Sometimes you just have days that rock. Nothing more can be said about them really. Yesterday was one of those days. The Kays were at the Wee Red Bar finishing off the record. Well, recording the last 2 tracks that still needed to be put down. Many of you will know this, but recording can be a stressful process. You need to get things right. You need to have everyone playing to their maximum. It can be a long and tiring day and it can ultimately end in frustration. Recording the Kays album has, at times, been a long lonely process. For the most part I’ve recorded it alone, with only Neil or Neil and Graeme for company. This was really through circumstance because our line up was changing dramatically at the time we started to put it all together. It’s not an approach I’d like to take for any future Kays recordings. Yesterday we had everyone recording. It was the first time we’ve all recorded in the same place, at the same time and it was so much fun. It was so nice to be surrounded by the others and to top it all off Halina and her friend from Canada Alex stopped by to watch and hang out. I know they were worried that they were a distraction, but I have to say that their presence was very welcome indeed. They added fun to proceedings which in turn lead to a much more relaxed atmosphere and, I think, ultimately a really great session. To top it off, we managed to get them singing on Thinking of Strangers as well which was sounding really sweet. All in all, yesterday left me feeling very positive again about the record. We’re getting there. Bits and pieces to finish off and then we can start to mix. When we reach that stage I know I will feel a tremendous weight lift from my shoulders. I started this 13 months ago. It’s been 4 years since the Kays released something. It’s about time we changed that. I can’t wait until we do.
In a similar fashion to the Peter Broderick record, this is a 2009 release, but once again I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake and getting my hands on the thing. I have to admit, I’ve been downloading records a bit more, simply cause they are cheaper. But I feel a little dirty. As somebody who really likes to own the product rather than simply the data, I do find it extremely hard to not just buy the cds. However, as money is a little tight at the moment, I decided to buy some things as mp3 albums which works out at about half the cost of a cd or less.
It’s really hard not to get excited about this record. In the first instance it’s a brave piece of music making in my mind. It cannot have been easy or comfortable to write a whole record about the death of a loved one at the hands of cancer. Even harder to take such an emotional and dark subject matter and not make the record a bleak, horrible listen. And I admit that one of my concerns about this record prior to listening to it was the subject matter at hand. Was it possible to not make such a difficult topic anything but difficult to listen to? And the answer is an overwhelming yes. This is a stunningly beautiful record which deals with death, loss and pain in the most subtle and wondrous way. I guess the subject pushes the artist into a very uncomfortable place and perhaps this is what I love about this record. The challenge of creating something so beautiful from something so tragic. And at no point whilst listening to this record do I feel sad. ‘Kettering’ is one of the most sublime songs I’ve listened to in a long, long time. The true beauty of this record is that despite the words and content being dark, the music is never anything but uplifting. It addresses the sadness with real and intense beauty. The dark with light. And it works on every level. I have listened to it on repeat constantly since the weekend. I am blown away with the brilliance of this record. Not only as a piece of music dealing with such an emotive issue, but as a piece of music in its own right. It wasn’t on my top 10 list that I sent to Peenko for his overall bloggers top 10, but I really do think that it deserves a place on a revised top 10 for this blog. Both this and Peter Broderick’s record have made my weekend a wonderful place musically. You can check out The Antlers here. Enjoy.
TSP Grade = A