From my real estate friends, I know how important that “L” word is. And I could argue it’s pretty damned important in songwriting too. Here are 3 ways I can make that contention.
First, let’s call it curb appeal: the title. When do you get your first chance to grab folks? Title. Make sure it does its job! Here are a few examples: Cop Car, Sympathy for the Devil, Cake by the Ocean, Bitch, She Don’t Use Jelly. Like a nice flowerbed framing a well manicured Japanese Maple offsetting an old refurbished barn door turned front door. I wanna know more!
Second: floor plan. You’ve walked through that open house and gotten to that one bedroom that has a door leading into a random room that has yet another door that leads to the back yard. Confused? Yeah, and how ‘bout that song where verse 2 seems to lead nowhere and references nothing else in the song whatsoever? Write each line so that it leads back to the concept; the title; Feng Shui y’all.
Last, and I’m gonna argue this is one of the most important. AND I am gonna assume you already know where the hook goes (I mean, you know exactly where to put the claw foot tub, right?). I say one of the truly underrated and most important locations in songwriting is that line or two before the hook. Take “In Color” by Jamey Johnson. Hell yes the lyric and hook “you should’ve seen it in color” is one of the coolest lines ever. But arguably “if it looks like we were a couple of kids just trying to save each other…” sets that line up in a downright immaculate way.
So, definitely put that apartment building next to the future site of the soccer stadium. And, by all means, plant trees to break up the site line to the power plant. But man, make sure you put your song and all it’s parts in the all the right places.