Tag Archives: new music

Flesh & Dust. The New Album.

You may know the story behind this one. In 2014 I posted video diaries about the making of this record, then an acoustic guitar led record. Steeped in Nick Drake’s influence, it was my most ambitious acoustic guitar work to date.

It wasn’t working, of course. As the videos progressed, they became a document not of the record, but my access barriers. My hands were letting me down, and the sessions became incredibly difficult. Soon enough, my condition won, and the project was put on hold. At this point, I met Imogen Heap and the mi.mu team, and the gloves adventure began.

It was after an incredible year, topped by an incredible UK tour, that I gave this record some thought again. I love these songs, I wanted them finished. I was in a different place musically by necessity; the gloves make electronic music by default. This was however the place that I battled my access barriers from; I wanted to try and bring these songs into the world I found myself in now.

Earlier this year I started sifting through what I had. I was pleasantly surprised; the guitar work was better than I remembered. It wasn’t enough though, there were still lots of gaps, both conceptually and literally.

What I immediately found exciting was juxtaposing these new, electronic sounds with the simplicity of the original acoustic guitar songs. I focused on capturing the original essence of the songs, the feel, the spark, with electronic sounds. Using the gloves in this context was a really exciting challenge; I was determined to keep that unmistakable style of songwriting that acoustic guitar picking work brings, but reimagined in this new way.

The collision of ideas was immediately inspiring. Just as the technology had bridged my access gaps, it was dong so for the songs. I loved the stark contrast. The electronica colliding with the acoustic; technology colliding with a gentle, human frailty in this case. It audibly represented that complex relationship that I have with the technology that helps me; the frailty of my original reframed in digital technology. The sound itself was an allegory for life lived with and through accessible technology.

Working hard, it became clear that this was no quick project. I was immediately frustrated by this; the songs have been with me long enough. The idea of disappearing into the studio for several months before emerging with a long player had no appeal. Of course, there’s no reason that means it has to be the old way…

So here it is. Work in progress, an organic, growing work. New songs will appear here as they are completed. They may be revised, the order will no doubt change, but I want you to hear this. I want you to be part of the process, which is why I want to open this process out. I also love the idea of this being a subscriber exclusive, that was obviously the way to go. I want you, the subscriber, to get closer to what I’m doing.

I’m looking forward to this, it’s our little thing… 😉

Not a subscriber? Join now to download my entire back catalogue immediately, as well as the first track from this album, and everything else that comes out in the next 12 months.

England, You Are A Sinking Ship.

It’s been an intense couple of weeks. I’ve worked so hard to bring you this song, I didn’t have time to stop and blog. Or film. Or tweet much. I just had to get this done. 

Wait. Back it up.

You know that I’m in the camp that thinks Cameron and his cronies are FUCKING SCARY EVIL FUCKERS, right? Yeah, so the  idea of Conservatives winning the election was like, really bad news. Proper V for Vendetta shit, IMHO. After a hopeful few days leading up to the big day, I was optimistic. Then the exit polls starting coming in.

I’ve never felt fear like it. 
Absolutely gripped by this intense yet bleak, urgent yet impotent fear, I sat up late and wrote this song. The lyrics come from a dark place. I’ve never been so scared for the future.

I sat in the studio on the 8th, and got most of this on tape. I knew I had to sing it that day, at least; it deserves that anger. Somewhere along the way further ideas flourished, and the chorus line idea came about. I posted shoutouts for people to sing it and send me vocals. Partly thanks to help from comedian Josie Long, the response was incredible. Loads of people were happy to declare this country a sinking ship on tape.

The following week I pulled all this together. Schedules aligned, and I was very lucky to have Lee back in the studio on a couple of days. As well owning the ears I trust most besides my own, Lee brought the groove in that incredible bassline. He plays in ways that tap right into my brain. It’s not surprising; we’ve made so much music together in the last 15 years… Man. That’s a wild thought. I’m digressing…

It was a killer to mix, as these things always are. My auntie Mu Halpin provided those magical spooked out harmonies. Reminds me of Marianne Faithful’s contribution to Metallica’s The Memory Remains. It’s fucking DARK. She always does a lot to keep me up to speed on politics via Facebook; it was so perfect to have her in the studio for this.

So, please; give it your best listening. It sounds great loud. I’m very proud of it. Whatever side you’re on, know that there are many of us for whom five years of the Tories is a terrifying prospect. As so many of you have already told me, this song resonates with that feeling.

Crosses – The Epilogue.

This is so my jam RN.

Despite being a major Deftones addict, I’m not automatically taken with everything Chino Moreno does. Some of his projects, while commendable, can be a little too far out even for me. Nevertheless, e’s a huge artist, spanning so many sounds and genres in an intimidatingly prolific fashion.

Crosses is Chino’s collaboration with Shaun Lopez and Chuck Doom. The trio play a spooked out, laid back electro pop. Giant snares and waterfall synths backdrop Chino’s always intriguing lyrics. It’s a world away from Deftones; the aesthetic is darkly twisted at first, but there’s hope and beauty below the surface.

This is one of many standout tracks from the first LP. Enjoy

MUSIC NEWS: Jess Sutherland Live EP.

So y’all probably know about Jess Sutherland by now. She’s the singer with the impossibly beautiful voice I’ve been making music with and posting all those YouTube videos. After the wonderful reaction to all those videos, I figured it was a good time to get some music out and into people’s iPods.

The EP consists of 7 live performances, most of which are also on YouTube. It’s the first non Winter Of ’82 release on Dancing About Architecture, which is rather exciting too.

Another thing worth mentioning; our intention was to make this a free download. It’s available via Bandcamp as a Pay-What-You-Want download… and people are buying it. Like, paying real money for it. That, to me, is incredible. The fact that people are happy to put their hands in their PayPal pockets to support our work is genuinely humbling. For serious.

Nevertheless, I’d really like you to get it, free or otherwise. Jess and I have a lot of fun making these things, and we do work very hard. We’ve got lots planned too; some magical tracks in the can, a full length studio album is on the way, and Jess will be appearing on some Winter Of ’82 stuff very soon. ‘Citing times, indeed.

Anyway, here it is. Please listen, and download if you dig it!

The Dancing About Architecture Store Is Now Open.

Yes it is. To celebrate, the first two singles of mine under the Winter Of ’82 banner are available for free when you sign up to the mailing list. Hit ‘Buy Now’ on either track, and enter a price of 0. It’ll ask you for an email address. You should only ever need to enter it once. We absolutely PROMISE not to send you loads of emails, but we will be dishing out lots of yummy free music very soon – head to http://daamusic.bandcamp.com to download the tracks. There’s also some extended notes about the lyrics on the pages not available any where else, so if you’ve been wondering what the songs are about, take a look…


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