Image description

The long-awaited second 

album will be released on White Knight Records on March 14th, 2017

 

 Track-listing


  1: My Sunlit Room

  2: Razor

  3: Cross my Palm

  4: Leaving

  5: The Other Side of Morning

  6: The Covenanter                    

  7: Used to be Someone

  8: Northern Light

 

Image description

The Album - Tack by track

MY SUNLIT ROOM:  


Bright with a steely twist.  The opener is about the process of writing the album itself.  Hiding away in the 'sunlit room' that serves as my home studio where hours seem like minutes as I try to get my ideas down in something like coherent form.  

Believe it or not, this started out as a fingerstyle guitar piece!  Somehow I convinced myself I wanted to try building a synt/drum machine electropop pattern around it and then added a the monster guitar riff.  No holding back after that!

Credit to Sid Smith of PROG magazine, whose 'The view from the Yellow Room' inspired the title



Image description

RAZOR:

 

Open tuning electric guitar and hypnotic tabla - sort of Zeppelin meets Gabriel.  The first track to reach anything like coherence, and the track that the rest of the album is hung around. 

Originally the middle eight featured a discordant guitar break, but a conversation over dinner with Steve Hackett led me to asking him if he'd like to add some blues harp. ('Always disappointed I never managed to get some on a Genesis album' says Mr H).  Claude from Lazuli adds the dark wailing flavours of his Leode.  The resulting video is not for the faint hearted.


Image description

CROSS MY PALM:

 

A song where the day job informs the lyrics.  Inspired by the trial of former PR Guru, Max Clifford, whose fall from grace revealed that he was indeed just the sort of person many of us suspected.  A glimpse of a world of cigar-smoke filled rooms where you trade your success (and survival) for ownership of your soul.  Never a price worth paying.


Image description

LEAVING:

 

Perhaps the song closest in style to that of the previous album.  Simple folk sensibilities with a darker, e-bow, led edge in the middle section.


Lyrically it's about how the face you show to the world is different from the one you share with your loved ones.  When you're out on 'the road' you're abosorbed in it's challenges and demands.  But there's another world to go back to.

Image description

THE OTHER SIDE OF MORNING:

 

The epic: Originall conceived as an extended piece for voice and 12-string (with the minimum of embellsihment) it grew into a major piece of work.  Was oringially thinkiing along the lines of Roy Harper's 'One of those days in England', but adding drums ,bass and keys took it in a slightly different direction.


How did we comes to this?


 

Image description

THE COVENANTER:

 

I came up with this jolly melody over a nice acoustic guitar part one day.  I started wondering if I could make a song out of it and what it might be about.

‘I know’, I thought. ‘This is about religious extremism!’  And so the day job intrudes again.  


The Covenanters were a Scottish protestant group in the C17th who fought to establish and maintain their religious ideas.  Nowadays ‘the covenant’ is a doctrine voiced by some UK-based Islamist extremists which basically amounts to a ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds - i.e agitate for your ideas elsewhere, but promise not to act against your home nation (i,e UK).   Anjem Choudary was one such individual who used this as a justification for promoting some fairly unpleasant ideas, but arguing that he stayed within the law by doing so.  Eventually the law disagreed.  

But as I tried to write about Anjem and his cronies, I realised that they weren’t the only ones spreading hate and division.  The rise in anti- immigrant hate-crime in the wake of the EU referendum result gave me pause for thought.  It was a poisonous atmosphere that many politicians and newspapers had helped create.  So the song’s about all those who lie and cheat to achieve their ends at any cost.  I think we all know who they are.


The 'crowd scene' at the start comes courtesy of the combined street choirs of Al Mahajaroun and the English Defence League.  Catcht them on a high st near you.


 

Image description

USED TO BE SOMEONE:

 

This was the first thing I came up with following my acquisition of an E-bow.  I put down a basic drum pattern and played over it a few times.  Within a couple of hours I had the makings of a song which pretty much wrote itself.  


Lyrically its about loss, and about being responsible for the choices that led to that loss.  I had the idea of meeting someone in the street who’d once been close, but no longer recognised me.  That I was dead to them.  As if I’d never existed. 


I hoipe never to be that person

 

Image description

NORTHERN LIGHT:

 

I originally offered a really early version of this to a band I used to be in.  They rejected it, and I forgot about it, only finding my demo again when i was sorting out my mp3 library.  


Initially it was just going to be short vocal coda at the end of the album, but I got hooked on the odd-meter riff and gave it its head tp see where it took me.  Scott really brought this one to life in the studio.  Just had to give it the full kitchen sink prog ending.  Taurus pedals and all!!

 

Getting the vocals right was also key.  I wanted it to be warmer than your average choir, and have a bit of character.  Thinking Gaelic ‘mouth music’, or Trio Bulgarka.  I knew Tina’s voice would really work here, and Monique’s softer tone would give a nice bit of upper register.  And then I met Laetitia at a gig in France.  i was blown away by the power of her voice.  It had a darker quality so very different from the other two.  So twenty odd tracks of four singers later, here we are.

 

Buy the album NOW from www.themerchdesk.com