When does the next session begin?
The first official song deadline is 7pm PST on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021.
How does it work?
You gotta write and record a song, and submit it before the deadline each week. If you miss the deadline, you're kicked out of the group!! Every week I make a secret playlist of the songs. You can listen to everyone’s wigglin-fresh creations on your own, or tune into a YouTube stream put together by our fellow member Jon Timm to listen and chat live. Sometimes we’ll do shows (streamed for now) or compilations for public release!
What counts as “music”?
Just about anything that can be encapsulated in an audio file. It can have words or not, lots of instruments or just one, acoustic and/or electronic components, or you can bang on pots and pans and make a legitimately sick track. You don't have to have access to fancy recording equipment either! It works best when you give the writing an honest effort, but as for genre, content, and implementation? Entirely up to you!
How can I help out?
Contribute to the Patreon! Hosting costs time and money, both of which I don’t have an abundance of. More info in the Patreon link. You can also email me if you want to take on hosting for a week, or if you have some skills that might be pertinent to this project!
Can I submit a cover?
No! But also, maybe! We might have a specific prompt that has to do with covers, and arrangements are an interesting thing to try, but mostly we’re focusing on making up new stuff. Sampling is something we have to be wary of too: go for it, but please mangle your source enough that we won’t get shut down by any of the various services we’re using!
Can I submit collaborations?
Absolutely yes! Rope your roommate into writing a song with you, send a track to your old bandmate to lay down some harmonies, use this as a low-stakes opportunity to trial run new creative partnerships, or make the one-off supergroup track of your dreams come true!
(If you’re collaborating with a fellow MEW member, just make sure I know it’s from both of you so everyone gets proper credit!)
Can I submit a new version of something I already submitted?
Maybe! Part of the ideology behind this is stripping away the preciousness and anxiety so many of us feel about our work, and a great way to do that is by just moving forward and not worrying about reworking things. However, I want this project to support your own goals, and if that involves coming out with a more “polished” track, I’m here for it!
Can I submit an improvisation?
Yes! Improvising is writing, but very quickly.
Can my friend join?
If they can get a song in by the first deadline, then yes! Have them fill out the form to get looped in. After that the group is CLOSED until June, when we will open it up to new songwriters again. You can direct folks at that point to sign up for the June session, or to email me if they want some guidance on setting up their own chapter!
Does it cost money?
No! We are very anti-capitalist here at MEW Inc!
(MEW is actually just me (Marissa Deitz, aka Sucker Crush), plus some very helpful members of the group who have stepped up to do stuff!)
Music Every Week is about doing the thing you love every week and making cool stuff and being a part of a community while everything (especially the music landscape right now) is upside down. As far as $ goes, there are hosting costs that I pay, and the prep every week takes a fair amount of time on top of my day job and my own music-making practice, so at the behest of some members there will be a brand new *totally optional* Patreon to help support the project. Both members and non-members can contribute if they’re stoked about MEW, or want some element of financial accountability.
If you want to donate, you can do so here.
Otherwise: you can absolutely participate for free, and will always be able to!
What’s the deal with prompts?
Sometimes we’ll have themed prompts! They’ll always be optional: if it doesn’t speak to you, just do what you want for that week. Some might have to do with mood, or instrumentation, or are designed to shake up your normal writing process. If you have ideas for prompts you wanna try, let me know!
How did it all start?
Well, a friend of a friend did a thing like this back in 2018. The rules were the same: “make a new song every week or you're out.” I joined up as a songwriter and eventually flunked out of that one, but I was hearing such interesting new songs blossoming into fruition from the group (week after week!!) that I was always motivated to come up with something I was excited about too. That weekly deadline was crucial in helping me push through whenever I didn’t really feel like writing: after nothing but anxious, half-baked stops and starts for over a year, I ended up with a whole new live set in nine weeks.
When it was over, I wanted more of that. I decided to make my own version of the project, and kicked it off in late 2019. This new crop of songmakers has been so beautifully invested week after week (after week!), and it has turned into a really incredible thing; we wrote and played as a pandemic descended, sang through wildfire smoke this fall, and listened and laughed together from our separate bedrooms across the country. It’s turned out better than I could have possibly hoped, and has been so powerful to have this outlet as we all simultaneously lost our connections to our local music communities. I’m so excited for more music in 2021.
So, the idea of Song a Week isn’t new by any means. There are a lot of songwriting groups that are doing similar things! (That was one of the reasons I changed the name from Song a Week to Music Every Week; the cute acronym is obviously the other reason.) This chapter is just a group of friends and peers, who reached out to friends and peers, who have now reached you!!