I've developed another skeleto-song, again in an imagined Syd Barrett mode. I haven't even listened to his solo stuff much, or the first Pink Floyd record in some time, yet that's the sensibility I'm drawing from -- rambling, yet clear-headed, and honestly, devotedly, convincingly surrealistic.
My tendency in the past has been to write in melodic hooks continuously, to obfuscate my embarassingly earnest feelings beneath a sparkly sheen. I don't feel like this is a worthwhile direction. Musically, I'm now opting to develop a distinctive 'feel' or overall sonority that is more carefully paced and arranged. Catchy musical figures exist, but they're not emphasized as strongly as before. I try to let the variations and the more subdued passages between these figures bloom on their own terms, and lead me where they may. While the lyrics will inform the direction of the music, I'm hoping the contrary will happen as well (especially since I'm still a pretty worthless lyricist).
Collectively, I'm working to making sure that each of these new songs do not add up to the classical 'pop ecstasy' (what the New Pornographers are good at channeling). I don't dislike pop ecstasy, but I don't think the form is meaningful anymore, nor open to being outdone by the likes of me. I'll instead be able to create something open to new meaning and feelings, to my ears and others.