16 Candles - original by The Comfortably Strange

Hi All,

A new little ditty which for me is about the closest we’ve got to the soundscape I hear in my head;
Certainly one of our better efforts & one of Katja’s best vocals.
I was trying for a sort of 90s, grungy/alt rock type sound to the guitars, but in our dark ballad style.
I’ve been trying to work on my lead work of late - so there is a little bit thrown in. (No blistering fretwork available in these fingers. :))

Thanks for listening and any feedback.

Digger & Katja

16 Candles

Fade her high
And paint her low
Cradle eyes
Still far to go
Maybe she wants
What she never should
Maybe she did
What she never would

Tell her let go
And hear her unfold
Too little to hold
All pleasure’s been sold
And, all she want’s peace
But we all have needs
And hunger will feed
Wherever it leads and
She don’t want love
‘Cos it’s riddled with lies
Invisible binds
And bankrupt minds
And she don’t want night
And she don’t want day
And she don’t want you
All she wants is a way out now

Are you ready?
Let go

Fade her high
And paint her low
(16 candles in the secret show)
Cradle eyes
Still far to go
(16 candles and they’re burning on you)
Maybe she wants
What she never should
(16 candles misunderstood)
Maybe she did
What she never would
(16 candles and all she could)

Write away - Break down
Condemn - No doubt
Fate speaks - Cast out
Unclean - Too far
Far away - Strung out
So you look down
You will turn away
As she cries,
«Take me»


Nice! Is that a rotary guitar effect? Sounded cool. Really good production all the way around, totally dig the overall vibe. Well done!

That was really coold guys, well done such a studio experience when listening to this, awesome! Who did the drums? And what fx were applied to your lead guitar? All the best!

I really enjoyed this. Great production Stephen and Katja. I thought you managed to achieve the sound/feel you were going for.

Digger’s back out of the mine, after having hit a rich seam…
Lovely bit of songwriting.
Goosebumps when the distortion hits in.
Fab added lines to the second chorus.
Katja raises it to the next level.
Solo work at the end was blistering.
Not fast.
Hot :fire:

Fantastic :sunglasses: :clap: :man_bowing: :bouquet:and for me personally the best I’ve heard from you together…and there was already a lot of good,…

You got some wicked guitar tones going down in this one! Liked it all, vox, play, production and more. Very nice dude!

All the best to the both of you and keep up the good vibe!

Another great song from Comfortably Strange.
Cool work Digger & Katja.

Nice! RG

Outstanding Digger and Katja! Really cool sound , vocals and lyrics. That was the complete package!!!

Great job! Guitar, vocals, effects, and production are all excellent.

I think your songs are terrific :heartbeat:. “All Hail to the New Gods” was my introduction to your writing. This one doesn’t disappoint, I absolutely loved the drone chord in the lead up to “Are you ready…?”
Just keep 'em coming!

Your best yet perhaps? That was terrific Digger. What a vocal from Katja! Your guitar work was so good. Hot hot hot. Production spot on too.

Well done both of you. I can’t imagine how much time and hard work has gone into this.

Absolutely fantastic. When I saw the title I was expecting a tribute to John Hughes. The guitar playing was fantastic, the vocals were wonderful (with Katja’s vocals you can really deliver some haunting tunes, she has really amazing vox). The production was top notch. Bravo.

Hi All,

Thanks for all the positive comments - was really pleased how this turned out.

Can’t say i’ve heard of John Hughes, but I’ll check him out.

Twistor - thanks for checking out All Hail. I love drone chords too - think it comes from listening to lots of Depeche Mode.

I tried to get some screen shots of my settings, but can’t seem to get them to post so I’ll break it down as simple as possible.

Drums is some fairly old software - Addictive Drums. I usually use a simple beat to set the timing and then add in fills, extra kicks or snare hits by playing them on my midi board.

Guitars - honestly, can’t think when I last recorded my amp - tend to do all through Waves GTR these days.
Cheap, put decent sounding vst.

The intro guitar is double tracked:
Both using clean amp settings but slightly different fx.
Gtr 1:
Delay - Mix 10, Time 1/8, Hi Cut 7, Feedback 1, Stereo 10
EQ - Cut lows, mids & highs except 1k
Chorus: Depth 30, Rate 3
Amp: 2x12 inch Closed Back Cab. DYN409 On axis mic. Fairly neutral - rolled off some bass
Spring Reverb - Mix 14, Pre-Delay 20, Time 2.4

Gtr 2:
Delay - Mix 10, Time 1/8, Hi Cut 7, Feedback 1, Stereo 10
EQ - Cut lows, mids & highs except 250 & 1k
Chorus: Depth 30, Rate .4
Amp: 2x12 inch Closed Back Cab. DYN409 On axis mic. Fairly neutral - rolled off some bass
Vibrolo - Vibe 0, Trem 50, Setting far left.
Spring Reverb - Mix 14, Pre-Delay 20, Time 2.4

Clint - think this is the Rotary you’re hearing.

Overdriven Rhythm Guitars - again twin tracked and panned.

Gtr 1
Overdrive: Drive 43, Level 50, Tone 53
EQ: slight boost 125, cut 500, totally cut 2k
Amp: Legatron Crunch. 2x12 inch Closed Back. Dyn 409 on axis. Drive 7.7, Bass -1, Mid 1.3, Treb 1.3, Pres 6
Doubler: Mix 7, Detune 4, Delay 12, Feedback 0, Stereo 100
Delay: Mix 20, Time 0.09, Hi Cut 1.5, Feedback 1.2, Stereo 10
Reverb: Mix 25, Time 0.5, Pre-delay 80, Tone 0.3

Gtr 2
Overdrive: Drive 100, Level 50, Tone 66
Amp: Punchy 2x12 inch Closed Back. Dyn 409 on axis. Drive 10, Bass 1.5, Mid -1, Treb 0.4, Pres 6

Lead Guitar:
Aching fingers for the sustain.
EQ - Cut low end (125) and 2k
Overdrive: Drive 35, Level 50, Tone 60
Amp: Supernatural/Scorch. 4x 12 inch britt. Condvm1 On Axis mic. Drive 9, Bass -1, Mid 0, Trb 0, Pres 4.2.
Phaser: Depth .1, Rate 2 bars, Stereo 50
EQ & Compress then feed into a Ping Pong delay.
1/32 note. 20% Feedback. 60% mix. Hi pass filter the low end and low pass the Hi end.

For those new to amp sims I’d really encourage messing with mic and cabinet settings if the plug in has those as it can really alter the sound - which you may not be able to get from FX.

Thanks again,



Another wicked production, Digger … dark, moody, ominous … your signature sound. Superb work, the performances and mix.

I also wondered about the title (John Hughes is a film connection by the same name) but knowing you it was always likely to be John Hughes meets Steven King :laughing:

Wow !!

I had to get my machete out to blaze a trail through the AVOYP forest, which sprung up in the last week or so, to get back to this one and boy was it worth it !

Digger this has got to be up there as one of your best and Katja’s vocals are stunning, reminding me of Sonja Kristina of Curved Air. I have goosebumps on my goosebumps !
Epic, keep them coming, this was a stoater !


Hi David/Toby,

Thanks for the kind words.
I sent this and another off to BBC Introducing - surprisingly they played the other, though I prefer this one.
I’ll post the other track soon - just don’t like spamming the forum. :slight_smile:


1 Like

Great news Digger, assume it was the regional Beeb ? But all good exposure at the end of the day. Well done to you both. As for spamming, with your quality tracks I can’t see that being an issue !