This is the fifth of my ongoing series of blog posts on the Making Of my new album as Granfalloon, Calendar - Volume 1. To read the first in the series go here.
Track 5 - PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY
(An apology song)
There are those songs we write that are rooted wholly in fact, and there are those that take some element of life and exaggerate or filter it through another lens, employing it as a fantastastical metaphor in order to better understand or illustrate our lives.
When we use elements of our real lives in this way, we run the risk of people feeling hurt, or misunderstood.
This is not one of those songs. This is the song written as an apology for one of those songs.
Mysterious stuff eh? I won’t dig too much into what it’s about specifically. That’s all you need to know to get something from the song.
One maybe interesting thing to note is that this is another one of the songs which I almost completely rewrote musically from its original 2014 incarnation. I was always pleased with the lyrical conceit - it being one of the story songs that just worms its way into you and writes itself to an extent. There was no agonising over where it should go, it just went. I always feel a little possessed with tracks like this, or like I’m just riding the story until it throws me off. I’ve experienced this for other songs like ‘Bleary’ and ‘Mr Simm’s’ - it’s one of the reasons I write. It’s an intense though not unenjoyable feeling, it leaves you drained but in a cathartic way. That’s one of my main arguments against anyone who ever proffers songwriting as a passive or relaxed artform (“Maybe it is the way YOU do it…”)
I was over the moon to have Molly Becker (see pictures above) come to play violin for this session. Unlike the other more orchestrated strings I wrote for the rest of the album, Molly took a more impulsive approach. Recording layers upon layers of shimmering, woozy violin. I love how much Molly gave me to play with on this track.
Instrumentally we’re venturing into similar sonic territory as ‘Witch of Woodplumpton’. This song also gave Andy Lyth another excuse to put down his drum kit and pick up his banjo. As there were no drums, Daz Woodcock once again, would have to think orchestrally about his bass part - I feel it has a bit of a Serge Gainsbourg vibe which I always welcome.
This is the first track on the album that I worked on with Dom Major. I first met Dom a few years ago on the Manchester music scene and we began working together when I was looking for collaborators for my reworkings of the music from David Lynch films. We worked on a few classics from Lynch’s filmography (Falling from ‘Twin Peaks’, I Put A Spell On You from ‘Wild At Heart’) to put on an evening at The Yard in Manchester. We’ll be putting on the night soon and have made some studio recordings which will be available through my Bandcamp Subscription service.
Dom and I bonded over a shared love of Pavement, Teenage Fanclub, and Wilco, and our Lynch work soon spilled over into these album sessions. Dom has an excellent mind for arrangement and structure, and more importantly he knows when and how to make these suggestions without interrupting the writing process.
He is, as are a lot of my favourite guitarists, extremely savvy at the art of making guitars “not sound like guitars” and he brought that sensibility to the soundscape we were building with ‘Please Write Responsibly’, employing simple dreamy delays and reverbs to add to the otherworldly feel of the track.
I worked with Roomer Animations and Look Woolly Films on a video to accompany this song. I met Luke from LW films when I was playing a show with Wave Pictures offshoot, The Surfing Magazines. He's made some excellent videos for them and The Burning Hell also. Roomer Animations did a wonderful job animating my illustrations. It was a good excuse to crack out my inks again, which I don't do nearly as much as I'd like to. I got to slip some nice sneaky references in too... the tank in the video is based on the tank that the Super Furry Animals bought, painted blue and turned into a mobile techno sound system in the 90's. The telegraph pole is based on the Number 6 telegraph pole from 'Fire, Walk With Me' and 'Twin Peaks: The Return'.
More songs about songwriting…
Listen to more Molly Becker at https://musicmolly4.wixsite.com/mollybeckermusic
Molly is about to record an E.P. - please consider supporting it here...
Listen to more Dom Major…