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EP Diary Everything In The World EP Lyrics

Out Now!

My new record ‘Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky’ is out now!

This 3 track EP features the songs ‘Fingernails’, ‘Me And The Devil’ and ‘Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky’ with contributions from guest musicians Lisa de’ Ville, Simon Broomhead, Rachel McClean, Joe Strange, Liz Frencham and Mark Nelson, and cover artwork by Ariel Hache.

The EP is available via iTunes, Amazon UK, Amazon US, Spotify, CD Baby, BandcampSoundcloud and many more*.

Bandcamp customers can get a special ‘25% off’ promo bundle of both my EPs – ‘Let’s Build An Airport‘ and ‘Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky‘.

Check out the lyric video for the title track here.

*Like Google Play7 DigitalMedia Net and Last FM

 

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EP Diary Everything In The World EP Former Pupils

Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky EP: A Partial History

Here’s a short essay I wrote for my new EP (released Nov 1st 2016)

On 22 December 1808 Ludwig Van Beethoven premiered several new works at a concert in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. It was something of a disaster, the pick-up orchestra was so chronically under-rehearsed they had to restart one piece and the whole thing ran massively over time but some pieces were hailed as classics. One, Symphony no. 6 (the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony), had a programmatic nature, the 4th and 5th movements depicting a thunderstorm followed by a “Shepherd’s song of happy and thankful feelings after the storm”.

Sometime around 1918 the young Woody Guthrie experienced the terror of being caught in the path a cyclone with his family in Oklahoma. Writing in 1943 he described the scene

Bales of hay splitting apart blew through the sky like popcorn sacks. The rain burned hot. Everything in the world was fighting against everything in the sky. This was the hard straight pushing that levels the towns before it and lays the path low for the twisting, sucking, whirling tail of the cyclone to rip to shreds

In 1951 Italian artist Leone Tommasi began a series of sculptures inspired by Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. They were shipped to Argentina but remained in storage till 1962. at some point they were badly damaged and it wasn’t until 1975 that the statue representing the 5th movement, a male and female nude in an attitude of thanksgiving to God, were placed in the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina where they remain to this day.

In 1983 I reconciled myself to the fact that I was never going to be as good a drummer as my friend Mark Nelson so I poured all my efforts into the Tatra Classic nylon string guitar (£29:95!) my mother bought me. A year later I formed a band with Mark and began writing an ambitious 3 part rock opera about nuclear war. Appropriately, given the theme, very little survived, but we did perform the instrumental 2nd movement ‘The Storm’ a few times live.

In 1997 George Lucas reedited Star Wars IV: A New Hope to make it look like Greedo shot first. Five years later Steven Spielberg followed suit, doctoring E.T. The Extra-Terrestial by replacing the agent’s guns with walkie-talkies.

In 2011 Ariel Hache visited the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden and photographed Tommasi’s 5th Movement statue.

In 2012 I wrote Fingernails and played it at The First Tuesday Songwriter’s Group. The same year Aimee Mann released her song Little Tornado. I misheard “Oh no, no we don’t, no we don’t know” as “Oh no, Noah don’t, Noah don’t know”.

The following year the misheard line found it’s way into Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky. I tried to build the song on a beguiling 3/4 – 3/4 – 2/4 time signature I heard in Russian Hill by Jellyfish but when I performed it at the First Tuesday group I was too ill to put the effort into making it work properly and the song drifted into whatever time signatures felt natural and stayed that way.

In Oct 2013 Mark Nelson heard my demo of Everything and offered to remix it (i.e. mix it properly). Which I wilfully misunderstood as an offer to mix an EP. And play drums.

On Dec 3rd of that year I was teaching in a primary school. I had already written a song for the First Tuesday meeting that evening, but had a line going through my head and an idea of singing it over diminished chords. I wrote Me And The Devil in the school office during my lunch break. When I took it to the group that night they were very positive but Chris Hull said I should write a bridge. Which was obviously a ridiculous idea.

In Jan 2014 I wrote a bridge.

Later that year I start recording in earnest. Rachel McClean recorded cello in my front room, Lisa de’ Ville and Simon Broomhead sang at the studio and Joe Strange brought his Chromatic Harmonica. Liz Frencham sent bass tracks from Australia then sent more bass with some vocal tracks too. Mark set up half a kit, made notes on a flip chart and trusted me to run the board. Thanks to google translate and half the Argentinian population of Facebook I contacted Ariel Hache who gave me permission to use his photo and Simon J. Curd added the graphics.

Along the way there were the usual problems – computers crashed, guitars broke, breakdancing classes interrupted. Houses were moved, babies were born, traffic collided and countries were toured.

But no storms.

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EP Diary

My New EP Is Out On Nov 1st!

It’s been a long time in the works but my EP is FINALLY uploaded and ready to be released. Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky features 3 songs and heads into darker and bluesier territory than my debut EP Let’s Build An Airport. It features the songs Fingernails, Me And The Devil and the Woody Guthrie-inspired title track.

You’ll be able to buy it through iTunes and Amazon, as well as directly from CD Baby and Bandcamp and stream it on Spotify (amongst others). If you buy it through Bandcamp you can get both EPs and the My Ride single in a ‘25% off’ bundle. You can also pay far more out of the sheer altruistic goodness of your heart.

For a limited time only you can hear the demos of these songs here, here and here. Once the EPs out they’ll be replaced by the ‘official tracks’

And you can get a sneak peak of Me And The Devil as it appeared on Dean Jackson’s BBC Introducing and Steve Oliver’s Sunday Alternative.

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EP Diary Set Lists

Me And The Devil Live

Here’s a sneak preview of a track off my forthcoming EP Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky.

Me And The Devil live at the Spotlight Open Mic at Filthy’s Nottingham.

(Photo and video by Hugh Gunningham)

The set list was

The Architects Of Our Unhappiness
Tonight
Penny Lane (Beatles Cover)
Me And The Devil

I recently did The Raglan Road Open Mic run by former pupil Jake Buckley where I played

Sweet Baby Hand Grenade
The Architects Of Our Unhappiness
Let’s Build An Airport
Me And The Devil

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EP Diary

EP #2 Diary – Part 6

Back in the studio at last! Tracking drums with multitalented (drummer / producer) Mark Nelson. Mark is currently putting the finishing touches to his own project Amazing Planes second album as well as drumming, engineering, producing, mixing and mastering Savage‘s double album Live And Lethal/Seven.

    

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EP Diary

EP #2 Diary – Part 5

As winter starts to draw nearer I feel like hibernating. By about 4:30pm I feel like I’ve been sedated. At the weekend I grabbed my son’s electric and forced myself to do some lead guitar and luckily my ‘neighbour’ was quiet enough to get something down. It took way too long (of course) and I became conscious that I was losing the groove after 3 or 4 takes but it was taking me 20 or 30 to really get happy with my note choices. I spent 2 hours recording 30 seconds only to totally rerecorded it the following night. I’m unimpressed with my soloing but it does the job of lifting the track in a few spots.

I still have a bits of vocals to do, but last night I was involved in a serious accident while travelling back from the sessions Nina Smith and I have been running with Deeper Than Forever. The bus we were on had a head-on collision with a car – killing both it’s occupants instantly. The bus passengers suffered various injuries, Nina lost a couple of teeth and I injured my throat hitting it on the seat in front. So apart from just dealing with the shock/aftermath, I’m probably not going to be able to sing/teach properly for a little while. But maybe I’ll be able to prepare Fingernails for mixing if I feel up to it.

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EP Diary

EP #2 Diary – Part 4

I’m having second thoughts about the running order and as I keep switching between referring to songs by their running order and recording order why don’t I spill the beans on the track listing?

1) Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky
2) Fingernails
3) Me And The Devil

A lot has happened since the last update. EitW has had an initial mix, M&tD is being mixed. Only Fingernails remains a working progress.
Liz Frencham sent me some wonderful bass tracks, Rachel McClean has tracked all the cello, and I’ve done all the lead vox and just need to do a few more BV’s (both mine and guides for the two singers) and maybe a few bars of lead guitar where the energy drops. I’m trying to book some studio time before christmas to track drums but it might have to wait till new year.

So the EP is moving forward, despite things like the battery slowly dying on my mac, then the power supply breaking and snapping the volume control off my guitar by dropping a mug on it.

Among my small circle of friends, recording is also being delayed by touring, moving house, having a baby and of course Christmas!

I’ve written a couple of new songs since starting the EP, one of which I shared at the monthly songwriting group I host. With the pressure of work and recording I was wondering if hosting a group is still a wise use of my time. But I realised that all three songs on the EP were premiered at the First Tuesday Songwriting Group. Two of them would never have been written if not for the pressure of having to come up with something to share and Fingernails would probably have sat in my ‘song starts’ folder for the next 20 years. So the group stays!

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EP Diary

EP #2 Diary – Part 3

The holidays have been over for a week, got all the cello done in two sessions. Last night I received my first rough mix of song 1. Mixed down song 2 and emailed to Australia for my bassist friend to weave her magic. Still working on the vocals for the same track. I’ve realised the massive psychological difference in recording the tracks that I ‘thought’ were demos and were later transformed into ‘proper’ tracks, and recording KNOWING it’s going to be released. Oh The Things You Will Second Guess!

Ariel from Buenos Aires sent me some information on the statues that will appear on the cover of the EP. Apparently they were are intended to depict Beethoven’s 6th symphony 5th movement. Feels weird and kind of ‘right’ that it should be based on a piece of music by one of my heroes which depicts the aftermath of a storm.

The photo is a section of Bound For Glory by Woody Guthrie which he describes being in the path of a cyclone (tornado ‘sings’ better than cyclone).

Woody Guthrie, he saw the tornado
Raping the earth like a plough
The ground and the sky locked in combat
Like neither would ever back down…

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EP Diary

EP #2 Diary – Part 2

It’s the school holidays so I’m attempting to get song 2 completely rerecorded. I’m trying to do what Stephen King calls ‘outrunning my self-doubt’. Second guessing, agonising over every little bit, will kill this project dead in the water. It’s great when you can nail that last 5% of awesomeness, but the problem is that last 5% can take 150% of your time and budget by which time you’ve lost perspective and all enthusiasm for the project. Once you’ve written the song you should just get it down as best you can. I’d love to be an awesome singer (and guitarist for that matter) but the sad reality is that my playing on the first couple of takes is probably as good as I’m capable of at this time in my life. So I have to be humble, do the work and maybe in a few years I’ll be a a bit better guitarist, singer, songwriter, whatever.

The other issue is trying to get recording time at the studio when my upstairs neighbour isn’t teaching breakdancing (last night) or playing hip hop and using power tools (tonight). But it doesn’t matter. I’ve been working for a few hours and my brain and larynx are fried anyway.

Tomorrow night Rachel is coming over to lay down some cello. If the hip hop won’t stop, we might have to take over my living room.

And a very talent someone on the other side of the world has offered to play some bass.

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EP Diary

EP #2 Diary – Part 1

I tracked most of my first EP in the studio. This time I’ve decided to do all the recording myself at home then get Mark to mix it. Not because I can do a better job (I know I can’t). But because I have to work more quickly. Relying on favours means sessions have to be spread over a long time and the project loses focus. Also I have to find a ‘rhythm’ that fits with where I am as a writer. I’m on the bottom rung. Possibly in a small rut at the foot of a ladder. It might be nice to be a dolled up and look far nicer than I really am, but I’ll only end up releasing a few songs once in a blue moon.

For the same reason I’ve decided to do 3 songs to Airport’s 5.

EP 2 started off on a whim. I fired a few Facebook messages to friends asking for help knowing if they agreed to help the EP was a ‘thing’ and I’d have to start work. They did, so now I have

  • A mix engineer/producer/mastering engineer
  • A graphic designer

Of the three songs

  • Track one is finished, bounced down to stems and with Mark the producer
  • Track three is finished but needs bouncing
  • Track two …needs minor rewriting/rerecording…

…except when I went back to the original session IT WASN”T RECORDED TO A CLICK!!!

Every time I demo a new tune I always say to myself “do it to a click and in concert pitch just in case you want to rework it later”. And I always have a little argument with myself, because I never go back and redo those old demos. I guess when I recorded this track I gave into the dark side. AND NOW I HAVE TO RERECORD THE WHOLE THING FROM SCRATCH. There’s a lesson there.

As of today I’ve done scratch guitar, drums, vocals, strings and bass. And most of the ‘real’ guitar and piano.

After much time online I found a cover image taken by the amazingly talented Ariel Hache from Buenos Aires, tracked him down and obtained permission to use it. (check out his work here).

The EP is going to be called

Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky