'How Long' (Has this been going on?)
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
Well, since you asked: here's a little historical information regarding our album Tall Stories on Short Street. I guess the 'amusing' part of this is that the album more-or-less came to life as the Covid-19 virus began hitting Europe. This has devastated lives of course (the virus not the album) but I think it also gave focus and energy to our project – and eventually TIME. We'd been discussing doing an EP and there were a couple of songs I'd sung on and played various instruments for. Thus it was down to me to write a song for, say, a four or five song release.
I'd written a song the previous summer called Soul on Fire. I recorded a quick demo of it and Ross loved it. I should have re-recorded parts perhaps but I loved the bass line – I'm now an aspiring bassist! The drums had a linear rhythm which I had somewhat 'worked out'. Next thing I know Ross has come back at me and found a 'special guest' to add keyboards. From then on I'm tightening like crazy. The song is half reggae, half soul. It's interesting too that songs can have a huge emotional impact as we mix and then that lessens over time but something else is added – say – and the emotion returns – wham! We have a backing vocalist on the album (Freya) who, with Ross's direction, made a huge difference to this song. That's another interesting thing, of course, how individual parts raise the level of the whole.
We had at least three songs and then we decided to do a co-write. Ross had lyric-ideas for this but I wasn't happy singing them for this album. I wrote my own and sang my own melody (all inspired by a nasty encounter on Facebook as it happens) and guess what – it worked! With this co-write we became a team. A nucleus of the greater team to come. The song then really sprang to life when my guitar parts were replaced by some wonderful rhythm and lead from another guest. In my own defence there are still a couple of lead guitar parts on the album by yours truly! But I DO know my place. (I have been more than happy to play drums and bass on the album.)
It became apparent that we 'had something'. So Ross (the workaholic!) suggested we do a full album. He was ‘furloughed’ because of the virus and all my gigs had been cancelled. Yes – let's do it! We had time – though we didn't know how much. And boy have we worked. Tightening the songs – adding 'production' ideas to them too. We co-wrote another two songs (including Fairground Ride) and I even wrote and recorded a song over about a 24 hour period as we needed a 'rocker'. The whole thing created itself in a way – it was natural. Yes, hard work – but that's what you need for any creative endeavour. And now? Well now we're right at the end. Freya's busy adding the final vox and we have another great guest supplying a duet vocal (all being well). Ross is doing the final mastering and like a bee who's swallowed a coffee bean (that would be interesting!) is promulgating various social media sites where the album will – we trust – flower. (I think anyone doing an album should employ Ross. Don't get him too stressed though he can get like a bear with toothache!)
Thus – in answer to the question 'How Long' – it's been nearly half a year to write, record, mix and master. Not bad going eh? Doesn't the song have a lyric like 'well you say you have friends in high places'? I checked - it HASN'T (this is SO typical of me) – well let's pretend it has and if you DO have such friends and they're in 'high places' in the recording industry (ouch!) then mention us please. You know what though? We CAN do this on our own – we have a great team and lots of energy – more importantly – a great collection of music! Tim Bragg