Making ‘The Year, She Turns’ – November
November 24, 2017. No comments.
There is a line in the film ‘Wild’ where two women sit together looking at the sky and one of them says “There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”
I think that’s what the song ‘November’ is about. It’s why people buy old VW camper vans and drive to the sea so they can wake up to a wonderful view in the morning. It’s why we get together to play music for fun because sometimes something magical happens. It’s generally not on the laptop at home, or in the office at night, it’s in the senses – the smells, the sounds, the temperature, the touch, the taste. There are firework parties I have attended that don’t have piped music, or hotdog stalls. It’s just bangs and cracks and flares and squeals and awww’s and shrieks and smiles. Nothing to distract from the beauty. When you add your special people into the mix, you have memories to share. Experiences that stay with you forever.
The song for November was inspired by a comment Eddi Reader made to me once…. about sparkles falling (although in this month’s podcast I talk about a bonfire party I went to in West Wales because that was the picture I had in my mind as I was writing the song). It struck me that Peter James Millson would be the perfect guest on this recording, and I was right. I recorded it in my home studio and sent it to him, and he got back to me the following day with his parts recorded. No messing!
Peter supported my trio in Totnes back in 2012 and I really enjoyed his songs. In conversation after the gig, he told me that my songs were full of sweet heartache. The phrase stuck in my mind and sneaked it’s way into the song ‘Carnfoth Station’. In one of our songwriting chats since, I have joked that I now have plenty of songwriting material for more hard-core heartache. We thought we should have a competition one day to see who can write the most heartache-y song possible. I reckon I have a few contenders.
Despite the aforementioned subject matter, Pete is one of the most laid back and funny guys I know. He has a refreshingly zen approach to his songwriting career and is a true creative. His last album was produced by Boo Hewerdine (who produced my album Merry-Go-Round) and was recorded entirely on a mobile phone. ‘Mobile’ is one of my favourite albums and a triumph of simplicity. Read the reviews HERE. That’s not to say he didn’t put a great deal of thought into it – because he did – and the end result is some great songs and a very intimate and honest recording.
Pete opened for me at Chapel Arts Centre in Bath recently. I love it when a plan comes together. It was on the 2nd of November and very fitting that he should join me for a world premiere of ‘November’ that night. I am looking forward to playing and singing on his new album soon and I would encourage you to check out his music HERE. If you don’t already know, he is also an acclaimed photographer and took all the photos for my website and new album.
I am very pleased with ‘November’. The penultimate song on the album, it was mixed by the incredible Stephen W Tayler who made my harp simply sparkle.
Have a listen – you might want to buy it – or learn to sing it yourself – or just carry on with your tasks. Who knows. Anyway it’s here for you, either way.