In 2018 I released 3 singles.
It was part of a self indulgent songwriting exercise to compose, record and release 3 songs differing greatly from each other in terms of style and genre.
It was a bit like writing to order in some ways but I also found it an enjoyable learning experience.
There was a 4th song, the dreaded Christmas single planned but fortunately for planet earth I ran into technical problems during the recording process.
Maybe next year?
Here’s a bit of background info on the songs.
Dads. Ideally they seem like superheroes when we’re growing up. Big and strong and indestructible.
My Dad is one of these superheroes.
As a kid growing up in the late 60s & early 70s, I was aware that he’d been in the army serving in the Middle East. He would regularly tell me of his exploits, and as I got older some of his other adventures that he rightly didn’t tell me about as a kid!
The song Ronnie Boy is named after him and influenced by those action packed superhero tv shows of the 60s and 70s such as Thunderbirds, Stingray, The Saint, UFO and The Protecters, both in terms of their respective theme tunes and their storylines.
The title comes from an old photo of him as a baby. His mum had written “Ronnie Boy” on the back of the picture.
Ronnie Boy was released on 2nd April 2018 - his 80th birthday.
Daylight brings a happy day
I wake up each morning not feeling particularly low but hoping that the day brings no low moments.
Happy in my minds eye
Trying to convince myself that I’m happy and all is well with the world.
See me smiling aimlessly
Smiling inanely really. It’s often false.
Laughing at your minds eye
I’m almost mocking people I come into contact with as they think I’m ok, but I’m sometimes struggling and they can’t see that.
The chorus is saying that despite my issues I’m basically “doing alright” compared to some who suffer with depression.
Apples on my sinking ship
I drink cider. Not copious amounts but too much. The sinking ship is a reference to my basically unfounded fear that it may be my undoing one day.
Apples cleanse my minds eye
A couple of pints of cider and I’m feeling chilled, almost cleansed of stress and worries.
Then I run away from the sun
I hate the sun as a basic weather element - always keeping in the shade but it also refers to me keeping out of the limelight at times.
Feeling safe with my favourite shade of black paint
“I think I’ll have to get the black out” says the Fast Show tv character who is obviously in some kind of recovery process from a nervous breakdown as he paints scenic views but gets reminded of his condition by sometimes the most tenuous of links. He then splatters his canvas with black paint and destroys his painting.
I feel safe in this state. I know it’s coming again at some point, and there’s nothing I can do about it, but I dread it. Once it takes over though I feel calm and there’s a degree of acceptance. I can’t control it‘s coming and going - it appears for no apparent reason and only leaves me when it wants to.
Musically the track is old school circa 1977 punk with the occasional unlikely chord thrown in to enhance the lyrical subject matter.
Pictures Of You is like no other track that I’ve ever released as I move into unknown dance territory - with guitars of course!
I originally wanted to call the track Instagram Pam but doing so opened up a mine field of potential copyright and legal issues so I decided to stick to the songs original title (it’s a grooved up re-work of an old track) but keep the newly written lyrics about the fictional character Instagram Pam.
As the original story and theme is kept in the lyrical content this doesn’t seem like too much of a compromise.
The aforementioned lady is basically a social media stalker who suckers the innocent and naive in for her own pleasure and gain.
Musically the song nods it head to the euro groove genre of the late 80’s & early 90’s with other specific references to Simple Minds and the glut of synth driven bands that emerged during the post punk era.
There’s even a couple of female guest vocalists in there to give it a soulful feel!