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Story Behind the Song: Neema, "Angel Undercover"

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Our latest Story Behind The Song entry comes from talented Canadian songsmith Neema, whose new album, ‘Painting My Wall Gold,’ features A-list musicians and some vocal help from Emmylou Harris. It also boasts the song “Angel Undercover,” which includes writing by Leonard Cohen. Neema recently told us about the origins of the song and accompanying video.

This song is called “Angel Undercover” and it’s the first single from my new album ‘Painting My Wall Gold,’ which is available to pre-order now through PledgeMusic. The song was first called “Watching It All Go By,” then “Lonesome Friend,” then “Under the Covers” and finally “Angel Undercover.”

The first two verses and the bridge were written as a lyric by Leonard Cohen several years ago. He gifted them to me and told me to write a great song someday. That felt like a tall order from such a great songwriter, but I kept the lyrics close to me hoping I would come up with something. The chorus came to me as a lyric with melody sometime later, which I sang over and over again. While I was writing this album and going through my notebooks, I realized that they were both part of the same song. I proceeded to write a melody for the verses then added more verses.

The video was filmed by Pierre Tremblay. It was done all in one take so there are no cuts. He painted some panels that were slid in and out during the filming so that it could appear like a change of setting. The parts of the song that appear in slow motion during the video were actually filmed at 2.5X speed. I had to sing really quickly so that it could be slowed down and in sync at regular speed. It was really fun to film and somewhat challenging. Hope you like it!

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