Editor’s note: This piece was written by Jase and Stace, describing the songwriting process behind their single “If I Could”.
Jase and Stace is a Brooklyn based duo with heavy influences of soul, rock and funk. The band consists of Wisconsin natives and long-time friends Stacy Werdin and Jason Ewald who released their first single “If I Could” in June (2018).
The single, which is the first the duo wrote together, is essentially about being caught in a toxic relationship that continually pulls you in and knocks you down. We’ve all been there!
The 6/8 groove intro recurs throughout the tune and waves back and forth by a half step, creating a hypnotic tension and evoking feelings of uncertainty. We trade verses throughout the song which describe true feelings about being caught in this crazy loop. We then come together with
I really want you. I really do.
Which is like, damn – you pulled me in again! The tune ends with Jason saying,
You know I’d really love to have you if I could
and Stacy responding,
But baby, you don’t treat me like you should.
The repetition of the line “if I could…yes I would” can be interpreted as the darker culprit in the toxic relationship pleading with the other, but not with any resolution. We are left with no response from the person going through all of this turmoil and finally fed up, they take the high road and escape the hypnotic tension that had fooled them so many times before. (Not to get TOO dramatic!)
Another interpretation simply comes from the main narrative,
If I could break away from your spell, I would.
Of course, the tune is open to interpretation depending on how it hits the listener at that time and how they connect to the song itself. The unresolved ending was intentional in the writing process given the confusing and uncertain subject matter.
This tune came together rather quickly. We developed the progression and groove first. The subject matter and lyrics came after. This is how we tend to write together. We both pulled out some past relationship experiences and the lyrics you hear in “If I Could” just kind of flowed out.
We approach songwriting quite organically. It is never forced. We are both one hundred percent involved in the writing of our songs. If one of us happens to feel the fire at any particular moment, the other one will fan it and get it glowing bright. It always seems like our lyrical concept comes later on in the writing process.
We generally like to jam and improvise over a groove and see what sticks. We’re both multi-instrumentalists so we tend to gravitate toward that side of things first. One of us will come in with an idea or chord progression and we will just start singing. We both love to sing, so that part is easy.
It’s funny how the subconscious mind works because a lot of the time whatever we are singing about and making up on the fly, tends to be what the song is about. We both have similar tastes in music as well – ranging from classic soul/funk music from the 60s & 70s to classic rock, and of course inspiration from old singing duos! When we begin the songwriting process, we try to get everything out totally unfiltered. Then, once we get a concept for a section or melody, we can start to develop and fine tune it.
Jason has been songwriting for quite a while. For Stacy, this configuration is somewhat new. Overall, it’s cool to come together as great friends/collaborators and just see what happens, which is really how we approach all of this!
We are working hard in the studio and will have more original tunes to share with you soon!