Behind The Song: “Garden” – Rachel Caddy

Victoria based singer-songwriter Rachel Caddy is set to release her newest single “Garden,” a soulful, easy listening track self-penned by Rachel herself back in 2015 and nurtured until it reached perfection.

We asked Rachel about the beautiful inspiration behind the song and the best parts of writing and recording the track. Continue reading to see what she had to say.

I was actually at a wedding when I had the idea to write “Garden.” I heard a quote that described marriage as being “two trees that stand close together and prosper, but do not grow in each other’s shadow.” I extended this idea to describe a relationship as a “Garden.” The soil was fruitful and the trees had sprouted and the relationship had grown. But I also wanted to further explore this idea of growing in shadow. I was in a relationship with someone who was getting pretty down and I wanted to reflect on how that can affect a relationship and prevent the tree from getting enough sunlight to grow. It was also a way of me saying I’m here for you; that’s where the line “I’m on your side, turn on the light inside your shadow” came from. It’s a way of staying hopeful and relating a dark period to a shadow; something that will shift in time.

I started writing “Garden” back in 2015. Often when I write songs I start with lyrics, and this song was no different. I had a vague idea of the melody before I took a rough draft of lyrics to an instrument and start figuring out some chords. It didn’t end there, however. It was very important to me that the lyrics clearly expressed the meaning behind the song. I brought both personal experience and my fascination with nature together in this song. The song went through many, many drafts before I took it for external opinion. I presented “Garden” to Pat Pattinson, a lyric writing expert and Professor from Berklee College who was visiting Australia at the time. I made some minor changes and eventually workshopped the song with my producer Chris Pickering. There were a few more minor lyric changes before I tentatively decided it was ready. It’s probably the most time I’ve spent perfecting lyrics of any song I’ve written.

A standout part of the song for me is the bridge where the instrumentation strips back and I repeat the line “The sun shines through.” We wanted to keep the production of “Garden” pretty organic to best suit the intention of the song. It is at this point of the song where this is most obvious; it creates a really raw, intimate moment in the song before the dynamics lift back up to give a final chorus.

The part that was the most fun to record was definitely the melodic line after the chorus. It’s one of the main hooks of the song and I had recorded it on piano but by the end of the recording process we all agreed that it was missing something. We somehow came up with the idea to open up the piano and hit the strings on the inside of it. So there we were, four of us hovering over a piano trying to hit the strings at the exact right moment of the song with improvised tools we’d found around the studio such as pens and cutlery. As funny as it was I can’t imagine the song without it.

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