"Born on a Train" was written by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. His music has expanded my boundaries for sure--from songwriting to production, he does it all. He's funny and talented and it comes through in this song. I don't think this is my favorite song by The Magnetic Fields, but it is one I knew I could believe in while singing it. What I do love about it is the melody and the idea of being born on a train. Simple music for serious people.
My recording features the suitcase drum kit. I outlined the song using my 12-string Danelectro guitar, and recorded the drums twice--partly to hide my mistakes and partly for effect. Then I added bass guitar, my Casio chord organ, and some counter melody parts, also played on a Casio. I found myself phrasing the vocal performance much like Stephin Merritt would sing it. I tried to get at something different, but his distinct vocal style was stuck in my head.