So, now that we are in February I have a confession to make. This blog is no longer exactly date accurate. BUT, I did make a journal as I was recording the album which loosely follows the timeline of our recording. Since the end of the recording I have returned to Australia and am back into the swing of another rainy Brisbane summer. So if we all just close our eyes and cast our minds back ………….
At the beginning of the writing period for this album I started mucking around with loops for the first time. This song “Limbo Stick” was one of the first that I tried and took me ages to get right. It’s a funk groove with some dirty guitars and a fast throbbing bass line. Matt and Sean made pretty light work of getting the groove going and Zac and Lyle added lots of little atmospheric licks and synth blips. We leave a large hole in the middle for a horn break that we will add later. It’s very upbeat and is different to anything I have recorded before.
When I set out to write this record I was determined to try things that were different. The most obvious way was to use different tools to write my songs (loops, synths etc) which in the main, I did. Nevertheless, when a song is going by you have to make sure you have the antennae up and ready to grab it. I wrote in an earlier blog about the lyrical themes being loosely based around endings or departures. So here we are about to attack the only downbeat song on the record. Poor old Matt Chamberlain has the flu and he has gone home to bed. In the meantime we are going to record “Departures (Blue Toowong Skies)” and overdub the tiny bit of kick drum that will go on this one later. Lyle has a beautiful collection of guitars and we have dug out his Gibson J 50 for this, which is a finger pickery folk ballad that is the only real musical tie to my last record “Tea and Sympathy”. Zac is sitting at the grand piano for the first time and Sean has his Fender P Bass in his hands.
As I said, my Dad died at the beginning of 2011 which coincided with the biggest floods Brisbane has seen. This was something that loomed pretty large for me over the whole writing period of this album and I suppose a song like this was bound to come out. The lyric is talking about the place in Brisbane where I grew up. Toowong, a near city suburb that my Dad also spent his childhood in and ended up being buried in, along with my older brother, who I now happen to be older than. Weird. Anyway it’s a gentle ballad and is beautifully played by everyone in a very understated and sympathetic way. Still, as determined as we are to be different to “Tea and Sympathy” we add a large synth bass and some watery padsounds to the bridge which says…..
“you’re right where you belong beneath Blue Toowong Skies cut so deep in our bones”
Overall I am really pleased with how this has turned out.