How many songs about murder is too many? This time last year I released Spirit Box, an EP of songs about murder, ghosts, evil clowns, evil butchers and murder. So much murder. For the rest of the month I shall be banging on about this EP, which I think is one of the best things I’ve done.
Just put that new song up on the subscribers only bit of bandcamp. Possibly a finished version. Or I might do another mix at some point. But I think it’s finished. Maybe.
Do not take this as a hint of what might happen next. I think, rather than a clue as to what a next album might sound like, this might be more like getting something out of my system to make way for the new.
This is the new song about the end of the world I was talking about. Did I wait for inspiration? No, I went out to find inspiration. With a club.
(That’s a quote from someone. Jack London?)
Anyway, it is for subscribers only: https://tomslatter.bandcamp.com/immoral-supporters
With the release of my last album I’ve arrived at an unusual place in my songwriting. I’ve recorded all my songs.
All right, not all of them, there are plenty of demos hanging around.
I’ve recorded all the songs I’ve written that I think are good enough to record, and I have no idea what I’m doing next. It’s an interesting place to be. Its also a bit scary.
Jan 2020 will be ten years since my first solo album. At pretty much every point since my #songwriting has outpaced my ability to get things recorded.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t written new songs as part of each album or EP production ‘cycle’ (can I call it a production cycle when it’s just me cobbling things together in my bedroom studio?). Plenty of songs were brand new at the point they were released.
Others were fully formed songs that had been sitting around for years before they finally a home in a larger project.
Others made use of ideas that were older. There are riffs and melodies I’ve put into releases that had been floating around, half-formed for decades.
But with Demon, my last CD, I’ve got to the end. There are no more obviously usable ideas in my notebooks or audio files. After every release for the last decade I’ve known exactly what comes next. Now, I don’t.
This is a little scary.
It is also exciting. Time for something new, I suppose.
There are over a hundred tracks in the subscribers only ‘Immoral Supporters’ section of my bandcamp profile, so I thought I’d share one or two with the world on a temporary basis so you can get a taste.
This is Angel, the first track from the subscribers only companion EP to my album Demon.
It is literally about cutting wings off Angels and using them to fly. There is no subtext.
This track will be public for only ten days. It will self destruct on the 15th of October. Get it while you can!
Lately, I’ve been having a go at online acoustic gigs. They’ve been fun, but I’ve been taking requests, and that does mean people have been asking if I can play songs that are nigh on impossible with just me and an acoustic guitar. Recent highlights have included an attempt at Three Rows of Teeth (which kinda worked) and Mother’s Been Talking To Ghosts Again (which sort of did and sort of didn’t).
As well as six full length albums (seven if you include the instrumental Murder and Parliament album) and two EPs, there are several singles available on my bandcamp page.
Well not for much longer! Time is running out!
I’ll be moving those songs behind the subscribers-only paywall on Monday 16th September. They’re not up anywhere else. So if you want a copy, you’ll have to go download them now. They’re all up for free download if you want them.
Here they are:
If We Cut All Your Wires
This song is from a subscribers only EP called ‘Still Happy’. It’s a companion piece to my album Happy People.
The Gloves Are Off
In late 2018 I ran a demo song tournament. 8 of my rough demos ‘competing’ against each other in a public vote. Although it was a close run thing, this song came out on top. Even though it is about as far away from my normal songwriting as you can get whilst still being in the broad ‘rock category.
Rubble and Dust / Run
This double A side digital single thingie contains two songs connected by theme and the fact that they’re the nearest I get to straight-ahead rock songs.
“Rubble and Dust” probably has the most prominent heavy metal influence of any of my songs so far, thought it isn’t full on metal. It’s a big singalong song about mad world-leaders bringing us all to ruin. Yes, I’ve accidentally made a political comment again. I didn’t mean to, honest!
“Run” is about love at the end of the world. It’s a rocky pop song hiding 7/8 verses and at lest one funny chord to keep the nerdy muso side of me happy.
Both of these are my first attempt at mixing something rocky in my new project studio. Not perfect of course, but I’m happy with how both tracks sound.
Monday 16th of September these will be subscribers only. Get ’em while they’re hot!
“I’ve been accused of being a prog rock artist. I like that, but I’m not sure how useful it is because if you listen to my stuff expecting it to sound like 1970’s progressive rock, I think you’ll be disappointed. The main influences for me are David Bowie, Radiohead, Mansun, lots of heavy metal bands, various bits of folk, Meat Loaf, the musical Sweeney Todd and my sort-of-classical composition training. I know that might sound an odd mix…”
This song has my darkest set of lyrics. Drop Dead is a serial killer, so called because he is spectacularly ugly. He drugs his victims and parades them about in public. People assume he’s actually very romantically successful despite his looks.
They don’t realise the hideous things he does. There is no light, just darkness.
Still, it’s a good song, eh? Great lead guitar stuff courtesy of Gareth Cole and great drumming from Michael Cairns
Here’s one where I got four stars. Four actual stars for my star collection. Let’s not discuss how many stars it was out of, that’s literally not relevant. Could be out of four. Could be out of a hundred. Doesn’t matter. Four stars!
My best yet. Best yet! Thanks Progressive Aspect. … Is it praise? Hard to tell. Better than things I did before. Does that mean it’s good? Comparatively, yes. But what if the stuff we’re comparing it too is awful? Better than total crap is still kinda crap. Am I over thinking this?
‘Kind of bizarre in many ways’. That’s a keeper. Very me. I like that. But then… ‘The song in question has a large section of just noises’. What? Music is noises. That’s the basic characteristic that everyone agrees all music has. Is this trying to imply the rest of the album isn’t noises? Or that this bit isn’t music? I dunno. Reviewers, eh? It’s almost as if deliberately slapping three minutes of musique concrete into the middle of the second track might be a slightly provocative thing to do, likely to turn off tthe occasional listener.
A rewarding listen. Excellent. Thanks, Prog mag. … Wait, not exactly life-affirming? What? This is a joyful album! An upbeat, fun album. Ys, okay, it has a song about a serial killer that might be the most relentlessly bleak song I’ve ever written. But it has a catchy chorus! And yes, okay, fair enough, one song is about how I think all humans are rubbish and a waste of space. But it also has a good chorus! And yes, another is about how I suspect a lot of the people I meet just aren’t real. But.. look… okay… maybe it isn’t all that joyous and uplifting. Oh what have I done?! I’m so sorry!! (Not sorry)