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12 Notes Break Down Every Track On Album, ‘The Little Things’

11 November 2021 | 2:39 pm | Mallory Arbour

To get to know the album even better, we grabbed 12 Notes to talk through each individual track, their creation, sentiment, and everything in between.

Working with Drew Lavyne for mastering and guitarists Brandon Bagby and John Maurice Doyle, The Little Things is the brand-new album from 12 Notes. Bringing new energy, passion and strong songwriting, the album was recorded in three different cities – Denver, Philadelphia and Atlanta. From Bourbon-soaked lyrics, fierce fiddle and Banjos, and soaring guitar solos, 12 Notes' new album delivers feel good songs to crank up and sing along to in the perfect blend of country, rock and southern rock.

Writing music inspired by Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton, 12 Notes pour their heart and passion into every song. Fronted by songwriter and producer Lars Lofas, 12 Notes is an independent band, writing, recording, performing and promoting their own music. 

To get to know the album and the band even better, we grabbed 12 Notes to talk through each individual track, their creation, sentiment, and everything in between.

Track 1 - Bourbon Kiss

I used to be a gin drinker – I know, not very country of me but a friend of mine ordered a Bulleit bourbon one night so I got one too. I really liked the flavour. And of course, I liked that bourbon has a real bite to it. I started drinking it at home and would kiss my girlfriend after taking a sip and it was pretty fiery. Put a little zing into our kissing. And I dubbed it a ‘bourbon kiss’ and wrote the song. I love the lyrics: “That bourbon kiss, when I touch those lips, it messes with your mind, is it magic, oh oh some magic baby. You tame that whiskey’s bite, your kiss is sweet tonight, I like it that way, oh oh baby”.

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Track 2 - We Got This

This song really came together when I found a drum loop to overlay over the drums that really made the song thump. Then, I wanted to create an anthem-like chorus. I threw in some auctioneer-like verse melodies. I love how the song starts with just the banjo and acoustic guitar. To me, this song has it all.

Track 3 - The Little Things

The title track for the album, it was originally called Ain’t No Thang, but the lyrics did not come together for it. In life, we tend to think about the big moments or experiences – but life is made up of many smaller ones. The song is about appreciating day-to-day life and that not every day is going to be a life-changer – and that’s ok. Enjoy the moment! The song starts soft, with acoustic and steel guitar and builds quickly. It’s definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album – quintessential 12 Notes.

Track 4 - Take It Or Leave It

This song definitely started out as a guitar song for sure. No banjos, fiddles, mandolins, or steel guitars. It is also one of the older songs on the album. The song talks about owning who you are and believing that you found the right person in your life.

Track 5 - Life Is Good

My favourite part of the song is how I used “rodeo-ee-oh-ee-oh-oh” and then in the second vs used “romeo-ee-oh-ee-oh-oh-oh” as similar rhymes. To me, it just works and is fun. It’s got some fierce fiddle playing. “Life is good, live a little more, love a little more, let your heart shine”.

Track 6 - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Another solid guitar song. My go-to guitar is a Fender Stratocaster – I stacked almost all the guitar parts with it. Used the whammy bar for the opening chords. The theme of the song is all about perseverance – we all get knocked down (especially as a musician – lots of rejection :-)), in life, in love, at work – you name it. This song is all about providing motivation, sticking with it, not giving up!

Track 7 - Last Thing

This is also one of the first songs I wrote for the album. Again, it is all guitars with some piano (with a nod to Lynyrd Skynyrd). I like the chorus on this one: “If it’s the last thing I ever do, I want to do it all with you, I’d climb the highest mountain, cross the ocean blue”. I also like the opening verse: “She’s totally suburban, drives a big Chevy SUV, she listens to Keith Urban, to make it alright alright alright.” The original lyric was “she drinks another bourbon to make it alright” but being a Keith Urban fan, I changed the lyric to give him some props. Music is always about touching someone – conjuring up an emotion or feeling – something many can relate to in our story and lyrics. That’s what it’s all about for me.

Track 8 - I Love Country (But I Was Born To Rock n’ Roll)

This song is one of the heavier ones on the album – with actual distorted guitars in the verse, acknowledging my rock roots. It is a song about me, that I grew up a rock fan, but it is a song about loving all music. Each chorus has a different second line acknowledging and appreciating that music is diverse and speaks to all kinds of different people and no one genre is better than the other. So the chorus starts with “I love country, but I was born to rock n’ roll” and then in each of the three choruses, there is a unique lyric: 1st chorus: “play me a folk song or some R&B or soul”, 2nd chorus: “how bout the bluesman, some rap or 80s gold” (this was a nod to K-tel records where they put together the biggest hits of a certain era) and then the 3rd chorus: "bring on the hip hop, some jazz, or something old”. I love music!

Track 9 - Tell Me The Truth

I am a big believer that honesty always wins and being deceived breaks all trust and it is very hard to recover from it. The lyrics say it all: “Aching, I think my heart is breaking, I’m numb, don’t want to feel the pain, it’s driving me insane. Shaking, asking where you’d been the other night. I wanna take you at your word but something just ain’t right. Did you tell me the truth? I can’t take the lies and all the secrets. All I wanted was you in my life. And all I can do Is pick up a heart that’s broken in pieces. I hope I can love again.”

Track 10 - Lucky To Love You

This is a song that has several themes in it – about finding true love, finding the person of your dreams and about self-doubt and self-sabotage in a new relationship. The line that sums that up for me in the song is “My tendencies are haunting me, am I worthy of love, oh oh, with your embrace we will erase all the gets in the way. Lucky to love you, baby”.

Track 11 - Whiskey Please

This is one of my favourite songs on the album, from the bombastic guitar riff that starts the song, the toe-tappin’ beat and some fun lyrics including: “We had fun, some good times. No need to thank me honey oh the pleasure’s all mine. Sometimes you gotta roll the dice. The payoff’s handsome Lady Luck’s got my number tonight. Pour me one more whiskey please, got me a shot of liquid courage yeah I’m loose, wild and free, buy another round dance with me, tonight’s the night whiskey please.”

Track 12 - Last Call

Another one of my favourite songs. I wanted to finish the album strong and was one of the last songs recorded. It’s a slinky song about hanging out at a bar, having one too many and thinking you had a connection with someone. The second part of the chorus says it all: “Last call, your glass is here but now you’re gone, will there be a next time or was this goodbye.”

I hope you will take a listen – that some of the songs speak to you and you enjoy them and want to share them with others. That’s all I can ask for. Lots of love, Lars.

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