Taking a dinner break with a singer, her shuffle played a new version of an old song. The artist changed up the song so that it was still interesting but there was more going on to make it apealing to us. Every time we heard the original version of that song, our brains actually connected cells to connect that song into our long-term memory. The new version was able to piggy-back on that. So the new version was actually taking advantage of established brain structures to get our attention. We automatically attributed the feelings associated with the original song to the new version.
You don’t have to re-do old songs to take advantage of these connections.
Any group has shared experiences. A first car means freedom and independence to a young person. A song about driving has added appeal. It won’t make the song, but it helps. When the song is about driving to a new place or experience and you get an extra boost.
Think about the experiences we all share and how you can tap into them.
The struggle between wanting freedom and needing to be a part of a group is another theme that resonates. Attraction, embarrassment, and voyeurism are more universal themes. Think we’re not voyeurs? Explain the popularity of reality shows.
These brain structure connections are train tracks your song can ride on to help connect with your listener’s experiences. They have more distractions than ever and you need all the help you can get. A clever lyric is not as good as anything that resonates or connects. Dig deep. That’s where the gold is.
Do it wrong and your just more background noise. But do it right and you’ll be a part of their lives. Your music will be loved for generations.