My songwriting routine is usually to grab the acoustic guitar and pluck around until I come up with a melody or chord structure I like. Then over the course of the next year or so, maybe I’ll write a verse. Five years later, I have about an EP’s worth of carefully pored over material. Not the speediest process.

To try to break out of that routine, I made the difficult decision to let the guitar gather a little dust during the month of February and try something different. For my first RPM a couple years ago, I tried to work out vocal harmonies as the heart of the songs with very light instrumentation. This year, I decided to go with a more synth-centric sound and also try to write and record the entire thing on my iPad. Here are this year’s instruments of mass distraction:

So far, it’s a big ol’ synthy mess, but It’s been a fun mess to make. Hopefully my guitar still remembers me come March.

Mark O'Polo's player: