Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

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jonnycastle
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Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

Post by jonnycastle » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:17 pm

So I submitted a song I thought had an Indie-Folk vibe to it for a couple opportunities. The song I submitted was called "Things Are Looking Up" and it's on my profile.

They were both returned with essentially the same feedback:


"Hi Jonathan,
I really like the lyric and you've got such a lovely melody on this chorus. It's close, but not quite a match in terms of the vibe they want for this campaign. Thanks!"

"Your song has a nice vibe and a lyric that appeals to the listing but the sound and style are closer to an acoustic AC/Pop style. Our listing is targeting sound with more indie/Folk appeal and showcases a mood that's closer to the song referenced in our listing."

I'd first like to say that I appreciate the A&R team being nice and actually giving me some feedback. That being said, I'm not entirely sure how it wasn't a good fit. I'd love to get some peer feedback so I can improve for future submissions. Thanks everyone!


Y180613CP

EMOTIONALLY COMPELLING ALT-FOLK SONGS with Male or Female Vocals are needed for an (up-to) $40,000, Direct-to-Ad-Agency placement in a National TV Commercial. They’re looking for great, Down-to-Mid-Tempo Songs that are in the general stylistic wheelhouse of these references we got from the Ad Agency: “You and I” by Wilco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USjuOWLyWIQ “Sea of Love” by Cat Power: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbMeAOTPJzM NOTE: The Ad Agency likes “You and I” and “Sea of Love” as examples of the spirit of what could work in this TV Commercial. They are not looking for clones, copies or sound-alikes, but they’d love to find something that captures the vibe, sound, and feel. Please submit compelling Alt-Folk Songs with real acoustic instrumentation and a reflective, tender, and warmly loving sensibility in the lyrics and in the vocal delivery. We’d recommend listening to the references a couple of times so you can really hone in on the “vibe,” as this request is all about that vibe! LYRIC Tip: Your songs NEED TO HAVE LYRICS about, or touching on, one or more of the following themes/topics/concepts/keywords: Human Kindness, I Got You, Giving Back, I Love You, Togetherness, Happiness, Better Together, Things are Great, I’m Feeling Great, Things Are Looking Up, Helping Someone, Unconditional Love, The Human Heart, Positive Attitudes, Positive Living. Avoiding references to specific names, dates, times, places, and profanity in your lyrics is recommended, as it will make your song(s) more “sync-able.” Please do NOT copy the referenced songs or artists in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, texture, and tone. Broadcast Quality is needed. The estimated license fee is up-to $40,000 per Commercial, depending on the ultimate use. This is a Direct-to-Ad-Agency pitch. You’ll keep 100% ownership of the Copyright and Master Recording, but you won’t be able to license your Instrumental for any other Commercials for the duration of the term of agreement, which will be determined by the Ad Agency and you. You must own or control the Master and Composition rights to pitch for this opportunity. Please submit as many Songs as you’d like, online or per CD. All Submissions will be judged on their “usability factor” by the Screener, who has been handpicked by the Ad-Agency, and who will be judging based on his “gut.” Just because your song is great, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s great for a TV Commercial! Short Critiques only. No late submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018. TAXI #Y180613CP

Y180613JG

INDIE FOLK SONGS with Male Vocals are needed for an (up-to) $40,000, Direct-to-Ad-Agency placement in a National TV Commercial. They’re looking for Down-to-Mid-Tempo Songs in the general stylistic wheelhouse of this reference we got from the Ad Agency: “Heartbeats” by José González: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-liyr-Xq3E NOTE: The Ad Agency likes “Heartbeats” as an example of what might work in this TV Commercial. They are not looking for clones or sound-alikes, but they’d love to find something that captures the sweet, retrospective, and wistful vibe, sound, and feel. Please submit well-crafted Indie Folk songs that are melodically engaging, with an authentic “Indie” sound and vocalist. Songs that are primarily acoustic-based will likely work best. Any sounds that are too stiff or obviously MIDI will not work for this pitch. Organic sounding material is what they’re looking for! Keep it wistful and tender! LYRIC Tip: Your songs NEED TO HAVE LYRICS about, or touching on, one or more of the following themes/topics/concepts/keywords: Human Kindness, I Got You, Giving Back, I Love You, Togetherness, Happiness, Better Together, Things are Great, I’m Feeling Great, Things Are Looking Up, Helping Someone, Unconditional Love, The Human Heart, Positive Attitudes, Positive Living. Avoiding references to specific names, dates, times, places, and profanity in your lyrics is recommended, as it will make your song(s) more “sync-able.” Please do NOT copy the referenced songs or artists in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, texture, and tone. Broadcast Quality is needed. The estimated license fee is up-to $40,000 per Commercial, depending on the ultimate use. This is a Direct-to-Ad-Agency pitch. You’ll keep 100% ownership of the Copyright and Master Recording, but you won’t be able to license your Instrumental for any other Commercials for the duration of the term of agreement, which will be determined by the Ad Agency and you. You must own or control the Master and Composition rights to pitch for this opportunity. Please submit as many Songs as you’d like, online or per CD. All Submissions will be judged on their “usability factor” by the Screener, who has been handpicked by the Ad-Agency, and who will be judging based on his “gut.” Just because your song is great, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s great for a TV Commercial! Short Critiques only. No late submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018. TAXI #Y180613JG

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Re: Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

Post by ChazAldi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:24 am

Hey Jonny,

I'll give it a shot. This is just my opinion so take it for what you think it is worth.

First - your song is very good. I enjoyed it and listened through several times. Great job.

Remember - they aren't looking for the BEST song, they are looking for the RIGHT song. So many times, very good songs will get returned if it doesn't fit what they are specifically looking for. When it is a $40k placement for a national commercial, they are going to be very picky.

I think your song is closer to the second listing than the first. The references in the first listing were very quirky. That Cat Power track is just strange. It's cool, but very weird. Your song is neither quirky nor weird.

The second listing had to have been a very close call. If you A/B the song with yours, they are very similar in style and tone. I wish I had some input on why it was returned. The only thing I can think of is that tonally the vocals are different? But I'm grasping at straws.

Keep writing, submitting, forgetting and repeating. You are talented man. It'll happen.

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Re: Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

Post by hummingbird » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:53 am

Beautiful song Johnny. For the 2nd listing it's probably not quite in the pocket, although it's acoustic there is a slight flavour of something other than folk in places. But I have no doubt you will find a home. Don't change a thing.
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Re: Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:51 pm

Your song is great but I agree it wouldn't quite sit right on a playlist with the other tracks.

Part of it is a production thing for me....your tracks sounds a bit too clean..too Hi-Fi instead of a bit Lo-Fi for that Indie vibe.

You could try coming up with a different mix and see if you an get it closer. Go crazy and do things you wouldn't normally..use some of those plugins you never use or slightly odd presets. You might just stumble across a different vibe that puts a new complexion on it.

We had a song we wrote Forwarded last year to a similar listing with a large sync fee. It was on one of the Taxi TV episodes and most of the crowd in the chat room voted that they thought it was a return. It was forwarded about 4 times altogether and returned a couple of times. It's signed to a Library now ..still waiting for that elusive placement though. This is it if you wanna check it out.

https://soundcloud.com/user-45178330/every-piece-of-me

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Re: Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

Post by coxnvox » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:10 pm

I can't add anything that hasn't already been said, but just wanted to say what a great song you've created. Nice work.
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Re: Returned submission. I'd like your thoughts!

Post by philsmith » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:24 am

I can't add anything either, except to say that it seems probable you and I (no pun intended) don't understand 1) the listing and 2) what the screeners hear. First, the first listing is weird. I can't figure out what the two examples have in common. There must be something, but I can't hear it. Clearly, the screeners do. You and I (again no pun), buddy, we need to figure out just what they mean. That mysterious word "vibe" is surely the key.

These people have been in the business a long time; they surely know what they're doing. These listings must have some sort of secret language in them, a code which you and I (no pun) don't yet understand. A friend told me to listen for timbre; but that doesn't seem to work here. I really can't understand why your track wasn't forwarded. I would have thought it a match for the first listing - come on, the title was one of the suggested themes, for crying out loud. Plus it sounded like the first ala, although not the second. I'm dying to know what they forwarded and compare that to the alas. Keep trying, someday we'll figure this out. You've got a good song there, and I'm sure you'll have more to come, and they'll fit some listing, you just have to figure out how.

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