In the continued journey of this song (written July 4th and studio recorded 9th July), Steve (producer) and I spent a few hours last Friday going over the final vocal output from our previous session. These sessions just get better and better and I feel there’s a change afoot vis á vis how I write and what I hear in my head and heart. It all feels like something new, like a new discovery within oneself. Anyways, without getting too philosophical, I’d been hoping to put down guitar for Simply That but we went straight into editing vocals on Second Life and never came out.
Throughout the session we listened only to the main vocals and backing vocals i.e. no guitar. This actually let the song breathe, and I started hearing other sounds in my head. So, in the last half hour of the session I asked Steve to open up a track to record a soft synth pad as a placeholder sound, just enough to get down my thoughts. Well, I didn’t expect what poured out. I kept my head down and would say ‘wait, wait, go back four bars, I have an idea’ or ‘no no, that bit’s wrong, hold on, I’ve got it, play back the tape would you?’ We looked at each other knowing I was onto something.
After a lovely weekend at the beach with friends I’ve spent the last three evenings slowly but surely expanding those first simple orchestral notes into five parts: A pad, violins, a cello and a string ensemble. It’s not only satisfying exploring new musical landscapes you didn’t know you had within you, but it’s therapeutic.
I think reading a lot lately about how the Scots-Irish influenced today’s American Country music, combined with listening to a lot of cinematic soundtracks over early morning coffee each day has definitely had an influence. I’d be very content to feel my Scottish roots were a footprint on this song. Time will tell.
So, my little virtual briefcase is ready with a zip file of the pieces to work on in the studio tomorrow. I could really see Steve and I creating a few versions. In an ideal world, I’d have Harry Whalley listen to the song and that we have some orchestra musicians in Edinburgh do this piece some justice. I can but dream.
Catch the video if you want to remind yourself of the song’s beginnings.