Happy New Year! Or as they say in Philly and South Jersey... Happy new years!
I asked my Star Trek-ian disembodied Google computer voice this morning what the temperature was outside... she said, "1 degree." I asked if I should get out of bed, she told me, "Wrap your body in the warmth of complacency and stay in bed." I agreed and buried my face in the blankets with fevered shakes.
When I finally got out of bed I was inspired to share some music I'd just completed. It's been awhile and I have been involved in eight months worth of projects since my last posted blog. I'll talk about the various things in the coming days/weeks - lots of interesting undertakings – then I'll probably feel socially awkward and you won't hear from me again for many months ;-)
In the burst of creative song writing for my last solo album – Open Skies Exploding – nine made it to the launch pad, the rest got put back into the hanger. Thank you to everyone who bought the music!! Most of the unused ideas will probably diffuse into new songs or never be used... BUT four of these closeted ideas have managed an escape, in which to defiantly blast off into their final, ultimate, erupting purpose!
If you would like to bask in the song's "warm, glowing warming glow" (Homer reference), and purchase them, they are a nice addendum to my OSE album from last January 2017. Damn, it’s been a year already??!! These “new” four are from the same mold and mindset and I’m glad they willfully are now part of the social scenery… and from my own perception, a final nod to the headspace they and the others once occupied and ignited.
Here's a quick infomercial for the tunes
Between the Sea and Sand (She Waits) is a straight-up 70s AM Gold radio song. If you don’t know what that means, totally cool, you’ll still dig it for its timeless sentiment and production, if you do know this phrase, then sit back and enjoy the smooth croon of early 1970s singer songwriter introspection. Jim Hines plays drums on this one as well as Fortresses of Love. Well done Jim!! My friend Adam Beck was with me when this song materialized one night in Lewes Delaware back in 2014 and I made sure I included him in the actual recording. Adam's pedal steel playing is the perfect vibe for what I wanted (as is his wonderful voice). This was the first song written for what would eventually become Open Skies Exploding. Though it didn’t make the proper collection, I wanted to respectfully see it though. Thank you Adam for your talent. More on Adam in a subsequent post (I’ve been working with him on one of his projects).
Luxury Memories features my long time writing partner Chris Buzby on piano as well as the extraordinary Jordan Perlson on drums (more on Jordan later). Again, this was an early song that didn’t find its footing for the original release, but here it is, done. Chris cut the piano at my house the same day he played on a bunch of other tracks (back in 2016) – including the first track on Open Skies Exploding: My House is Loud. Even though these mentioned songs were finalized a year apart, they have a temporal, musical continuity because of Chris's playing. After Chris was done I sent the track to Jordan, who happened to be in-between tours. It's been since my first solo album, Orangish Blue, that Jordan and I recorded together (Though he and I did play two sold out Grey Eye Glances gigs last January). He's brilliant ( as a player, not a thinker ;-) and I'll be doing much more work with him. Both Jordan and Chris really added some wonderful musical flavors to the song. From their early performances I was able to build what you now hear. A heartfelt thank you to both of them for their musical intuition towards what I envisioned.
Fortresses of Love started as an intended collaboration with my friend Dwayne from Grey Eye Glances. This never happened, BUT we did manage to write another song together called, To End Where We Begin – which I’m hoping to finish in the next month (stay tuned). Fortresses of Love is inspired by my work with Dwayne over the years and his amazing sense of melody and lyrical story. In this song I channeled my years of playing with Grey Eye Glances and all that I learned working with my good friend. As mentioned, Jim Hines played drums - the cool thing about Jim's take is that I "piggy-backed" his performance onto another session I had hired him to play on. He had finished the hired session early and I asked if he wanted to play on one of my tunes. I played it for him once, he walked into the cutting room and played the tune a couple times and nailed it.
Lastly, A year and a half ago I was walking down the street in the town I grew up – West Point, Pa. On the side of the road a person had set up a table with stuff to sell. I saw an old Silvertone acoustic guitar and bought it for $25 (My first electric guitar was a Sears Silvertone). Anyhoo, I took the acoustic home and the chords to Mobile Trees immediately came out as the guitar and I got to know each other. It’s a guitar from the 1960s that is still music worthy. I felt an affinity towards it. The existential nature of the lyrics in Mobile Trees seems to manifest more and more in my perceptual world as I too get older. Am I having an existential crisis? Probably. Enough said. Oh, a big thanks to Dwayne Klessel for letting me borrow his Mellotron M4000 for this beautiful metaphoric ditty. The harps at the end are lovely.
I grouped these songs on Bandcamp as their own entity despite them being from the same kin group as Open Skies Exploding. They are an addendum to OSE to be grouped in any way you see fit or unfit. Check them out, crank them up and support a songwriter who’s been making music since he could reach up and play a note on the piano!
More to come about my 2017 work and what’s ahead in 2018 and beyond. We have not spoken in a while and I didn’t want to overwhelm with this single post. I’ll fill you in with some more cool music-related projects I’ve been part of this past year.
I sincerely hope you all have been well. We made it though 2017, whew! It was an interesting year.
Brett William Kull ~ 7 January, 2018