In December, 2013 I received a grant from AMP to record a full album. There was no hesitation to work with Steve Roberts and Tomtom Productions again, who I recorded my E.P with. We jumped into it with all sorts of ideas and a very ambitious release date- May 2014, but life happens and over a year later, people are still asking me weekly 'When is your album coming out?' A question which I readily dodge.
Between a brilliant and busy Engineer, giving up his spare time to record, studio musicians who also both happen to work for one of the fastest growing Production companies in NZ, and Michael and I- getting married, living in a van all summer and moving cities- it's safe to say there have been some delays. But over a year later, I can see the end of the road, and there is a record floating just out of reach with my name on it, plus it turns out that time has worked in our favour.
Compared to my E.P 'The River', which was very stripped back, this album, as one of my friends put it, 'Is the sound you want to turn up really loud in your house'. And I hope people do.
We have drums, bass, double bass (recorded in Scotland), mandolin, banjo, harmonica, omnichord, slide guitar, and vintage electric with distortion. Actually, one of the most time consuming parts was finding the perfect acoustic guitar sound for each song. Steve and I are painstakingly selective, and we ended up borrowing seven or eight different Guitars.
Without giving too much away, (I already have), the beauty of what has been crafted, is that we have taken time. It wasn't smashed out in two weeks- (which done well, can still be fantastic), but approached more like a bottle of wine. It has aged, matured and come out far richer than It could have, had any less time and care been taken.
The sound we wanted to create, was authentic, timeless folk, with a heavy focus on the lyrics. We love to leave fret buzzes, sighs and strange little accidents in there, to remind people in a world saturated with over processed, junk food disguised as music- that the real stuff, like your Mum makes it, has layers of flavour, a bit of kick, and a lot of love mixed in. And I believe people want authenticity.
You've reached the end of the story, thank you, but I still don't have a release date. I can say though- with confidence- that it is coming to your patient ears very soon.
Thank you loyal listeners for waiting, let me leave you with a preview of some lyrics from 'Flinted', which will be on the Record.
'There's so much to be learned from the days gone by, I will look down on the river unwinding, You carried me this far You wont let me go, not in the heat of December or the cold July snow. So I wanna know, what the seasons know, there's a time to reap and a time to sew. A time to hold on, and a time to let go, teach me to trust when I don't see.'
Lake Sumner Forest Park, New Zealand. 35mm Film