Forget the moustache, that was just to draw you in thinking, "What the hell is that??" It was a mistake, I know. I was going for a Beatles Pepper-era look but ended up more Dr Robert Winston. What I really want to talk about is that my latest album Reel To Reel is released on Saturday 30th November and is available for pre-order now from Bandcamp. Recording this has been a labour of love. I've used my Tascam 424 analogue four track for the whole thing and it has been a revelation. I don't think I can go back to digital recording again. The sound the machine captures on tape is far superior to anything I've been able to achieve with Logic. It's not perfect, it's hissy and occasionally there are drop-outs, but it is warmer and just sounds right.
It also suits the tone of the album as a whole which has been written in one of the most difficult years I have faced on a personal level. There are a lot of songs about loss, of one kind or another, but also, because I'm a glass half full kind of person, songs about hope and joy. I think it's probably the best collection of songs I've written and certainly the most honest.
Two of the songs are co-writes. Joel Rocko, who I collaborated with on 'Record Collection', featured on my previous LP, RIDE, sent me some great lyrics entitled 'Nostalgia Show' which I adapted into a song of the same name. My mate Dean Wilson provided the lyrics and melody to the chorus of the song 'Fly Tipper'. These songs are definitely not in the doom and gloom idiom.
'Sophie's Song' is dedicated to the German anti-fascist activist Sophie Scholl, whose heroic story I only recently discovered. Compared to what was going down in Europe in 1943 all this fuss about Brexit can do one.
The lyrics to 'The Bright Field' were adapted from my favourite poem of the same name by R.S. Thomas.
My eleven year old daughter created this video to the song 'Pictures Of You':
To tie-in with the analogue recording process, Reel To Reel will be released on cassette, as well as on CD and digital download. Details of the launch event will be given shortly.