During our weekend at Boston Calling, we asked all of the artists a very important question: “How do you know when a song is done being written?” The range of answers was interesting, informative – and we noticed a few trends in songwriting. Here’s what they had to say:

My question is when do you decide to share a song? When I think that a song is finished and worth sharing, cause I write songs that are just for myself. A song worth sharing has to mean something more than just for myself. It has to mean something I believe for other people…. I prefer to emit messages of understanding or hope. That doesn't mean that all my songs are positive, though.
Lucy Dacus
I never know when a song is done. Sometimes we'll release it and I'll realize it isn't done. But that's why I like live performances, because it's a chance to revise it every time we play it.
Will Toledo, Car Seat Headrest
You never really know when a song is done. It is always evolving on stage but after a certain point you have to let it go or it starts to lose its initial meaning.
Tim Showalter, Strand of Oaks

"It just feels done. I'm sure a lot of people have been saying that. Usually, when a song isn't done, it sort of is pulling me back to the table or the kitchen counter, or wherever I'm writing it. When a song is done I'm not usually feeling that pull anymore." - MC Taylor, Hiss Golden Messenger
I can consider a song finished in a studio when… it's just kind of a feeling. You just kind of know its done. Probably the same way that someone who's been writing a book can kinda know they've stumbled upon the ending that they want. It's just kind of a feeling.
Kevin Morby
I don't know. The problem for me, with the new record, is that I tried to recreate things many times and I try to go back and rehash things a lot and…. What I found is that the original inception or the birth of something is usually the truest form of something. In my experience. You know, you have something that has a certain feeling to it and then you try and recreate a feeling – it's never gonna work. Not for me, at least…. You feel something. Like, where's the heart? You feel it in there.
Mac DeMarco

"We only know when it's like... 'What's that sound? It's the sound of nobody complaining anymore.' [laughs]" - Greg Saunier, Deerhoof
I think I'm finally finished with a song when I'm bored with it… You can always change songs more and more, but there's just this 'click!' inside you… where I'm just like 'I'm done.' There's nothing more I can do with it. I just have to let it go to school and take the bus and just live its own life.
When you've successfully played it three times in a row and feel good about it.
Travis Shettel, Piebald

"I'm quick to walk away from songs now. I remember reading in Keith Richards's book, he heard his songs on the radio, when they were touring the states, before it was even done... and he had this great quote, 'You just gotta let it go, a good song is a good song.' I try to not get hung up on that stuff." - Josh Ostrander, Mondo Cozmo