New EP on the way
“What’d you need?" "Desuetude." "Reading again, are we? Could be dangerous. It means to become unaccustomed to. As in something gets discontinued, falls into disuse." "Thanks, man." "That it?" "Yeah, but we should grab a drink sometime.”
James Sallis, Drive, 2005.
I had been planning to follow up Reflections since 2019 but it wasn't until this lovely old pandemic hit the world that I really had an opportunity to work on the sketches and ideas I had lying around.
You would think having all this "free" time would make it easy to produce a wee EP - unfortunately not.
After spending several weeks in the fetal position watching re-runs of Cheers while my work diary evaporated, inspiration finally arrived.
The new EP features a few collaborations and is made up of 4 new ambient pieces:
Watching It All Burn
Holding Your Breath Beneath The Waves
My daughter, Chaya, has been learning cello for a couple of years so I thought it would be interesting to record her playing and see what I could create. I have also been teaching my youngest daughter, Lyla, guitar so I tuned her little half sized acoustic to open G and let her play away to see what we could capture. We also recorded some nature sounds while out on our daily walks. Not to be left out, my oldest daughter Leah again lends her amazing photography skills to the project and my website redesign.
This was the first track to be finished and felt like a good way to start the EP.
Watching It All Burn...
I had already decided that I wanted my next release to be more guitar based and a little less abstract so this track is more melodic with a traditional guitar, bass and drums arrangement. It took a while for all the pieces to come together and my thanks go to Neil Sweetland for his bass playing and patience with me moving the goalposts with each new demo I sent him, and to John Gray (legendary guitar wizard) for his sonic guidance.
The piano part for this track was written on tour in Inverness, back at the hotel following after show drinks at the Market Inn. In front of a roaring fire and nursing a nightcap it was just a simple chord pattern but I stored it somewhere in the back of my mind so I could work on it later. Later turned out to be 3 years, but at least I got there.
Holding Your Breath Beneath The Waves...
This was the first track written for the EP and started when I discovered an unfinished recording session on an old hard drive from 2015. I took the awesome drums Frazer Boyle had laid down and chopped them up a little bit and created a song around them. Once I had the guitars and arrangement in place I sent it over to Neil Sweetland to add his bass and some additional synth parts to complete the track.
Myself, Fraz and Neil had played in bands together over the years so it was nice to work with them again even if it was in strange circumstances.
During the writing and recording, there have been a few more ideas captured and kept for a rainy day so there might well be enough material for another EP in a bit.
Some finishing touches are being applied before I can share the finished sounds but it shouldn't be too far away now.
Hopefully it provides a nice soundtrack to some sort of normality being restored.