My new single, Last Dance, is out now! Read on for more details…
This release sort of got away from me.
While I’ve wanted to begin including B-sides and other unreleased tracks on my singles, I accidentally recorded a brand new version of my song Anxiety Trip, and was also able to generate a sort of experimental instrumental from that recording as well.
Because of this, while there are no remixes this time around, the single is seven tracks long. That’s one more than the last ‘maxi single’, If That Isn’t Love. I guess it’s more of an EP then!
Read on to learn more about each song.
Last Dance began its life in 2012 when I was in the middle of writing and recording for Glitter Punch.
As is often the case with me, when I’m forced to work to a schedule with someone else, and in the context of a collaboration, I become more productive with my solo work as well. While I didn’t really have the time for making a fully fledged YouTube guitar girl style video as in times past, I was able to knock up this quick demo and upload it to my personal Facebook.
As you can hear, rather a lot has changed in delivery and arrangement, but the core energy of the song is very much in tact.
In terms of instrumentation, I was able to keep most of the guitar I’d recorded for the demo, so I could preserve some of the raw emotion in the final track. To add to that melancholy feeling, I decided to create a drum arrangement using some lo-fi sounds I’d recorded on my phone while playing with my daughter in an empty church hall.
The game was that I played on the bongos while she crept away, then she would turn around and go “shhh!” until I stopped playing again. If you listen closely, you can hear her shushing made into cymbal crashes, and little notes from her speaking voice on the offbeats.
I’m so pleased to finally have a full version of Shy out in the open!
As I mentioned in my last post, I had already produced a hesitant version of the track specifically for YouTube, but since making that type of video never really sat right with me, it was a relief to complete a ‘real’ version.
The recording had been sitting, incomplete, on my hard drive since 2012, the guitar parts recorded using my old £20 dynamic mic from Maplin, so I knew I had to do as much as I could to improve the sound.
I went through each instrument and did something with each, even if it was just to take out some noise (something I’ve become much more proficient at in the past six years). The result (I hope!) is a much more cohesive and settled track, and with the addition of some dramatic, reverb laden percussion sounds, I’m now fully confident in the arrangement.
I had the idea for this new version of Anxiety Trip while writing the original.
I imagined what it could sound like as a pumped up, high energy, indie rock track with a structure more akin to a typical pop song. The original track goes section by section, one into the next, with nothing repeated. This was to create the feeling of a ‘trip’, a transporting experience existing on a wibbly wobbly timeline.
However, the Panic Mix does just that with the song: injects more stress and energy into the mix, lingering more heavily on the chorus-like section and giving the mind a chance to catch up during the repetition.
I used the same sampling technique as I had for Last Dance for the percussion sounds. Everything was generated using a straightforward recording of whatever junk was to hand while I sat at my desk. You’ll be able to hear my jacket zip, a small jar full of seashells, a novelty bell that says ‘Ring for a kiss’ on it, and an empty hot chocolate tin. Bonus points if you can identify any of these sounds and where they occur!
I created an instrumental of this version, Dazzling Fragments, but I removed much of the guitar also. This was so the bulk of the sounds involved were actually just me messing about with different household objects—and a harmonica, of course.