Karma Slave

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[Digital Download]

Track 15 from Plaid On Flannel's 2018 album Vol. IV: Independency

Performed and produced by Nolan Randall

Mixed and mastered by Hector Viola

Words and music by Nolan Randall

Karma slave seems like he's moving
For something he might get
He knows everything that's brewing
Before he'll place a bet
Think he might give up the game
Because what he does makes him feel insane
All alone in the jungle looking for an answer

He doesn't give up that easily
'Cause he's not the same as you and me
Driven to lengths of society
There are no misfortunes he shall foresee

'Cause he's a karma slave by his own choice
He's a karma slave, it's his own voice
He's a karma slave, he'll make some noise
A karma slave, a karma slave

Nothing made him wonder why
He never did the opposite
He did more for you and I than
He ever would even admit
Sometimes he will doubt the cause
Because what he hears is not an applause
Never moving enough to call himself a dancer

He doesn't give up that easily
'Cause he's not the same as you and me
Driven to lengths of society
There are no misfortunes he shall foresee

'Cause he's a karma slave by his own choice
He's a karma slave, it's his own voice
He's a karma slave, he'll make some noise
A karma slave, a karma slave

He doesn't give up that easily
'Cause he's not the same as you and me
Driven to lengths of society
There are no misfortunes he shall foresee

'Cause he's a karma slave by his own choice
He's a karma slave, it's his own voice
He's a karma slave, he'll make some noise
A karma slave, a karma slave

© Copyright 2018 Plaid On Flannel

*Song Description By Noles*

Of all the songs from the Independency album, "Karma Slave" was written first. It's one of those songs where I came up with the title before anything else. The words karma and slave put together seemed so intriguing to me. I wrote all of "Karma Slave" on June 11, 2013, less than a month after finishing my 2nd album Mission Of Mercy. I was living in Peterborough at the time, but moved to Toronto for music school months later in September of 2013.

As part of an assignment for my music program, I had to team up with 2 students from the video filming program to make a music video under 3 minutes. The video was to feature me playing any song. At that point, I had a solid repertoire of original songs, but nothing really under 3 minutes. Than I remembered the up-tempo tune "Karma Slave" that I had written earlier that same year. And managed to put together a version that was under 3 minutes. In October of 2013, we finished a video of me performing "Karma Slave" acoustically in the hallways of Centennial College in East York, Toronto. You can check out that video here... https://youtu.be/HtczRFvVsNI After that, I never performed the song acoustically again.

The next year, I started recording my 3rd album Primitive Normative. I didn't include "Karma Slave" on the concept album and figured I'd ditched the song. As I was writing more new material anyways. After I finished Primitive Normative by the end of 2015, I was immediately preparing for the next album while recording the Rising Above EP with the Plaid On Flannel band. I had upgraded to a new microphone and had just put new strings on my acoustic. I loved the sound of the new strings so much, that I wanted to record the acoustic on my DAW. So I laid down two acoustic guitar tracks on January 18, 2016. And it turned out to be the music to "Karma Slave". I decided that I should include the lost tune on my next album. But I didn't finish the recording of "Karma Slave" until the next year on January 3, 2017. I was on a writing frenzy and recorded other songs over the course of that time.

"Karma Slave" has probably the best acoustic guitar sound I had ever produced up to that point. There's a key bass guitar backing up those 2 acoustics throughout the entire song. I used multiple vocal overdubs in the chorus repeatedly saying the phrase "A Karma Slave". That overdub trick was influenced by the early 90s jangle pop song "I Can't Sleep" by the La's. There's a song from each of my first 4 albums that features mandolin, and "Karma Slave" is the mandolin song from Independency. It's blended in with a classic sounding piano. There are harmony backup vocals in the 2nd and 3rd choruses singing "Oooh-wahs". I also used similar "Oooh-wahs" on the song "Isolate" from the same album. Perhaps my favourite moment of "Karma Slave" is after the 2nd chorus where a clean guitar comes in playing arpeggios with a bit of delay. Inspired by the guitar work of R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. People like this song as it's gotten some considerable play on Spotify. But I'll probably never perform the song again. As I have too many other good ones.