These Skeletons – out now

My new single, These Skeletons, is out now. Here it is on bandcamp:
I’ve written so many songs about murder over the years it seems inevitable that someone might start questioning some of my characters. So this song is about a murderer dealing with unwanted questions – he isn’t telling you anything. And maybe you should stop asking.

lyrics

If you keep digging around
You won’t like what you find
Is this a clue to the man that you are
A key to a door that should stay locked?
We’ve all done things that are better burned and dead
If you keep digging around
You won’t like what you findMemories fade and our consciences clear
If you dredge up still waters you might drown

These skeletons
These skeletons
Ain’t coming out for no-one

These skeletons
These skeletons
Ain’t coming out for no-body
Ain’t coming out for no-body

Everyone’s wearing a mask
Everyone’s got a past
Are you as blameless as you pretend
As pure as driven snow?
Cos we’ve all done things that are better burned and dead
Everyone’s wearing a mask
And you wouldn’t like what you see

Memories fade and our consciences clear
If you dredge up still waters you might drown

These skeletons
These skeletons
Ain’t coming out for no-one

These skeletons
These skeletons
Ain’t coming out for no-body
Ain’t coming out for no-body

Memories fade and our consciences clear
If you dredge up still waters you might drown

These skeletons
These skeletons
Ain’t coming out for no-one

These skeletons
These skeletons
Ain’t coming out for no-body
Ain’t coming out for no-body

credits

released June 30, 2020
Tom Slatter – Rhythm guitar and vocals
Gareth Cole – Lead Guitar
Keith Buckman – Bass guitar
Michael Cairns – Drums

These Skeletons (Live. Sort of)

These Skeletons is my new single, out on 30th June.

Here’s a ‘live’ in the 4 different studios version of it.

I’ve written so many songs about murder over the years it seems inevitable that someone might start questioning some of my characters. So this song is about a murderer dealing with unwanted questions – he isn’t telling you anything. And maybe you should stop asking.

Murder songs – another live bootleg.

The most recent thing I tormented my bandcamp subscribers with was this set of murder songs – a set of acoustic live-for-the-internet songs about murder.

It’s one of several live bootlegs subscribers get their grubby mitts on.

There’s also a set of songs from the Raising Steam festival 2019 – that’s a full band one and lots of fun.

There’s the Fit the Fourth album launch bootleg, which is one of only two times I had a go at a one man version of the entire Seven Bells John song cycle/concept meta-album thing. It shouldn’t have worked, it was almost derailed by a well meaning but drunk heckler, it includes half a version of Demon with the whole chapel singing along out of tune. Oh yeah, and it was recorded in an actual consecrated Chapel (they had to burn it down soon after).

And there’s a set from The Surrey Steampunk Convivial which was one of the most glorious acoustic gigs I ever played – and one of the first times I found myself thinking I had really figured out how to perform.

The poor fool subscribers get all of these, and more. I assume they force themselves to listen to it all on a loop until every moment is etched into their brains like a record player needle cutting through the grey matter.

Erm, I mean I am grateful to my subscribers and I hope they enjoy the music.

More info about the subscribers thing is here.

Racing Gravity – out now

 

My new single, Racing Gravity, has been out for a week now. I think it’s lots of fun. It’s a space pirate love song. Cos that’s a genre, right?

Like lots of my songs, it takes inspiration from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. In that comedy scifi book there’s a fictional band called Disaster Area and all their songs tell the same story: “boy-being meets girl-being beneath silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.” I’ve got loads of songs that are basically love songs set against some sort of scifi or dystopian background. Satellites is about love despite the evil government drones, Run is about love at the end of the world. Whenever I’m not sure what to write, that’s one of my default lyrical settings.

Racing Gravity itself started as part of February Album Writing Month, an annual songwriting challenge. In that you have to write 14 songs in a month. And I only had the weekends so really it was 14 songs in 10 days. In practice that meant I had to write and demo each song in about an hour.

Racing Gravity started with the thought ‘I haven’t done anything in triplet time, so let’s do that’ and then I found myself messing around with the opening guitar pattern. The basic idea I thought was the same as ‘No Surface All Feeling’ a relatively obscure Manic Street Preachers, but as I write this I’m listening to that song for the first time in about a decade and actually my song is less of a rip off than I thought it might be! The Manics song is much slower and not in 3 time.

Racing Gravity is also the first studio recording of the Tom Slatter Band. Gareth on guitar, Michael on drums, Keith on bass. We’ve played a couple of gigs and released some little rough bootleg recordings. Gareth and Michael have also recorded for me on a few other projects. But this is the first of what will hopefully be many recordings together.

Here it is on bandcamp, where you can download for free it if you want to:

Music in strange times

In these weird times maybe you need some free escapist music?

Here’s are three releases I have up on bandcamp that you can get for free:

An Experiment Too Far is the best of my first ten years as a solo musician. Songs about alien outbreaks, ravenous sky-kraken, demons and ghosts, all for free. Much more relaxing than the real world.

Something Happened in Amersham is a live full band ep, recorded in a hurry last summer. I really like the rough, have a go, make some noise, nature of these recordings. Nice and urgent rather than polished and produced.

And finally, Racing Gravity is a collection of the rough demos I put together in February as part of the songwriting challenge February Album Writing Month. There are definitely not finished songs, think of them as sketches.

It’s been ten years since my first solo album!

It’s been ten years since I released my first solo album!

So here’s a free download of ten of my best songs.

Ten years singing about tentacles. Ten year of monsters, demons, wizards, steam-powered robots, and countless ‘orrible murders. Ten years of acoustic arpeggios, twisty guitar solos I can only get right in the studio, mucking about with silly time signatures and writing songs that are definitely too long to be hits.

The first ever review of my first album called it an ‘experiment too far’, so that seems an apt name for this collection of ten of my best songs.

The free download of An Experiment Too Far also includes a PDF of my gig diaries from 2016 to 2019, full of entirely true stories including the final fate of my nemesis Praying Mantis Dave, a 7 foot hells angel insect that I got into a feud with after a gig at a biker rally in Preston.

I also tell the story of the backstage happenings at the first Bad Elephant Music showcase gig, and tell of my altercations with demons from Watford, dowsers from Berwick and buskers in Brighton. I’ve got into a few bust-ups after gigs, almost all of which I survived through the use of supernatural means.

Every word in those gig diaries is true. Many of the sentences are not.

These songs were mostly chosen by the denizens of the Tom Slatter Immoral Support Group online, although I overrode them and added my favourite song from my first album Mechanism, and my favourite song from my second, Beast of The Air. I’ve kept it to ten because it’s a tenth anniversary, but of course I’ve released a couple of hundred tracks over the years, and could easily have got this best of album up to thirteen, maybe even fourteen tracks.

In addition we’ve got tracks here chosen by my fans/tormentors that cover the breadth of work. We’ve got proggy rock songs with overlong titles in ‘Some of the Creatures…’ and ‘Mother’s…’, short form rock songs in Happy People and Satellites, songs about weird stuff in Wizards of this Town and Demon, and plenty more besides.

It’s free to download, which I would recommend if you want to read the entirely sensible gig diaries.

Something Happened In Amersham

Something Happened in Amersham is a little ‘bootleg’ recording of four songs we recorded ‘as live’ in Michael Cairns’s’s Amersham Music Studio.

It’s a first go at recording all of us playing at once in the studio, recorded in a hurry on a sunny Saturday.

We recorded:

Some of the Creatures
Mother’s Been Talking To Ghosts Again
Wizards of this Town
Demon

I’ve put the tracks up on my bandcamp subscription page because those are the people that should suffer first. I’ll share them with the rest of you in a week or so.

You have been warned.

Spirit Box Vlog episode 3

Repeats. Can’t stand ’em.

Here’s episode 3 of last year’s vlog series about Spirit Box.

I’m slightly mean about the movie version of Sweeney Todd in this. Sorry Johnny Dep fans …. are there any of those left? Surely not.

Anyway, this is about the second song on my latest EP. It gets a little bit nerdy. If you like chords and stuff you’ll like this. Possibly.

Here’s a link to the EP.