Final Recording Diary


Hi All
I've finished 'The Water', my new album !! Here's the track-listing; news of release dates / tours etc etc to come on the website.
1. You're A Star
2. Be My Saviour
3. The Water
4. I Can I Will
5. Famous For Being Famous
6. Camelot Revisited
7. I Don't Have You To Ask
8. I Have Been Burned
9. Stalker
10. Future Gods And Past Kings
11. Faith No. 2
12. Pay Attention To The Human
(Featuring Tony Benn)
I 've been wanting to update you with this news but i felt i needed to let the dust settle a bit, it has been quite a full-on time – but I have made my best album. Cant wait for you to hear it! This is the first time i've ever worked with a producer and i think the results are really outstanding. It sounds really fresh to me, but also pays some homage to the music i've released so far.
It feels a bit to me now like i felt before 'Loss' came out, where you're really proud of something you've created, and just need the world to hear it. It has been really important to me all along the way with this album that i made no compromises. And i can honestly say that i haven't. And nor has the producer, Nick Franglen. It was always a great creative join between us. It just sounds so perfect to me.
I finished mixing the album at the middle of July, two days before playing T in the Park. Killer schedule! But all worth it. Then went back to London to master it and then i flew off to America, with headphones on, and my first proper listen was in the air on top of places called Poughkeepsie and St Johns, while the Atlantic must have frothed below and i got back to writing my novel. (It reared its head annoyingly during the 2 months of the album mixing, but then maybe that's not so bad, sometimes creativity arrives like buses and shooting stars).
I wont talk about the songs in detail right now. You just need to hear them. There has been some samples of work in progress uploaded on my webspaces for a bit now – and also the 'Stormbreaker' version of 'Be My Saviour', which was really in demo form and unfinished – so it's great to have all the tracks now sounding as i intended. There will soon be some clips on the site to hear the new material. I dont think i've ever played so many instruments, from zithers to cardboard boxes – but mainly guitars. Big fat ones!!
There will soon be more info on the songs on the website, lyrics etc, and a photo diary, which mostly features a variety of cakes – it became a theme. All the artwork is ready, designed by Jo Burton, whose work appears elsewhere on my website, and again, it's been exciting to work with Jo on that and gain a designer's perspective. I think it looks great.
But i have to thank the people of hi-fi store Bang & Olufsen situated below the Flat Iron Building in New York (NY's first skyscraper). I would never have known it: but after a fair journey with this album and the many songs and the endless pieces of paper and phone melody reminders and through-the-nights sessions and twists and turns (and cakes and red wine and multi-flavored fudge) – the end of the road was this store on Broadway, N.Y. That's where i blagged my way into hearing it properly, beyond the constrictions of my i-pod, (the only other previous listen being in the 3am haze of the mastering room).
It was in the listening room of their store, with $20,000-a-piece speakers !! facing me, that I sat back listening to my album blaring out. Comfy chairs, the lot. And as the rain dried on my forehead (i'm Scottish, it follows me..) i watched customers on the other side of the glass imagining their homes furnished with new and shiny sonic produce, and I, thinking about my home, and the horses that used to neigh me to sleep would never have believed such a day could come. But it did and it has. Unfortunately i didn't make a purchase.. And when i got outside it had stopped raining. And the Empire State Building loomed like an exclamation mark pointing to the sky. And i had a record which i'm just, well, delighted with! And soon, you will have too.
p.s. During my time away from the UK i've written songs for something else too. Different kinds of songs. Stripped bare. Written on a very small acoustic guitar. Or maybe it was the world that was too big. I'll let you know more about that as it develops.