I have to admit, I’m a bit hesitant to post this because I suspect most of the people who come here to listen to my tunes won’t like it.

I recorded this as a challenge to myself to try something out of my comfort zone. This is a song I’ve always loved but never learned how to play, until now.

I remember when I first heard this song in High School – a friend of mine was listening to it on their Walkman (remember those??) and let me listen. My first response was “WHAT the F#$@ is this??”

I immediately (I think it was the same day…) went out and bought The Cure’s Standing on a Beach and listened to it constantly… After that, I moved on to The Head on the Door and eventually worked my way to Disintigration – which is such an amazing album.

Anyway, here’s my take on The Cure’s A Forest – I hope you like it, but if you don’t – I understand….

A Forest (The Cure) – All instruments and vocals by Kepi Jensen – November 2019

I thought I’d kick off my blog by writing about one of my original songs – “Stay”. I like writing about music and the creative process behind it, so I plan on making this a common theme on this blog. Hopefully anyone who reads this is into that sort of thing…

This song actually started when I was in High School. The lines “If you love me, I’m not sure/Love’s a disease and there’s no cure.” and the chorus “If I promised you the world, would you share it with me?” actually came from a poem I wrote for an English assignment in high school. (oh so many years ago…) The rest of the song came about in roughly 2008 while I was thinking about an old break up and remembering how I felt at the time.

The chorus on this song has gone back and forth between “If I promised you the world, would you share it with me? Would you give it all away – just to let me stay?” and “Like a whisper on the wind, I can feel it coming in. Please don’t come my way, unless you think you’re gonna stay.” Although I like both choruses for different reasons, ultimately I decided to keep the original chorus. Here’s a really old demo with the “whisper” chorus…

Stay (“Whisper” chorus demo)

Unhappy with that version, I sat down last year (2018) and decided to re-record the song with the original chorus. For this version, I wanted a more gritty, electric guitar driven sound. I liked the original guitar solo, so I went back and listened to the solo on the version above and re-learned it to record again…

Stay (Kepi Jensen Version)

Late last year, my good friend and musical guru Daniel Small and I sat down and recorded this song again at his studio (which is much nicer than mine). The result is the version below, which is by far my favorite recording of the song.

Stay – Swamp Yankee Version

This version has me singing, playing acoustic guitar, and keys – Daniel playing drums, bass, singing, mixing, and whatever else he felt the song needed – my musical partner in crime, Joanne Elmoznino singing backing vocals – Jim Rizzo playing electric guitar – and “the other” Jim (who doesn’t have an online presence, so I’ll leave his last name off) playing that incredible guitar solo…
I call this the “Swamp Yankee” version because everyone who appears on this song is also in Daniel’s band Dan and the Swamp Yankees. (Check them out on Spotify when you get the chance…)