Received In Me
I started 'Received In Me' in June 2016 and finished the track just over a year later. I'm really pleased with this one... here you can check out lyric sheets, demos, and read a bit about the story behind the track.
'Received In Me' is another song about grief (unfortunately); but it's more about the cycle of grief, and how you can find some peace from it. This is a song about having a particular thing left unsaid when somebody's died - suddenly there's a truth that can never be expressed; words that can't ever be said. In my case, I found some peace from this scenario through expressing that truth in a song - and that's what 'Received In Me' is. The song moves from the disorientation of grief and regret, through finding a way to express your unsaid things, to nostalgia, and eventually looks towards the future.
John Metcalfe's work has been a big influence on this album. Often, he'll create the most immersive, beautiful textures - and then suddenly drop a groove into it. When I first heard him do this - it was completely unexpected, but it works so well; and has a massive impact on you as a listener. I used this simple technique to move 'Received In Me' from a place of grief and confusion to nostalgia.
I was listening to Colplay's 'A Head Full of Dreams' album quite a lot when I was working on this track. It had a big impact on the general sound, and paticularly on how I created and structured the riffs. It also motivated me to try and write a song with the same chord progression all the way through - because when you do this, your melody has to be really, really good - in order to keep the momentum and interest moving. It's a really great exercise to try out every now and again to improve your melody writing skills. 'Received In Me' is basically just F, Am and G all the way through, with a couple of Eminor7s in the bridge.
Me and Lewis (who plays guitar with me) went out on tour as a duo over the summer, and did an acoustic version of this song. We had a really great time doing it, and you can see it above!
Here are a selection of demos and rehearsal tapes. There's also an instrumental version of the final track!
Often I find I can stimulate ideas by tricking my mind into thinking that songwriting isn't the main thing I'm doing.
Sometimes, when I'm working on stuff, it's when I leave the desk and have to go and do something else that I suddenly get an influx of ideas. It's like we thrive in adversity, and that sometimes when we're not trying so hard we allow things to come through. You can use this when songwriting. Sometimes, an activity as simple as walking is enough to trick my system into thinking that songwriting isn't the principal task that I'm doing. I can go for a walk, and sometime the melodies and ideas will start to flow. You have to be engaged though - ready to stimulate and catch the ideas. Paul Simon simply throws a ball at a wall when writing lyrics.
With 'Received In Me' I came up with the main riff on guitar, and then went out on my bike for an hour. I wrote the four melodies (verse, pre-chorus, chorus, and the bridge) in that hour, cycling around the Cotswolds. I then came home and put those melodies over a chord progression with the riff underneath.
With this song, it was the lyrics, arrangement and production that took the most time.
Single Release - August 2017
I released the song as a single in August, alongside a video that I made with Canadian videographer Hugo Wong, between my house in Leeds and Ilkley Moor. You can check it out at the top of the page.
The single version has been remixed and remastered for 'Throwing & Catching', which you can check out upon it's release on 21st November...
You can pre-order the album here