The EP includes two new tracks. The really new song is “Man of Mystery”, a sort of spy movie spoof, while the EP ends with a new version of “A Song (Summer Heat)” with revised lyrics. The lyrical revisions are my only reason for re-recording it, really, but the arrangement also came out differently which makes for a neat contrast. And then there are tracks from recent albums Imaginary World Tour 2017, Interesting Times and Now the Robots are Dancing… in Summer Heat.
About a year ago, my guitar broke. I decided to put off repairing it and instead focus on playing a ukulele I’d obtained the year before. Before long I was writing songs on it, including this one, a song from the 2017 album Imaginary World Tour 2017.
Now available on Bandcamp:
More details about the album here.
The last couple of albums I’ve made have been mostly acoustic home-made affairs: mostly me recording at home with a guitar and ukulele, some melodica, and vocals. This album has come about from me from me experimenting with writing songs on the ukulele and in unconventional tunings on the guitar.
I wrote the words for “Autumn Leaves” a few years ago and about a year later found they fitted the mood of a song I wrote in Open G tuning. I don’t write many love songs because I don’t think I’m much good at it but my singing on this is pretty good at conveying the emotions of the song. Another open-tuning based composition is “The Days Draw In…” which was originally recorded last year but was finished up about a month ago.
My first song written on the ukulele, “To Get Away From it All”, came out on the last album, “Interesting Times”. In the same vein as that dreamy instrumental, and
also featuring melodicas and voices, is “You’re Never Alone With the Stars At Night”. “Walk A Long Time” is a more sprightly uke-based number, while “When We Were Two” is a sad, contemplative song.
“Paper Airplanes Soaring in the Sunshine” features singing but no discernible lyrics, since I sang mostly gibberish to begin with and then reversed many parts of the vocal track as an experiment. It has a sort of haunting melody but who knows what it’s about?
“Talk About the Weather” dates back nine years, and this recording’s been in development for a few years. Some things take a while to finish. So did “Shimmer On”. Based on a bass riff I came up with at a friend’s house, it took a while to develop into a track and then into a song. This also features some bass and electric-guitar playing by my friend and frequent collaborator Shane Watt.
It’s autumn, but still warm enough to run through songs outdoors. This is “Autumn Leaves”, which I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s in “open G’ tuning.
I recall there were two sides to World War II, too
But seriously, what’s gotten hold of you?
Oh, right, it’s the usual story
Hope and glory all very well
Comforting myths about our virtue
Can weave their spell
– Never mind if they’re true –
But fear’s a more potent spur
A powerful aid to the hard sell
By flim flam men and con artists
With their snake oil solutions
To soothe the stirrings of our deepest fears
I said, “You follow him and it’ll come to tears”
But when you finally did deign to hear me
You answered “I want high walls and closed doors
And if it comes to tears, I hope it’s yours”
But now they march to make us fear them
To divide us into followers and victims
But they, and all who do this
By attacking some, attack all of us
A living room performance of “We Can Do Better Than This”