Lyrics – Holding out hope

And now it’s November. Autumn is definitely now in full swing; I can see mist in the trees from my window.

Not much happened in October as Paul has been otherwise engaged. We’re back in the studio this week to record song number 10, but first, here are the lyrics for song number 9 which is nearly finished.

The song in question is a Roo’s Radio song called Holding out hope. We haven’t had much time to practice and write, so it was all done in possibly too short a space of time. Having said that, we were probably more focused than we have been previously. So as ever, it’s swings and roundabouts.

The title is actually taken from the final chorus of Flicker. I don’t recall if this was deliberate or not, but when it came to scribbling these down, it became apparent that it’s kind of a successor to Clouded. I guess I have boats and the ocean on the brain? And I apparently also like a mixed metaphor or two? Is this person lost at sea or have they been in a fight? Or both?

Here we go then:

Holding out hope
I’ve been nursing a cracked rib or two
Got to make time to breath when you’re battered and bruised
Turns out I’ve been dreaming only for you
But like all dreams they scattered and fled as I came to

But I’ll be holding out hope
At the wheel of this floundering leaky old boat
‘Cause who knows what the dawn might bring
And I’ve been squandering chances
Every insight I gain at the cost of my advances
But I scan the horizon and sing

I’ve been stealing hours from tomorrow
Sailing these seas always searching, but I don’t know
Maybe it’s not worth the time spent alone
And not worth the effort of fighting the undertow

Catching up

Well gosh it’s been a busy old time. Not all with music unfortunately. Although I’m well aware that we’re overdue a couple of tracks at this point.

Worry ye not. They’re in the pipeline. Someone Else’s Problem is currently being mastered and will drop any day now. I also have an instrumental version of that, that I’m working out what to do with.

And then we were in the studio a few weeks ago to record But That’s Just Me… This will be the first Pedestrian zero single featuring someone else on lead vocals the whole way through. That’s a bit different, but I’m liking it.

I’ll be popping back with some lyrics for that and some studio pictures for both.

Then next week Roo’s Radio are back in the studio. And the funny thing there is we’re not actually sure what we’re doing yet. So I should get on that.

We’ll talk soon.

Long live the king

There’s been talk for a while now about albums being dead. Talk like that is nonsense anyway, so I’m not about to write another post decrying or supporting simplistic rubbish.

What I will say is that this has been a pretty album-happy few weeks for me. I got Beyoncé‘s Lemonade and Radiohead‘s A Moon Shaped Pool as well as pre-ordering Foy Vance‘s Wild Swan (which drops tomorrow – huzzah!) and Switchfoot‘s Where The Light Shines Through.

I’m not going to get into reviewing on here. I don’t think. But I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve heard so far.

That said, for musicians without large followings there does seem to be less incentive to put all of that time and energy into making something as cohesive as an album. Certainly it makes more sense for me to do what I’m doing in releasing singles on a roughly regular schedule (on that note, Somewhere in between is currently with the mastering guy). This keeps me, and hopefully you, more interested and is a hell of a lot less work.

We did the album thing last year, and it took roughly 850 working hours last year to get the thing finished. And that doesn’t include physical production, launch planning, marketing or the launch itself. It was totally worth it, and we have a finished product which I don’t think is on the level of international acclaim, but which we’re really proud of and very happy with.

But it was a lot of work and a lot of waiting. And there was nothing to keep the public momentum going in between. In terms of momentum for us, that took a lot of sheer willpower and planning.

So here we are. And because it’s been a year (ish) since we went into the studio to record The Way Home, I will be posting some more about the process in the coming weeks. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the insight as much as we enjoyed making it.

About a song – Dream again

As it was recently the anniversary of Shakespeare‘s death, it came to my mind to tell you about this little song o’ mine.

Dream again was written in September 2012. The original title was Dream again (Caliban’s song) and it was inspired by and built around Caliban’s speech from Act 3, Scene 2 of The Tempest. I even directly quoted it in the chorus.

I’m not going to claim an in depth knowledge of the play and its symbolism, so in some ways perhaps it was foolish to write a song inspired by it. However, I was rather taken with the speech when it was featured in the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics as well as with discussions about the nature of the character in the play. In particular I liked that despite being described as a monster, there are hints that he is better than that.

I’ve written a few songs that touch on the idea that we all have the potential to be great as well as monstrous. I think acknowledging this is helpful on a personal level and also helpful in being empathetic towards others whose motives we might not initially understand.

So this is kind of an introspective take on that idea. Vaguely from Caliban’s point of view as imagined by me. I’m pretty pleased with the words to this one, actually. In particular I like the ocean/brine twist on the phrase “can’t see the wood for the trees”.

This seemed a fairly obvious choice for a Roo’s Radio song, and I thought Claire’s voice would be a good fit. We moved the key around a bit before it felt right. This was one of our earlier songs – check out this 2013 video of us performing it – which was finished pre-album, so it was a fairly solid option when it came to putting the album together. It fits really well with some of the other songs in terms of meaning (However, Way out) as well as following on directly from Clouded’s theme quite nicely (given that Clouded is about being lost at sea and The Tempest starts with a shipwreck).

My bandmates and Paul took it to a whole ‘nother level, as always. I particularly love Paul and Ally’s rhythm and Cec’s harmony. As well as Claire’s beautifully sung vocal, naturally.

Dream again
Oh! these thoughts of mine,
I’m having difficulty telling
all the ocean from the brine
I thought I saw a better me
I walked a world apart
But then discovered that it couldn’t be

These voices are whispering to me

Looking in your eyes
I find I’m fallen down but then
I wake to realise
There’s nothing in me now
That would sooner leave it all
and exit with a crooked bow

These voices are whispering to me

And when I waked
I cried to dream again
Opened my eyes
Remembering the light

Faith, I know not where
I am heading and I’m not sure
why you’d ever care
If all it ever took
Was one small bite then dare I
take a second look?

These voices are whispering to me
Tempting me; offering the sky

And when I waked
I cried to dream again
Opened my eyes
Remembering the light
Shutting them tight
I tried to dream but then,
Facing the day, I move on
With fading memories of night