We've had a busy fortnight getting ready for our second session at Red Lake.
We're back in Portlaoise this Saturday - Monday to record Alamo, A Boat Called Lottery, Written In Austin (Finished In Nashville), Won't Let You Go Again and Junkhouse Girl.
We spent a lot of time working on Won't Let You Go Again in particular. It's a song with a lot of different parts. Our intro and outro are similar. Our verses are all different though and we have a bridge section, a chorus and a riff that follows the chorus. Making the arrangement gel probably took up about 50% of our rehearsal time. It left songs like Boat with not as much time, but we're going to keep the arrangement on that fairly sparse - anything else on it feels like too much.
So between rehearsals, I've been tweaking the lyrics to match the shifting grooves and patterns within the songs. Often this can be as minute as one syllable in one bar. It's the most painstaking part of the writing process but such a necessary one. The new songs are sounding very exciting though, and we'll be pushing the sound of the band further. This won't be a straight-up Americana/Country Rock album like Eagle Fort Rumble or Wilderness Machine. This one is exploring Country music a lot deeper, and a couple of tracks are straight-up, unashamedly Country. We're also delving into Blues Rock for the first time since Coke & Rum, but adding grooves to more songs even when we're going 4 to the floor. Junkhouse Girl has a Dylan meets Velvet Underground sound, while Won't Let You Go Again crosses the Allman Brothers with Crowded House. Written In Austin has shades of Wilco with its switch from country ballad to helter skelter hard rock. Boat is a sweet ballad, treated with gentle production - and a nice revisit of a song I first recorded 8 years ago. Alamo is the jewel in the crown. Think Tom Petty meets The La's. See pic above for our last run through of that song in our rehearsal room (Andy and Johnny out of shot).