Arts & Entertainment, Music

“Savior” Songwriting Demo: Early Sketches

St. Vincent

Lesson time 09:15 min

Annie introduces you to the earliest version of her song “Savior,” which she wrote in her bedroom when she was 16. Over the next lessons, she’ll take you through each step of the songwriting process.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Origins of the Savior Lyric


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:06.86] ST. VINCENT: Over the next few chapters, I want to start to demystify the process of songwriting. So we're going to take my song "Savior" and walk you through every step of the songwriting process from the beginning to its final recording on the record. [00:00:25.37] And we're going to talk about the tempo. We're going to talk about the key. We're going to talk about counter melody and knowing when it's done, knowing when to step away. [00:00:35.56] [MUSIC - ST VINCENT, "SAVIOR"] [00:00:36.49] (SINGING) Savior. But then you say, please. Then you say, please. [00:00:52.75] I wanted to talk about the song "Savior" because it includes a melody that I wrote when I was 16 or 17 in my childhood bedroom, and I think it proves the point that there is no wasted effort. And when the time is right, the idea will come. [00:01:10.61] I'm going to play something for you guys that is so embarrassing. Just fills me with shame. As I said, I wrote part of the song "Savior" when I was 17. There's this line ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh. I found the audio. I have-- my friend found a tape that I had given him, and I'd given a bit of a tape that said my first single. So I have it. Oh, God. [00:01:55.62] OK, well, I can play you approximately three seconds of this. Here we go. [00:02:03.25] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:06.90] OK, see? See I got it? [00:02:09.37] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:11.25] OK, just "bit, dit, dit." [00:02:14.07] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:15.05] (SINGING) You say please. [00:02:20.48] Oh, God. It's so-- what was my problem? There's four more minutes of this damn song. I have not been able to get through it because I'm just overcome by, like, oh. Which, again, shame is a good thing to face, and I'm demonstrating that for you right now. [00:02:41.33] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:02:47.60] The song for me was just very personal. I was in a situation where-- I think we've all been in the situation where we're sort of being asked to be things that aren't really even natural for us. You know, you're in a relationship with someone who's kind of asking you to be all of these different things that you don't really know how to be, and you don't really know how to be for them. [00:03:08.12] So I took the example of some of these, you know, archetypes. OK, you've got dress you up like a nurse, dress you up like a teacher, dress you up like a nun, dress you up like a cop, you know, all of these things that are very visual. You can see it. I'm not just describing how I feel. You can see the metaphors unfold. [00:03:26.69] Those particular examples to me were a little bit funny and a little bit tongue in cheek because they're also, like, stripper tropes or like porn tropes, right? And that made me laugh. Even if a song is about something very serious, you can use humor. You can use levity to get your point across. [00:03:48.25] [MUSIC - ST VINCENT, "SAVIOR"] [00:03:48.67] (SINGING) You dress me up in a nurse's outfit. [00:03:52.53] (...

About the Instructor

Under the stage name St. Vincent, Annie Clark has won Grammys while remaining fiercely innovative and true to herself. Now Annie is opening the door to her process to teach you how to explore your creativity. Learn how to record music, write songs, improve your guitar skills, and embrace your vulnerability. Let Annie guide you through the ups and downs of creating art so you can share what’s in your heart with the world.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

St. Vincent

Explore your creative process and embrace vulnerability with St. Vincent, the Grammy-winning, genre-defying artist and performer.

Explore the Class
Sign Up