So since my last studio diary I’ve had many days meeting up with Chris Hollis.
We’ve taken on the mammoth task of trying to sift through material for the 4th record. At my last count the number of potential songs sits at over 50. I seemed to find plenty of time to write whilst on the road and off. This is the polar opposite to my experience going into the 3rd album where I simply had 12 songs in mind and that was what ended up on the record.
Many say the 4th record is the one where things tend to go wrong for many bands and artists. I remember once sitting with a good mate during a long night of jovial conversation. We put the theory to the test and found many bands maybe did seem to falter. But in the end it’s all subjective mumbo jumbo and why I’d feel the need to put pressure on myself with superstition I don’t know.
The material is a real mixed bag. Some songs come directly from the road. Often out of live improv and loops. Some have been in the set for over 6 years. Never feeling right or ready to make the cut for previous releases. Some songs are fresh and loose. No specific route to send them; This can be a good and bad thing. Some songs are sparse and delicate whilst others have ambitions of grander and multilayered arrangement. Some feel very throwaway whilst others have such specific and personal intend that it feels like my deepest priority not to fuck them up.
Being back off the road has given me many opportunities to play with other instruments and even other guitars. Like one left to me by my Father. This is also the first guitar I ever picked up and the guitar I’m holding for my first album cover.
The subject matter as a writer has felt strangely urgent yet as a person I feel a little less starry eyed and naive. A little more wisdom coupled with the sense of awareness that time is more limited than ever juxtaposes itself personally (as pretentious as that sounds to say it).
I’m aware that I may sound like a broken record if I keep singing about the same things. But the truth is my life hasn’t changed too much over the last couple of years. I was on the road most of the time and most of the time for the 4 years prior to that. New places have of course brought together many new experiences but in a way it all becomes one big mess of random. So the songs themselves I guess are reflecting that.
I hope the material will be a little more stark and honest and a little less cryptic than it has been previously.
In the end having the time to come off the road to make this record has worked ok thus far.
Although how I’ll feel when it’s done and what the end result will be is still a mess I’m hoping will unravel over the next month or so.