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  • Writer's pictureIan Galipeau

Hidden Treasure

As I was working on setting up this website, I made a full list of all the songs I've written or co-written in my life (not counting the absolute garbage from high school), and was surprised to see it total over 150. The total wasn't the only thing that surprised me - I was also struck by the realization that many of the best songs I've written or worked on have never been released. It's a trend that dates back to my college band (Color Of Mind), and continued with my post-college band (Honest Thieves), and then again with my more recent writing project with my good friend Jon (Jon Stephens & the Cold Souls). All of those projects released an initial EP, but then dissolved or petered out with a full album's worth of better material written and ready to record, but never put to tape.

That's a bit of a frustrating realization, but it's an important one. I have a habit of leaving art that I am proud of sit un-finished, and never concretely putting it out into the world. That's a bad habit, but now that I see it, I can work on breaking it... so there are a few ways I'm going to go about doing that:

There are over 40 unreleased songs from those periods, and I usually only perform 2 or 3 of them in my live set... so there's room to re-work some of those for my solo act, which could lead to some interesting new arrangements that I'm excited to experiment with. I actually tested 4 of them out at Granite Roots Brewing in Troy, NH last weekend, and I was pretty happy with the reception.

I'm also sitting on nearly finished recordings for 8 of those 41 songs, which Honest Thieves tracked in 2014 (I think). They were 90% done and just never made it over the finish line... so provided I can get my former bandmates (who are also current bandmates) to sign off on it, I'm going to add the finishing touches and throw those up on Band Camp, just for posterity's sake.

So yeah... my takeaway is simple - stop being a perfectionist and actually ship your work when it's done, future Ian! (You know, when you come back and read your own blog entries like a narcissistic psycho).* Don't let your art spend eternity in purgatory on your hard drive or in your studio. Get it out there.

*This is advice directed at myself, but if you're an artist... I suppose it's directed at you, too.

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