2016-04-26

To the Sky...

You haven't heard much from me about my on-going collaboration with German Rock Musician Hallam London.  Partly this has been because we had a bit of a slow period (as documented here) and partly it has been because I've been busy changing my job, delivering the kid to/from University, saving the World from killer rhubarb (don't ask) etc etc.

Also another reason is I've been busy with the songs themselves.  Hallam and I just had an amazing six week burst of creativity during which we finished five songs.  (For a given value of finished, music production goes through many, many stages such as arrangement, performance, production, mixing etc etc...)

However, it is not of these songs that I wish to speak.

In January this year, David Bowie died.  Hallam and I were just starting a new song when we heard the news.  We had some cause for introspection.  We'd never discussed Bowie, but as you can imagine he was a formative influence for us both.  We thought about doing some sort of song as a tribute, and then we had to wrestle with the question of how hubristic that was.  After some soul searching, we realised that all of our music comes from a very Bowie place anyway: it's all about gender and sanity and slices of everyday or unusual lives; we're also frequently a bit SciFi; often trying to push some envelope or other; and as every song is very different, I think we're reinventing ourselves even faster than he did!

So anyway, we got on with the song.  Unusually we reversed of our usual way of working.  Hallam recorded the musical idea first, and I analysed the metrical structure of his "na naaa nah" place-holder lyrics.  Then I wrote a prototype chorus.

So far so good, but we had to decide what the song was about, and we kept cycling back to Bowie-like (Bowiesque?  Bowiesian?) ideas.  In the end we were drawn strongly to the ideas in Major Tom and Space Oddity—and who doesn't want a space launch in the middle their song?and a love story, obviously...

And now it's finished.  It's partly a Bowie tribute, but obviously also has to stand as a song on its own.  Hallam has gone beyond the mere "teaser" quality of our previous releases with this one.  He's hired a great drummer, and an engineer to do the mixing and production.  He's currently finalising the artwork.

It's called To the Sky, and next week Hallam will release it as a single!

Yes, you do have to wait until then...  but in the meantime here's the play-list with our previous two teasers Anger Bob and Identity...







And BONUS! a recording of The rain in certain car parks (yes I did call a song that).  This live recording isn't polished as Hallam's studio recordings, but it does have a live band and audience...

 

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