In this week's blog post I'll be responding to the Q&A question requests I posted on my Instagram last Tuesday. There ain't many!
There isn't much more to say other than that new Orange Orange music is swiftly on its way and you'll be seeing it pretty soon. Be excited!
Other than that, here we go!
how do you start writing a song/album?
Generally, I do prefer beginning by writing arrangements and compositions for pieces first. After I have the structure and sounds in the places I want them to be, I would add the vocals and any other lyrics afterwards, reflecting off the arrangements I'd written. I usually boot up my DAW and start writing compositions that way, sometimes starting with chords, a melody, a beat, a random sample, ANYTHING. I really enjoy making cool arrangements and I do prefer exploring where these compositions take me. This isn't saying that I am opposed to creating a story or feeling through lyrics and letting that inform my composition. I just love creating compositions.
Sometimes, I do start with something I've written on guitar and translate that over to the DAW, which I did with Oh How You Bend, and some new songs. However, I'd much rather write songs on guitar for my other bands, which aren't production-focused but band-oriented. It's just more natural that way.
In rare cases, I like to start with an overarching idea, or concept, that I want to explore, and then later match that to a composition I've previously created, molding each of them
afterwards appropriately. For example, in Hive Mind I wanted to write about this collective hysteria on this newer platform of mass media, and especially the way it made me feel. I used that math-rock styled electronic damce composition and gradually turning it into a song strongly influenced by rock, which I felt suited the tone of Hive Mind more appropriately.
I have a new song I've been working on since 2019, where I wanted to talk about how I like the moments in life that are quite quiet. I couldn't find a composition to match until we went into lockdown in early 2020 and I moulded this very upbeat, syncopated arrangement into this calmer, restrained song with a different sound palette and different dynamics. It was quite a successful transformation and I do think it is one of my stronger songs that is yet to be released.
However, for much of the time I don't latch these overarching ideas to a piece of music, but sometimes they do influence the kinds of compositions I make, eventually.
Does that make sense?
In terms of making an album, I don't really have a set process to start writing an album. Usually I just have a bunch of songs that I've created and I want to put them out as a collection. What I do typically do with this collection of songs is search for a through-line between all of them. For the previous album, it was Shame. Once I have that through-line in place I use that to inform some pieces and I try editing pieces to further link them more closely. Everything informs everything that way.
What are the best Star Cards for my Vader tank build
I'll have to check when I get home. Probably something to buff Vader, something for long range (like the cannon on a tank) and something to deflect more easily.
With that in mind:
- FURIOUS RESILIENCE
- THERE IS NO ESCAPE
- DEFLECTION STAMINA
What is your favourite frog?
Now, THIS is a good question. I do enjoy a vast majority of frogs, so I'll have to list a few and figure out my favourite from there.
- The Frog from Frogger?
- I was watching a nature documentary on YouTube or Netflix once and I found that there is a frog that carries its partner's eggs in its mouth for 5 months before vomiting them up when it safe to do so. That's pretty cool. I can't seem to remember or find the species of frog that it was. I think it lives in South America?
- Michigan J. Frog. He's the Looney Tunes frog that can sing and dance with a cane and top hat. But only at special times! He totally pranked that guy in "One Froggy Evening".
- Kermit the Frog. Kermit is great. I actually do not watch the Muppets nor do I actually know a lot about Kermit but his voice is so malleable and frankly hilarious.
- That frog from One Piece that does the sumo wrestling is pretty neat too. Its name is Yokozuna. It has a topknot.
- Crazy Frog. I loved their work with their rendition of "We are the Champions by Queen.
- Slippy Toad, though he is a toad.
- Nicky Flippers, from Hoodwinked. I actually think he isn't that cool.
- Pepe and Dat Boi, too, I guess
- Rugor Nass from the Phantom Menace too, is he a frog?
I think Michigan J. Frog is a clear winner.
Are chickens birds?
I believe chickens are birds. They have a lot of similarities to birds, at least. I mean, why wouldn't they be? They have talons, they have beaks. They have everything birds do! They lay eggs!
Next Question >:(
Does the cat go meow?
The cat does go meow, thanks.
If you could choose one piece of furniture to use for the rest of your life what would it be
Probably a fold-out sofa. You can sleep on it, and you can sit on it to watch things. Also, guests can casually use it when they visit and it's not weird, not like a bed.
Actually, now that I think about it, a table would be pretty useful too. If it's big enough you could sleep on it, and you could sit on it to watch things as well. You can't use a fold-out sofa as a table however. That's wild. I change my answer to a large, long table thanks.
Thanks for reading! Thanks for many question about animals, and thank you to the one question relevant to music, was nice to think about!
I'll be taking a break next week because I need a break.
I'll see you in two weeks!
Today I'm gonna start something a bit out of nowhere and unexpected. I'm gonna start reviewing train stations.
I really like trains. Call it the "Thomas the Tank Engine Effect" but I think that trains are pretty neat. Apparently, when I was a toddler my dad went well out of his way to drive across railway crossing in the event that a train would be crossing, because I would start cackling with joy like a maniac.
I have been taking trains since I can remember. I've always like trains.
Some notable train rides have been
- Coming home from Wangaratta with my family. It was dark outside but I remember having a good time. I had to take a toilet break at Seymour and I thought you had to leave the train to use the toilet and I was scared that the train would leave without me. I don't really remember if I ever made it to the toilet but I didn't miss the train.
- Riding the whole Frankston line for the first time. I was going somewhere on the Mornington Peninsuila but I could only get picked up in Mornington. Anyway, I rode the gauntlet that was "Stopping all stations to Frankston", including those between South Yarra and Caufield, all 27 of them. It was a lot. For some reason, I remember riding home far more clearly, probably because I was dreading the trip the entire time because I knew how frustrating it was.
Anyway, I'm gonna review some random train stations I've recently been to.
The recently updated Coburg station? It's so nice.
From the train, you might just see Coburg station as two platforms up in the sky, but it's so much more. I was at the station last Thursday when it was 15 degrees and bucketing rain, and I was so happy to see a waiting room that was heated and had seats for me to warm up in. They also had bathroom access from this waiting room, which I couldn't access when I visited. I imagine they were equally nice though.
Each platform has two lifts to provide Wheelchair and other stair-resistant patrons access to the station, and I gotta say, two lifts per platform is very generous of them. The stairs are equally spacious. There's a perpendicular bunch of steps before splitting parallel in both directions to create space for peak time travelers, which is neat.
My favourite part, though, is the water basins available on the platforms. There's a small basin, about 15 - 20 cm diameter available on both platforms with a drinking fountain. This is so nice. Any means of water hydration is welcome, and it's super welcome when the water is this refreshing. My favourite part is that the basin is only a metre off the ground, meaning that young kids also have access to the basin. I love this.
I know the back entrance is still currently under construction, but if they finish it up and make it similar to the elevated stations after Caufield on the Dandenong line, I think we'll be in for a treat.
To my surprise, Cheltenham station is incredibly similar to Coburg station. This does make sense as both stations were massively overhauled by the Level Crossing Removal Project but it is a bit strange and a little sobering to see a "standardised" station across all of Melbourne. But hey, at least the standard treats the passenger pretty well.
The rail line for Cheltenham is underground, and it harbours 3 platforms, two for direct travel and one for limited express. Like Coburg, there are four lifts, two for platforms 1 and 2 and two for platform 3. Logically I thought this made little sense as the distribution for the direct travel was less than the limited express but then I realised that during peak hour everyone would be scrambling for that limited express to get to the City. I still think it is cool that they have four lifts and not just two.
I did not take the stairs but from what I saw it was a bit of a walkabout to get to the end of them, with the top of the stairs at the very back of the station. It might split into two stairs when heading to the platform just like in Coburg, but I was in a rush and I couldn't see. Someone tell me if it does. Sorry.
I will say that the elevators are incredibly sound-proof. When I was in there the blaring train horn was a good 20db lower. That was nice if not interesting.
Once you travel above ground things are very similar to Coburg. They have a waiting room as well, and while I didn't have time to sit in and feel its vibe it did look cosy, and a little larger than Coburg's, probably with toilet access there too. They did have designated Myki gates, which I thought was strange for a station so far away from the CBD, but I guess Cheltenham is a limited express stop.
Outside the station you have some beautiful sites. You've got some outdoor seating next to bike racks to lock up your bike. Any bike racks at a station are welcome so I do wholeheartedly appreciate it. It does look like security is well monitored for these bike racks but if you're still cautious about losing your bike they do have devoted secure bike parking close nearby.
Like Coburg they're still finishing the works above ground but it's cool to imaging the outdoor space that will be available once it is finished.
So all in all, a pretty good station. Very accessible and caters for its large volumes of commuters quite well. If you were still worried about the vibes not being quite right, do not worry because the cemetery is still nearby.
South Kensington is probably one of the worst stations I've ever been a part of. There's incredibly limited access to the platforms. On the Platform 1 side you have to exit right next to the BLARING train horn. There's a tonne of ways that this station ticks me off.
You feel incredibly unsafe. The platform is so thin you could feel the wind blow you straight onto the tracks. The express Werribee trains passing through don't help either. Neither do the V-Lines or Sunbury trains expressing through at swift speeds. That's right, this station is so trash even the SUNBURY line gives you a miss. How embarassing.
Westside Melbournians are so used to "Stopping all stations except South Kensington." I honestly don't know if this station has a future with the construction of the Metro Tunnel,
as the tunnel has further limited access to the station.
I know this station has been around for 130 years, but no one likes this station. While housing has popped up near this station pretty recently, this station still acts as if it was for labourers and worker, similar to General Motors and Paisley stations. Both General Motors and Paisley are now closed, even if Paisley has suburban areas around it now.
If South Kensington is still open, why hasn't it been upgraded? It SORELY needs it.
This image I stole from Wikipedia is from 2005 and the station actually looks pretty nice here. There's a little brick building on Platform 2 and the trees do make the view more bearable. Alas, they are no longer there.
As other stations around Melbourne have been upgraded, South Kensington has not. Will it stand the test of time? Will it stay mediocre? Until then, I will never mind skipping it.
These are some train stations. If you want me to review any particular station in the future please let me know.
Until next week!
Hello! Today we continue my list of favourite Foals songs.
Again, I’m not sure if these are my favourites, or what I feel are their best pieces of work, or if these songs just have current merit to me, I just really want to talk about Foals to someone.
Okay here we go!
#5: Spanish Sahara
Some may be surprised that this is only number 5. I originally had this song higher because it felt right to hold this song in high regard because it is so emotive and impactful compared to their other songs, plus the cultural impact of this song in other media. Releasing a song like Spanish Sahara as your first single after your high-octane debut indie-math-dance-rock album was gutsy as hell, and it paid off for Foals.
There is no doubt that Spanish Sahara is one of their best songs. There isn’t really another song that really nails a four-minute build as well as this song. Youth by Daughter? Nah, Spanish Sahara.
Everything sounds really perfect on this song. The guitar is superb, the bass is superb, Edwin’s part gets an S-Rank from me, and I have never been more on-board with a solo in my life. The drums are refined, which is a huge departure from the raucous sound of Antidotes, and it works incredibly well here.
A small detail I especially love is the hushed “ahhhs” in the second chorus, mixed in so subtly that I did not notice it for years. Spanish Sahara live is a highlight of a Foals set, deviating from the intense energy to calmly and emotively build. They usually pair this song with Providence, which is nonstop action, and allow audiences to rest but emotively build for a solid 4-minutes before they are permitted to jump.
But damn… after those 4 minutes are up, it gets really emotional. I can’t really explain it in words but it’s just so tight and it works so well. If you still haven’t listened to this song, just do it now, please, and it will all make sense. Spanish Sahara also has the best outro for a Foals song, it makes me feel things. It’s way better than the outros on ENSWBL Pt. 1, hated those.
I feel the only reason that this song is not #2 is from fatigue from listening to it so much, and lack of an emotive throughline with the song. Spanish Sahara is just a really solid song, like the No Reptiles of Foals, and it is probably one of theirs best songs (or THE best song). But damn, I’d feel pretty bad to not include some other songs higher than it if I did put it up higher.
One of my favourite pieces of trivia is that song was #98 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2010. Wouldn’t it be so funny for people at Triple J parties just to kinda be hanging around in silence for like 4 minutes at the beginning of the party? I think that’s really funny, I dunno.
There's a lot of good Spanish Sahara live performances, pretty much all of them are good. I do think the Reading 2010 one is pretty special though. The crowd loves it.
#4: Blue Blood
The opening track on Total Life Forever. I used to hate this song but then I matured. I will admit I got the lengthy intro and similarly lengthy outtro put me off this song when I first heard it when I was younger. I just wanted more immediately catchy music, and this wasn't immediately catchy!! But when I came to realise that these elements help set it apart from the other songs on the album I can to really love this song.
There are so many elements in this song that are just so catchy. When the bassline comes in with the beat it’s just remarkable, and the guitars bounce off each other beautifully here. I should also mention the riff but that’s pretty self-explanatory for why it is great.
Yannis also plays the hardest guitar part to play and sing simultaneously around 3:20. It’s kind of amazing and I think everyone should be amazed that he pulls it off live with remarkable success. I think this is Yannis’s best guitar part he has written, and Jimmy’s part is very thoughtful too, especially around 3:20.
I do think the best part of the song is the structure and how it is not really anything conventional for an indie-pop single and just bookended by two sparcer sections.
Another point that I really appreciate is that it’s unexpectedly very emotive and heartfelt, especially coming from Antidotes, and it’s definitely one of Yannis’s strongest songs lyrically.
This song has a special place in my heart because it was one of my best busking songs when I was growing up, and I lend that to the great vocal melody, the arrangement and the lyrics. I used to play this and Late Night on every busking set that I did.
I was also lucky enough to hear this song live when I sat outside Festival Hall (RIP) when I was 16 back in 2016. It was epic.
This live video at Live de Semaine kills it, it's so emotive. Otherwise I also really enjoy it when they played at the Paradiso at around 7:30.
#3: Black Gold
Black Gold is that moment where Total Life Forever feels like it has stopped making its grand intro to reel you in and started injecting interesting longform song straight into you to create a longer lasting feeling, and it does.
This song and the next song probably hit me the hardest. With a runtime of 6 and a half minutes it is one of their longer songs but it does not overstay its welcome at all. With songs that are split into two sections it is very tempting to just skip a section because it's not as interesting as the other section, but I've never found myself skipping anything here. Holistically it all works really well somehow, and I really wanna learn how to do that...
This might just be because I really like them, but I feel that Foals are masters of getting away with lengthening sections of songs, stretching them to be far longer than they ought to be. A fine example of this is the lyricless section between the second chorus and "they buried their gold..." where it's just this low-energy guitar lick. I think it shapes the tone of this song compared to the previous song on the record, and a lot of their poppier tracks.
This might also be a hot take but I feel this is one of their best songs lyrically. Tonally every lyric feels appropriate and it's all sung appropriately and beautifully, especially in the second half of the song where Yannis dips lower than usual for his vocal range.
The arrangement is also beautifully weighted. I specifically love that moment between the two sections where it's just bass, rhythm guitar and drums and once Yannis’s tremolo guitar comes in, Jack starts opening the hihat slowly, and you can tell it's building to something. It's a lyricless section that has such a strong narrative, in my mind. The chorus in the first section is texturally thick whilst feeling thin, as the tremolo there feels dainty as a feather. Jimmy’s guitar part in this song is incredibly nuanced and a highlight for me, and helps allow the structure to work. It's slightly funky but also restrains itself to keep things from being a polyrhythmic mess.
I am so glad that they played this live in Melbourne in July 2019. Up the front, I was definitely the only one that really got around this one and I don’t mind that. Unfortunately they ended the song pretty abruptly and didn't allow it to ring out at the end like they did for that amazing Live de Semaine performance. Jack's drumming efforts are so different! Oh well, we're in a new era of Foals now...
#2: Red Socks Pugie
I'm fairly sure Red Socks Pugie is my favourite song ever. There had been some contenders to overtake that recently from artists but I do think this song has stood the test of time and been consistently great to me overall.
This is the song that got me interested in drumming, and an interest in drumming was probably the reason I got back into production as a teenager. Jack Bevan’s beat is so intelligent and it just makes me swoon hearing every beat he plays. I can’t really put it into words, he went above and beyond for this song. I really do appreciate having two snares for this beat, it makes all the difference. It REALLY irks me that he doesn't do this beat nowadays and elects for a less complicated beat but I guess that's what the live set calls for. :(
My opinion thinks this is their most cathartic song, well beyond Sahara and Inhaler and WWD and Neptune. I personally love the bassline and how simple it is, yet the choice of notes adds this emotive layer that you may not feel until hearing it far too many times like I have. The part where the section changes from F to A minor always has me feeling distress, but as it comes back to that chorus in F it feels like everything is okay and always was. I think it's amazing that they're still playing this song at live shows, but I think it's a sense of pride to their ability to songwrite, because far and away I think this is their best “song” on Antidotes, and I think they think that too.
In the live setting this is another song where Yannis does not sing the lyrics on the recording to a tee, and it works because the lyrics were already so visceral and introspective that saying similar stuff doesn't ruin the message. At first I thought this was stupid but now I'm pretty on board with it.
There's many great live performances of this song but the best would have to be on Jools Holland back in 2007. There's so much raw energy. I would also recommend the one at Glastonbury 2008 because that builds quite well + Jack is quite cute and Glastonbury 2010 because Jimmy accidentally does some mad distortion for the second chorus and it strangely works. OH YEAH, Jimmy's chorus guitar line is godly and so good for filling out more texture. The guitar line overall is very good. Damn, Jimmy is the best member of the band.
The REASON it's not #1 is because while it may be my favourite song, it is not Foals’s best song. It might be tonally consistent, it might be wonderfully simple, it may be deeply emotive, and it may be one of their best live songs, but it does not compare to the atmosphere and intrigue of song #1.
#1: Two Steps Twice
The ultimate Foals song, Two Steps Twice is also allegedly the first song they ever wrote. I'm unsure if this means with their current line-up or with Andrew Mears but whatever. The intro is something that reels you in with its complexity, with the density of polyphony in 6/8 working together with an energy that ebbs and flows. The climax of this section also made me question my life when I first heard it, as it mashes a straighter beat into 6/8. It made me realise that Jack Bevan was far better than he was leading onto.
The following sections don't really need explanation, but are wholly the reason Two Steps Twice still closes 99/100 Foals sets. I've said before how lyric depth isn't important for Foals and this song, like Providence, nails the vibe. It's so great to learn on guitar. It's so great to learn on drums!! Hands down, it is their best live song, with my favourite performances of the song coming before 2013 when distortion sounds got WILD. If you're starting to grow a keen interest of early Foals try and find as many different performances of Two Steps Twice before 2009 as you can, because I feel they're all… different, and yet so wild.
I have a soft spot for:
- the 2008 Live de Semaine performance. It's hands down the best performance of the song. Starts at 15:56.
- Live at La Route du Rock 2008. Jimmy dances pretty awfully and you can really see Jack screaming in the first section. Jack's ride also sounds very good. It's pretty cool.
- Reading Festival 2010. They completely fluff the opening section and then recover AMAZINGLY for the second half. One of my favourite live performances ever. I also think this is the birth of "See ya Fuckin' Later!"
- I've gotta mention Reading Festival 2016. Guy Lawrence from Disclosure joins Jack on the kit and makes the thrash bit actually sound like early Foals. It's wonderful. Everything else is a little cringe though, Yannis doesn't stop shouting about wanting to see "the pits". Start watching from 3:00 for Guy Lawrence.
I don't know how much I can say about this song. It's just really good. It's just really Foals.
What did you think of this list? Do you agree? Do you vehemently disagree? Do you hate me now?
I think I may talk about more Foals at a later date, but for now we'll take a little Foals break.
Until next week!
Hey again! Just before we get into this blog post I just wanna mention that I am supporting Soren at the Gasometer in Melbourne tomorrow night (Wednesday 7th April). I will be playing at 9pm with my band, I hope to see you there!
I'm gonna be letting something pretty personal from me trickle out pretty slowly.
I wrote the album 'Shame' back in 2018 - my first year out of school. I knew that I had some songs that I wanted to release but I didn’t really have the vision to attack them until midway through the year - when I smashed my own glass ceiling and recorded a lot of music in not a lot of time.
I had a lot of confidence from my lack of familiarity to releasing music, and I grew pretty ambitious with the release of my first album. So ambitious, in fact, that I ended up writing a whole ZINE about my album, going into much detail about each song and theme on the album. I had pictures and layouts planned, but in the end releasing it did not become a feasible option.
Because I have this opportunity to make a blog and release words on here as I wish, I have decided that I will be periodically posting titbits about each song, artwork, influence and more, unaltered from when I wrote the zine from September 2018 to January 2019.
Welcome to the Shame zine! This zine intends to be something extra to supplement this album I've been working on. This will feature insider information on all of the tracks, including where they originated, what inspired me to make them the way I did, what the lyrics are, what the lyrics mean, why I asked for the single artwork to be the way it is, et cetera, et cetera. This will try to answer the question and queries you haven't thought to ask yet.
I started wrestling with ideas for this album immediately after I released my first EP as Orange Orange, ‘Study Period’, and only really decided on the overarching theme of the album and its title in the following April. I quietly worked on production of these songs until the end of August, where everything was set and all my ideas were brought together to create a cohesive, meaningful record.
I'll be honest. I love this album so much. I’ve been listening to the demos of the songs from this album for many months now almost obsessively. I am so proud of what I've done. I believe these songs will stay with me for the rest of my life.
But why “Shame”? What does it mean? Well, it’s not a single specific idea that explains why the word “Shame” means so much to me, but rather a culmination of ideas. The overarching factor, however, is the notoriety of the word in the culture I consume. I saw the British band Everything Everything perform live in Melbourne on the 5th of January 2018, and I still remember my absolute elation once the band walked on stage to ‘Night of the Long Knives’. The chorus of this song incessantly repeats the lyric “Shame about your neighbourhood”, and that definitely had me thinking about the word ‘shame’ since it was released in August 2017. What surprised me most about this live performance was that Jonathan Higgs (the lead singer) added an extra lyric to the chorus of that song, to fill a bit of the mostly instrumental chorus. It was the word “shame”. It seemed to be a throwaway ad-lib but this extra lyric got stuck in my head for many months after this gig, and I would repeat it randomly to myself, like how a song would get stuck in someone’s head.
While this lyric “shame” was still embedded in my head, I started my first year of university. One of the main classes of my course was this wild class that focused on cultivating creativity within artists, which contrasted many of the traditional ‘note-taking’ classes that I was taking simultaneously. The lecturer of the subject said something very profound about shame in our first class, and at the time it spoke to me. The gist of what they were saying was that experiencing guilt after doing wrong was normal, but allowing that guilt to manifest into shame and letting it confine you was not okay. This reignited my interest with the word “shame”, this time less with the way it sounded but more with its meaning in my life.
Of course, thinking about the concept of shame so much made me realise that there is a lot of shame in my life, whether it be from past wrongdoings, present wrongdoings or from wrongdoings I’ve yet to commit. You must understand that this album comes from a very personal place of my life, and therefore a lot of emotions towards many people I know as well as myself are present in this album. These people will remain anonymous for their privacy, as well as my own.
However, I am hoping to see if my own strange feelings would connect with other people, if people had endured similar hardships in their lives, and if there was a way to minimise the chance of encountering these hardships so that future generations can explore different, more challenging hardships. Even now there are people I know who are going through similar issues in their lives, so I hope they can subtly be pointed in the right direction from the ideas that I preach in this album. To me, it’s really interesting how humans pass down knowledge in science so that future generations can expound upon this foundation on knowledge and further it, yet a similar thing cannot be done with anything relating to human emotion. I guess that’s just the nature of the mind in the time that I live in.
Ultimately this album is about my own personal journey with my perceived shame, but through my analysis of it I hope many people who harbour similar issues will connect with the songs and help sort out their own shame as well. This album is not merely a collection of songs, but something holistically bigger, at least to me.
I hope you get something out of my record, or in reading through this zine.
Even before I could comprehend what I wanted to make a record about, I had the image that became the album art in my mind. I always believed that the still image of someone so young weeping innate tears as such a powerful idea in my head, and it is very possible that this internal image influenced the core direction of the album. One day a page on Facebook that I followed uploaded a photo of a school photo of a young female and her face was always so striking to me. Maybe I had seen it before in my life, or just knew I would be seeing it regularly for the rest of my life? Who knows, but I ask Alexandra Smith, the lady who drew the album art, to mesh the concept of a young person weeping with such a face, and she delivered. I met Alex (@gingie.art) early on at university and was amazed by her artwork. It still amazes me today.
My Baby Is In Love:
The crux of the opening intro is a sample of an Arbes song called ‘Flutaar’. When making the upbeat section of Gigant more cohesive, I played with this sample and tried pitching parts of it to the chorus before overdubbing it with synth keys. About a month later I listened to the repitched Flutaar sample and I knew that this glitched fluttery noise was the way I wanted the record to start. This was the seventh piece I wrote for the album.
The phrase “My Baby Is In Love” was a profound statement that got stuck in my mind in the same way that other words and phrases that directly relate to my life, such as “shame”, can get stuck in my head. The phrase can be interpreted in a manner of ways. I interpret it as being freed from one of your burdens, but to still be cautious if something is awry, as if your child no longer needs your love because they have a new source, but may unexpectedly lose control of that source any day. In a sense, it is a cautionary feeling of relief.
I enjoy thinking of this album as a sequel to my first EP ‘Study Period’, both through my songs and through narrative, and I imagine that this opening is like an interlude between the two collections of music, bridging the two together. Going even further, this song could allude that all the problems discussed in the Study Period EP are “in love”, do not need to be given love by myself and can be given much less thought.
The way I interpreted the album before I created this track was akin to a comatose experience. This opening track, coming before the ‘coma’, tries to detail descending into this coma, where you hear voices from the outside mesh with old memories and ideas that your mind create, like a dream. This is what inspired me to interject pleas from a young child to wake up, as opposed to pleas from myself or other young adults, to represent that mashing of past and present, and an acknowledgement from a very innate and pure place that you'd want to just “wake up” from whatever problem you're having. But you can't.
The voices present on the track are the voices of my friend Lily and her younger brother Frankie, who was four years old at the time of recording.
Say it really slowly, like you’re in slow motion.
“Please wake up!”
“Wake up! Please… wake up…”
So, what did you think?
I just wanted to make a note that Alexandra Smith now does artwork under @alexsmithart on Instagram. Follow her!
I'll be posting more from this zine in the future, but I do think I should finally complete the list of my top 10 Foals songs next week.
Anyway, until then!