Today, Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Dan Wilson continues his monthly single release series with an existential new song “The Real Question,” which was written and recorded over the last two weeks.
“I wrote ‘The Real Question’ two weeks ago when the strangeness and the dread of our self-quarantine was sinking in,” explains Wilson. “Even as we were all sharing the same scary short-term fears about the epidemic, I also was thinking, ‘What happens if we make it through this? How will our lives be changed? How will my life be changed? Will a lot of us feel the impulse to renew or revise our agreements with lovers, family, community, country?’ In some ways, I hope so. So I wrote this song about those questions.”
Later today at 3:00 pm PT, Wilson will take his popular “Words & Music in 6 Seconds” series to Instagram Live for the first time. First via the now-defunct Vine and now on Instagram, Wilson gives tidbits about songwriting, life, the creative process, working relationships, and lots more all in compact videos and illustrations.
“My ‘Words & Music’ series of online songwriter advice clips began on the Vine app. I called it ‘Words & Music in 6 Seconds.’ I wanted to give songwriters very brief and helpful statements that they could apply to their own work as they wished. By the time Vine went away, I had migrated to the other social sites and relaxed the time constraint a bit. But the idea remained the same. For ‘Words & Music in 6 Seconds Live,’ I’ll take a handful of those quotations and expand on them with real-life song examples, and I’ll answer questions from viewers as well.”
The new song follows “Red Light,” which was co-written with Jenny Owen Youngs and Ethan Gruska after discovering the master tapes for his bands Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare were lost in the UMG Fire. Following the release of his critically-acclaimed solo album Re-Covered, where he revisited songs he wrote with other artists including Adele, Chris Stapleton and others, Wilson opted to release a new single each month in lieu of a new solo album. Listen to all of his recent singles via a YouTube playlist.
As a highly sought after songwriter and producer, Wilson continues to work with a stylistically diverse array of collaborators. Recently, he co-wrote three songs on Phantogram’s new album Ceremony (“Gaunt Kids,” “Glowing,” “Love Me Now”) and has recently collaborated with The Monsters and the Strangerz, Yoshi Flower (“More”), Alec Benjamin (“Water Fountain”), Leon Bridges, James Bay and more.