The Writers Room: Episode 04 The Hangabouts

Thereís a reason why songwriting trios like The Hangabouts are more scarce than songwriting duos.  The roles of John Lowry, Gregory Addington and Chip Saam are fluid and dynamic, which means anyone in the band is free to Nick Piunticontribute any idea at any time during the writing or recording process.

That kind of collaboration requires a fearless trust and immense patience with *two* other partners, especially if their suggestions seem at odds with your original vision.

Qualities like those donít come naturally to most creative people, but The Hangabouts have those qualities in spades. Wanna know what else they have in spades? Great songs.

The real marvel of The Hangabouts is their synergy as collaborative music producers. From the birth of an idea through multiple recorded iterations to the final master, all three band members compose, edit, play, shape, record, produce, polish and mix their songs, adapting to an evolving team vision as they go.

  Album Title Artist Songwriter Producer Songs Featured
Illustrated
Bird

(2014)

The Hangabouts Lowry /
Addington
Lowry /
Addington
Roman Forum is tuneful architecture and storytelling at its finest.  Regional references and highly relatable characters bring historical fiction to life in this bittersweet tale of a real, yet sadly defunct Michigan venue. 
Illustrated
Bird

(2014)

The Hangabouts Lowry /
Addington
Lowry /
Addington
She Hates You  What if the friend who told you "She Loves You" had delivered the opposite message?  As if answering that lyrical question wasn't interesting enough, The Hangabouts serve it up with some 6th chords a la The Beatles, then they top off the choruses with a tasty, counterpoint lead guitar riff that creates a sparkling tension and release.  Easy to love.
Kits & Kats and Saxon Wives

(2017)

The Hangabouts Lowry /
Addington /
Saam
Lowry /
Addington /
Saam
Evelyn Wood  We've all been in a relationship when one person wants more, sooner than the other.  This Evelyn, named after the teacher who mass marketed a speed-reading course in the '60s and '70s, is a romantic speed demon, while our protagonist putters.  The guitar intro is remarkable and the outro is pure Squeeze -- the riff from Another Nail In My Heart, turned on its head.  Also, did you notice the "would (Wood), should, could" in the chorus?
Kits & Kats and Saxon Wives

(2017)

The Hangabouts Lowry /
Addington /
Saam
Lowry /
Addington /
Saam
Sinking Feeling  This track took a dramatic turn when Chip Saam twisted the arms of his band mates to make it into a duet.  He got nothing but resistance until he suggested having Molly Felder of Swan Dive sing the female lead.  After that, no further twisting was needed and the results knocked them all out of their chairs.  Listen for another historical Michigan mention: Boblo Island.
Kits & Kats and Saxon Wives

(2017)

The Hangabouts Lowry /
Addington
Lowry /
Addington /
Saam
Twelve Songs  How many songs can a guy write about one girl?  This guy wrote twelve.  Sweet as a home baked pie and a little bit country.
Kits & Kats and Saxon Wives

(2017)

The Hangabouts Lowry /
Addington
Lowry /
Addington
Selling Out  Plenty of bands ape The Beatles.    The real trick is writing a great original song that doesn't sound like any particular song from their catalogue.  Case in point: A clever blending of George Harrison (the first few chords to "Something" plus some of his signature lead guitar sound), but with a Lennonesque vocal and piano style and a thoughtful lyrical twist on the concept of "selling out."  Nailed it.

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