I am sat on a floor in Tampa. It is time for a holiday.
The absence of any news from me recently does not depict an empty schedule. Far from it; travelling 4200 miles west of Reading has detached me from an endless schedule of music which my doctor recently called 'ridiculous'. My doctor is female and probably only slightly older than me, but she still issued a set of demands with the stance and nature of a natural born mother.
Yesterday, my parents and I sat in Heathrow, where my mum told me I looked "great", but my dad ventured that I didn't look too great.
It is time for a holiday.
On the plane from Heathrow to Atlanta, in the company of a nice man from the RAF called Tom (on his way to Wichita*, since you asked), I cued up ten of the demos that I think are going to make up the second album, though looking at the length of those ten, I imagine I'll need an eleventh. Somewhere in there, there is an album, and I want to tell you a little more about it. I feel like I make reference to it on social media a lot without telling anyone, anything anything about it. My good friends have asked me about it but all I can tell them is "it will be recorded better", and that much is true.
Another truth is that the guitars and drums (what have become known as "the shit bits") are done. Absolutely, nailed on completed. What's holding this album up now are the bass parts (to be completed by me when I get back home), and the stuff I have little to do with, the remaining pedal steel takes courtesy of Kurt Hamilton, the piano parts of Jay Newton**, and also some banjo, ukulele and then, when everything's on, my vocals.
The main aim for this album was to get everything done in the studio. I have failed at this aim, in part because that is too flippin' expensive, and in part because spending all the time in the studio did not encourage the experimentation with percussion and backing vocals that made the first album so dear to me. So, at least one of the songs will be home-recorded (which turned out just fine with Tell Avril.. from album one), as will the backing vocals, the bass, and more.
I have three more studio days between now and August 12th, and I'm working hand over fist to have this album done by the end of the summer in the increasingly vain hope that it will be out this year. The album is untitled and will be until the very last note has been mixed, and no artwork has been commissioned as yet. There'll be some promotional videos to go with it this time (this I guarantee: there's so much shit on YouTube of me now, neglecting it any further in an official capacity is not an option), and the album is set in a parallel universe where I have a string of ladies hanging off my every word, another parallel universe where I'm obsessed with finding my way to an unspecified home, and this universe, where I am peeved at stuff.
So there. Consider yourself updated. At this juncture I'd normally offer up a demo from the album or some snippet of information about release dates, but I'm not a huge fan of posted-up demos, because if history of music posting has taught me anything, it's that 90% of the time people will prefer the raw demo version to the real thing if the demo is the first thing they hear***.
I'm sure things will worm their way out into the open before long - I can't imagine this is an album I'll want to keep under wraps for much longer. Also, there'll likely be some EPs to be served up along with the album which will give you more of an idea of what the album will hold. I'm especially excited for a split record with Quiet Quiet Band, which if it comes off will be the pick of the bunch, I'm sure.
Anyway, I need to get back to my holiday, right? I've been left alone too long in the apartment and I've taken a pair of scissors to the chinos I accidentally bought so they make me look less like a prick**** and more like a castaway, which is the look I'm rocking at the moment.
A parting word. If you're frustrated by the wait for this album, at least it's not bugging you with every waking hour like it is me. Truth be told, I spend my evenings and weekends writing parts for the album, recording takes, editing takes, processing webstore orders and doing the books for myself or for Broken Tail stuff. I will give a shining sixpence to anyone who can remove this album from my head surgically. Please?
Seems modern medicine has only come so far.
All of you - stay well. And remember, in a few days, there's a new Future of the Left album out. Buy it, listen to it, and we'll all meet up to see them at 2000Trees.
*not the record label
**currently recording his debut album, I'm informed
***this statement is not backed up by any fact and likely never will be, but you all believe me, right?
****guys, if you specifically own some tight chino shorts, there is a 73.4% chance that this is how you look when you wear them