Being a three piece band has it’s advantages. It has been easier to bounce ideas around quickly. It has been far easier to arrange rehearsals. Each of us has the space to express ideas. The bar tab is slightly smaller. Slightly…
A lot of the time, less is more. But sometimes, more is better…
That is why, when writing and recording the album, we decided that we wanted to enlist the help of some very talented guest musicians. There were moments on many of the songs where we could hear a beautiful string melody and there were also points when a soaring or rhythmic guitar part would compliment a song perfectly.
We mentioned in our last blog how lucky we were to work with Seb Pecchia at Riverside Studios. One of the great perks to this is that it seems Seb knows just about everybody in the music business and so, when we were talking about possibly adding some guitars to our tracks, he knew just the man for the job. Enter Nigel Pulsford.
If you weren’t a rock fan in the mid to late 90’s then you may not know of Nigel by name. Nigel was the lead guitarist for the hugely successful British grunge rock band, Bush. Their debut album “Sixteen Stone” sold over 10 million albums in the United States and the follow up “Razorblade Suitcase” was no.1 on the Billboard rock charts. And to top that off, he is a thoroughly nice guy.
Nigel approached our tracks with a fantastically sensitive ear for what was needed and understood exactly what we were looking for. For example the acoustic guitar part on “Hourglass” perfectly offsets the opening bass groove, the textural and rhythmic lead work on “Little Wildling” adds great points of interest and we really can’t wait for you all to hear “Angel”…
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Nigel for all his hard work on the tracks he played on and we really hope we get to work with him again in the future.
Elsewhere on the album we all agreed that certain songs would benefit from the warmth, depth and beauty that only real string instruments can achieve. Sarah composed all the string arrangements you will hear on the album and spent a huge amount of time making sure that each one captured the right mood and energy for the song. Sarah set out to write string parts that would work as stand alone melodies and hooks. An arrangement that, when the vocals are removed from the mix, the strings could be a focal point of the song.
We feel that the strings have added so much to the songs on which they feature. We hope you will enjoy the many different moods, from ethereal and atmospheric, anthemic and exciting to the haunting sound of a solo cello, Sarah has included them all.
We would love to share a short instrumental video with you all showcasing their performance on our track “Icicles”:
The string quartet features:
Paul Barrett – Violin
Richard Couldridge – Violin
Rachael Birkin – Viola
Tim Gilbert – Cello
They were enormous fun to work with as well as being absolutely first class musicians.
We were also very aware that when in a session environment we needed to make the situation as straightforward as possible. Having no experience writing sheet music for strings we enlisted the help of Paul Batson.
Paul is a very talented musician and he scored the arrangements brilliantly, if it weren’t for his expertise the session wouldn’t have ran as smoothly as it did. He is also an award winning wood worker who is renowned for making world class, artisan conducting batons – he is a man of many talents.
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We will be posting more content soon so watch this space!
Big Love,Sarah, Joe & Dave X
Coming in future blog posts: