tried very hard to NOT make this about a sad vampire, but of course it is. It started out with the idea that I should just, for once, write a song that was kind of bouncy and happy. Though once I had decided to use the phrase “blue sunny day,” it was hard not to notice that the word “blue” can have another meaning. From there it’s only a quick jump to vampire suicide. I don’t know what happened to him exactly, perhaps he suffers from seasonal affective disorder? Or maybe he’s just sick of working nights.
I’ve had this chord progression and melody running around in my brain for a long time, so it’s nice to get it out. This was one of those songs where the arrangement started to build itself in my head before I had really finished writing, I could hear all those vocals from the very beginning. I’m stealing from all sorts of places of course, there’s more than a little Tally Hall influence, some Queen in there, maybe a little Jeff Lynne, and the bridge makes me think of XTC so much that I fear I may discover it’s a direct lift of something and I just haven’t realized yet (in which case, sorry Andy!).
Other cool things: Dave has already posted a video guitar lesson for this song here, as well as put the chords into the wiki.
As always, you have a choice: stream it, download it free, or buy it.
By the way, I have messed up the store link to the flac version somehow – sorry to everyone who’s trying to buy it, I will fix it as soon as I can, and then offer you some kind of lavish compensation for your trouble. UPDATE: Fixed. Let me know if you bought and ran out of downloads. This is very embarrassing.
I love this. It's been a while since I've visited your site, and I'm pleasantly surprised to find an excellent new song posted on my birthday :)
Another great song, JoCo!
I love the Brian May-esque guitar solo.
Is this your first song using ProTools 8?
Jason Scott says
Jeff Lynne, buddy. And yeah, you have that sound down, which is wonderful to hear.
I really really dig this song. Awesome job!
Borba Spinotti says
Brilliant stuff! I can't begin to say how many guesses I made on what the final arrangement was going to be, but at least I hit Queen, and I reckon Jeff Lynne was in there all along... Love every millisecond of it!
I hear some 10cc in there too. And I like everything I hear.
Wow! Gorgeous. My foot wouldn't stop to seesaw.
Bought it. Currently listening to it on endless repeat. :-) I have to say, I'm enjoying the studio version more than the live version. Definitely hearing the Tally Hall, who sound a lot like Queen to me anyway. The ending/coda/outro, with the birds tweeting and quiet vocals, sounds like pure Tally Hall.
Zach Totz says
Yeah, the Jeff Lynne is the most obvious influence, but the Tally Hall-ness was pretty interesting to hear as someone who had forgotten all about them almost two years ago.
Not as good as "Space Doggity" in my opinion, but still the second-best Aftermath song so far and an instant classic in my opinion!
Zach Totz says
Blah... I wrote and posted that previous comment so quickly...
Now I feel stupid for the redundant use of the word 'opinion' in there...
Chris O'Sullivan says
Just bought it, as usual, and I really love it! Thanks again. :)
Sounds a little bit like Pet Sounds if Brian Williams was undead. I like it!
I wish it lasted longer, though. Maybe a whole album? Undead Sounds?
Jeff MacDougall says
Another amazing song... I think I might hear a little Jellyfish in there. (regarding the refrain) Wonderful work as usual.
Awesome job again! Well worth the wait. The production is top notch. I'm sure any song you listen to nowadays will have some kind of influence in it. You'd most likely have to go back to caveman days to hear how things originated and turned into modern music as we know it today. I agree with Mike, although I think he meant Brian Wilson (unless there is a Brian Williams out there that had something to do with Pet Sounds). Song has been purchased and is now in the rotation. Looking forward to the New York show.
I like it. OT Will you be updating the President's Song?
Zach Totz says
I just realized something: by using the themes of both suicide and vampires in this song, you have successfully become the first person ever to manage a jaunty Jeff Lynne-styled GOTH tune!
Love it love it LOVE it! Giving you a dollar for it. Plz play in NY?
When I first read "sad vampire" I groaned a little, because it's hard to imagine a combination of two words that could be more played out right now (I'm looking at you, Stephanie Meyer), but THIS. SONG. IS. GREAT.
I don't even know where to start, everything seemed to come together perfectly, but I especially liked the bird chirps at the fade out, and the idea of a vampire going to Denny's tickles me. I have a feeling I'll be humming this tune for weeks to come.
Also- This song plus Re: Your Brains, and Paul and Storm's Live and Cruel, Cruel Moon finally fills out the much sought-after Halloween Quartet of Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, and Frankensteins. So that's pretty cool.
Holy cow, he does it again! This must be what it was like during TAW, when you were knocking these out every week or so.
I can't even begin to say how well you nailed the style elements - as a huge ELO, Queen, and XTC fan, the idea of even suggesting they could go together was completely strange, but you did it fabulously - and now it seems perfectly obvious. (BTW, have you ever heard Paul Melancon's "Jeff Lynne"? I now can hear the XTC and even the Queen overlaps... and it also explains the Jellyfish overlap)
In the end, the unique and wondrous twist of the lyrics, along with your distinct ear for arrangements, make it a JoCo song, and definitely a classic one at that!
Thank you, thank you, and may you be inspired to do more...!
Totally digging the Queen influence, and how happy some parts of the song sound while having rather sad lyrics. I'll agree and say it's a instant JoCo classic, it's a really great song. I love it!
Thank you so much!
Awesome - it was good in Chicago and it's good now. Plus more portable!
(and I concur with Harmoni -if you get a bit of time, you should re-record the Presidents. I'd pay a dollar for the update of that!)
I loved it when I heard it last night LIVE!! Glad you've posted it, JoCo!
Wow...another great JoCo song. I really liked it and as others have said, I couldn't stop tapping my foot. I love your harmonies...and whimsical choice of lyrics too! It would be great to hear this song live...in Dayton..hint, hint!
This is the greatest HsAaPdPY song ever. I love the Jellyfish, Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson feel.
This song has become one of my all time favorite songs since hearing it at the Chicago show. It didn't take long into the performance before Dave and I were saying "this is incredible!" to each other, and it has been almost perpetually stuck in my head ever since that night. That chorus may be one of the catchiest things I've ever heard.
I was nervous that after having listened to the live recording so many times the actual recording would be weird to hear and I wouldn't like it as much, but that is definitely not the case. It came out seriously awesome! Not at all what I was expecting, but I was quite pleasantly surprised.
TL;DR: the recording came out great, this song is amazing. Thank you.
Oh my. I played this with a visualization on Media Player. It was all nice blue swirls until the death of the poor vampire, at which point it went very very red, then green for the birds chirping at the end.
How did you do that???
Anyway, you are amazing.
Wonderful. I just love the contrast of the chirpiness of the music and the sadness and desperation of the words.
Btw, the flac is fixed. OR IS IT?
No, it totally is.
Jack F says
Definite Jeff Lynne feel, but this is all Coulton. Nice job!
Andrew T. "The Clinger" Coleman says
Took you long enough to record it. JK, I love the song live and can't wait to hear it up close and personal, all monkeys attached.
Zach Totz says
@ Harmoni and Stephanie: I suggested the Presidents update to him in person after the Ann Arbor concert and he said he doesn't really want to go back and re-record it.
Today definitely wasn't a blue sunny day, but I had a blue sunny umbrella to help out with that. This song's definitely going on repeat for awhile. The sounds so happy, even though it's not.
Great song! I guess it was incidental as they weren't mentioned, but it had a Ben Folds Five-esque quality to it as well.
STRAIGHT to the Head!!!
This is so cool. I've listened to your acoustic versions and was hoping we'd get one at the Ann Arbor show because I was already lovin' it. Now with all the production and accoutrements, I'm already singing out the chorus as I go about my day. Except, I use Ba bop ba dap instead of the words, because I don't know them yet.
Sadness only hits me a little on the last verse so far... but it's early.
It has a distinctly 70's feel to it as well don'tcha all think?
Oh!!! and the faded ending is especially nice, with great potential for sadness!
"Boun-cey boun-cey, boun-cey boun-cey, boun-cey boun-cey bounce" so good!
Oh ! Oh!! Yeah!! And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you JoCo!!!!!
There might be some Jeff Lynne, some Queen, some XTC in there. But I hear something else too. Way about it all, I hear a whole lot of Jonathan Coulton.
Awesome stuff. :)
Oh that bridge! I listened to the song before reading the complete post, and I thought "Jonathon Coulton is a were-partridge!"
I'm loving it!
Was talking about you with someone today and was thinking "it'd be great to hear some new music from JoCo" and here I come to visit and I find this wonder!
"Just a little more, just a little more" for some reason made me think of A Nightmare Before Christmas
Love it! Going on my iPod with all my other JoCo songs.
This really focused on what I like most about JoCo music--the ability to create new metaphors from unusual or unexpected sources by humanizing what we fear. The songs say much, but I think your methods say more, JoCo.
I absolutely love the layers: vocal, instrumental, and thematic. Thanks for giving the world music with depth (this one ranks up there with some of your best imo).
Paul R. Potts says
I wonder if the use of the phrase "cellar door" is a deliberate reference to Donnie Darko? (Or Tolkien?)
1. Loved this song, especially the complex and multilayered arrangement.
2. I also hear Ben Folds in it in places, among the other influences mentioned.
3. Yes, please do make an updated Presidents song.
Woohoo! FLAC worked for me now! I loved this song at the Chicago show and love it even more all prettied up! Keep up the good work JoCo!
This song has some significance for me now. My friend's mommy died yesterday, and today it's a gorgeous sunny day- but so blue.
Thanks, JoCo, for continuing to write all the highs and lows of my life's soundtrack.
It's some kind of awesome mix of Queen and Beach Boys. The vocals are especially Wilson-esque.
It's been fun to watch JoCo get more and more skilled in songwriting :)
Roman V. says
I dig it, very cool. Very cool piano action - we don't hear that too often. There's almost a "this can conceivably be performed in a 'big-bang'" style to it. American Idol here this song comes?
BTW, have you read this piece from the recent WSJ "The Perils of Being Internet Famous," which alleges it's all one giant stalkfest (and not the good kind).
I was wondering, does your songwriting change now that you've been doing this live performance deal for a few years, like do you think "Ugh, if I write it like this I will have to perform it live like this... no way" or "Hey, Paul and Storm can sing this" even subconsciously?
Roman V. says
whoops, big-band style, not big bang style. Sorry, I am so used to typing big bang and do not find myself typing big band very often. Force of habit, I suppose.
Someone's been hanging out with the dream king again.
Just want to be dorky and say hi from sweden and congratulate on yet another lovely song.. ( another one for my JoCo playlist ^^ ) Thanks
Really love it! The arrangement is very ear-catching. I can't remember you ever using piano before, is it you playing?
Fantastic JoCo! Great new song, come to Atlanta!
A fantastically upbeat song Mr. Coulton. Keep up the good work!
The Jeff Lynne influence is obvious. First thing I thought of when I heard the verse melody and rhythm was "Mr. Blue Sky." Maybe that was intentional, given the title of the song?
Paul R. Potts says
FUTURE JOCO SONG SUBJECT ALERT: bat (perhaps a vampire bat?) clings to shuttle fuel tank, rides out the launch:
"The tank is very big,
a cold enormous rig..."
Katie C says
Love the new song!! Let's see... zombies, robots, vampires... all we're missing now are the werewolves, I think. :) Keep up the amazing work!!
I hear this song and at first it sounds great for my baby-friendly playlist, but the more I listen to it, time and time again, the more I'm sure it's not quite right.
And yeah, that small bat sounds like a Space Doggity 2 if there ever was one.
Love Blue Sunny Day!
Just curious...how do the early numbers for downloads/purchases compare to pre-twitter song releases? I hope lots and lots of people buy the song.
Luke M says
Very nice. Looking forward to hearing this live next time you're in SF!
Blue Sunny Day, noun: see 'awesome'
Also see 'catchy', 'jaunty', and 'happy but not'
Jason C. Brand says
Another awesome song by one of my favorite internet artists...
Thanks for the new track JoCo!
It sounds like "Revenge of Out of the Blue" and I am lovin it!"
Fell in love with this song when you trotted it out in Chicago. Absolutely beautiful - you take what could have been a silly novelty song, and instead you walk a fine line between genuinely funny and genuinely touching. Pure Coulton. Thanks.
I don't think I know another artist who can give a glimpse into the life and emotions of his characters in approximately three minutes like you can. And when I say characters I mean strange, unexplainable characters from zombies, to vampires, to giant squid, to test tube embryo. You have a way of personifying through song that is unmatched. Keep it up!
Love it! Your upbeat songs always get into my head and I have to listen to them a hundred times :)
Walt Schmerz says
I really, really like this song! It has it all: Catchy melody, interesting harmonic progression, and the wonderful disjunction between the musical "messsage" and the lyrical content. I'm just finishing up Palahniuk's "Rant." This tune seems to mesh with the Palahniuk vibe. Great job!
Love the new songs. This and Space Doggity are my new favorites. Keep it up.
Rob Davidoff says
I just found this two days ago and have been showing it to all my Couton-loving friends. The vampire is such an interesting character and the melody is so jaunty, everyone I've played it for has liked it.
Brett Glass says
I also hear a bit of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" in this.... No surprise, given the title.
Mark Egli says
I really really love the song.
I just wish that it said "I’m wishing she WERE you" instead of "she WAS you". It's always jarring to me to hear the irregular conjugation of "to be" for past subjunctive neglected. I understand using "was" is colloquial to some but for me it always just sounds wrong.
Eric Ginsberg says
This song ought to be either the theme song to a sitcom (shortened, of course), or the background music to a montage from a Farrelly Brothers or Judd Apatow movie. Way to knock one out of the park.
Paul R. Potts says
Mark: as an English major, I totally agree with you... but unfortunately the subjunctive seems to be disappearing from actual usage, the way "whom" is. Most people will probably not even hear anything wrong with it.
OK, I feel I should also make some non-smartass comments, so here they are:
I _really_ like the instrumentation. I know the drums aren't recorded in the home studio, but they sound stellar; the vocal performance is fantastic, the choruses too, and the guitars sound _amazing_. Basically, you've just plain gotten REALLY good at this solo production thing. You're raising the bar for what can be done in a basic home studio and inspiring your fans like me who also play and record music to keep on doing it!
I played it for my wife and she thought it was fantastic as well. She completely heard the Queen and ELO, although I don't think she knows who XTC were (sadly enough) so could not pick up on that influence.
Sean Aubin says
So, I'm figuring out the piano chords right now and might post a video later teaching them. Has anyone already done this?
Oz the Swede says
Completely fell in love with the song, Jonathan.
Absolutely fantastic. You, my good man, have earned yourself another dollar.
I like it -- poppy, happy, but a little overproduced for my taste. JoCo, you are best when your ability to spin spare, creative tunes combines with your subtle, witty, cunning lyrics.
Though, yeah, it totally makes me think of the Dracula musical in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Were you perhaps humming Button Moon to yourself as you composed this one? It keeps reminding me of the theme... ;)
Another great song though!
Great song! The birds at the end remind me of Blackbird.
I'm hearing abit of Sweet Caroline in the way the strumming and general flow of the beat happens. Awesomazing tune :)
What can I say that hasn't already been said, except I couldn't buy it. I live in New Zealand and not having a credit card, the only way I could pay for it would be wiring it through, which incurs a $25 bank fee. Makes me wonder how come all the banks are going broke when they charge that much for typing a few numbers. Maybe you could write a song about a bank teller who has to defend his bank's outrageous practices. No wait... Obama's just doing that.
Literal Man says
I don't know about the bridge, but I know where the chord progression in the verse came from:
Ray Tibbitts says
This is going to sound absurd, but it's been a long time since somebody wrote a song that I felt must have been about me.
For reasons that made sense at the time, I moved from California to Spain, and got a job working graveyard shift for Nokia-Siemens.
I really connected with the Beach Boys vibe, and now I really, really wish I could go to Denny's.
"Sterner stuff"? Is that an echo from Python's "Spanish Inquisition"?
So... when ARE you going to write a song that's purely bouncy and happy?
Looking forward to a karaoke version being posted. Love the song, excellent work, blah, blah, blah...
OMG. It's genius. The bridge gives me chills of Partridgean wonder. The emo vampire's lament. Have you read this?
Please, please, PLEASE put it on MySpace so I can add it to my profile playlist? Pretty please? They don't make you pay for the privilege, do they?
*Hate* MS but on the rare occasions that I go there, like to show good taste on me profile.
At the end, with the birds and other nature-sounds, I can faintly hear what sounds like a school bell. Is it?
P.S, this song is GREAT
P.P.S, The Aftermath needs album artwork.
MAYHAPS THE JOCO IN A BUSINESS SUIT
Amazing JoCo. Really enjoyed that, and the quality bar just keeps rising! Loved the birds at the end too.
Well done. I love the incongruity of the lyrics and music. I can't stop playing the song.
Heard this on Jawbone. Does the chorus remind anyone else of Del Amitri's "Roll To Me".
Scott Fletcher says
That was a lovely thing. It contained every bit of that magic as the TAW's. Just lovely. Makes me want to write a vampire movie just so that I could use it at the end and pay you $1 million for the rights. I totally see Anne Hathaway and Zac Efron as the leads! I'd call it "The Neck Romancer," directed by Ron Howard and John Hughes. It would be huge, baby!
Is there some way to release your "Aftermath" tracks for Pandora and iTunes Genius? I need to know what they'll say about this song--the influences and "sounds likes" listed here don't capture what I want to replicate. Awesome stuff.
I was totally entertained... that's the point, right ? Thanks.
Even my wife, who is fed up with 'focking vampire' (quoting a bartender in 'Tex Arcana') stuff, liked this.
'My blood goes cold' is one of the best jokes I've heard for awhile.
This is one of the jerkier things an appreciator of well-written songs can say to a writer of them who repeatedly shows that he knows what he's about, but here it is, anyway: Whenever I find myself singing this, I find myself substituting 'she's so sweet' for 'she's sincere', which latter I don't get (and which former is a cheap joke that might diminish the double-meaning joke I like a few lines later)...do you mind? What if I end up busking it, as does not seem impossible these days?
H.N. Worsey says
Does anyone know where I could get the backing MP3 for this (karaoke version)?
Evan Bielefeld (Nemesis Artistry) says
Hello Jonathon, i would like to thanky for all the amazing music you make, the songs are very well made and brighten up my day from time to time, in fact a few of your songs have inspired a few of my drawings and photoshop designs. So when i get the chance i will happily purchase one of your albums. Hope to hear from you soon.
-Evan AKA Nemesis Art