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HeartSongs - 180820

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Benjamin Shaw about his new single ‘Terrible Feelings!’.

“I think ‘Terrible Feelings!’ was the first song I really sat down to write for this album. And the first new song I’d come up with in what felt like a very long time. The title came first definitely (with punctuation and everything - some of my finest work I think) and even became the inspirational album title for a while, Benjamin Shaw sings… Terrible Feelings!, I still think I missed a trick there.

At risk of a lawsuit, I’m pretty sure the melody came to me while I was listening to the only other artist from my home town of Blackpool in the UK, Jack Cooper. I’m not even sure which song because I can’t pick it out now, but the melody was nothing like his (I swear). I quickly turned it off and recorded mine on my phone there and then, and built on it from there - repeating and moving patterns and found sounds on the laptop, which seems to have become my way over the years. Shouts out Jack Cooper, he doesn’t know me, but his album Sandgrown is sweet.

Lyrically, as with most of my songs, it started out as a collection of short insults about my work colleagues that I put into Google Keep whenever they come into my head. My Google Keep is substantial. And then, as always, when I sit down to try and arrange the insults into an actual song and do something creative, my own head starts creeping in and the songs quickly descend into self-obsessed artistic terror, self-pity, and in this case, Dirty Dancing references.

I’m a big fan of this song though. It felt like a turning point after having not written much for a good few years. I’d finally come up with an actual song, even if it was just terrible feelings.”

Listen to ‘Terrible Feelings!’ here

Lyrics:

Terrible Feelings!

Hey apocalypse, it's nice to know you still be trying

To lift me by the hips

And make believe like I be flying away,

you're all terrible people, with terrible clothes, go away

but I don't care, I got no dog in the race

So do me a solid, do me again and again

terrible feelings but I got nothing to say

Aw hey its you, I don't forget a face

Naw I'll do it, it's a piece of cake

ah've nothing to hide, I just wanna go home today

oh it'll blow over, everyone makes mistakes

 

 

 

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HeartSongs - 20180625

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Gizmo Varillas about his new song ‘One People’.

“I wrote this song on a Spanish nylon guitar, which I then replaced with an organ Latin rhythm in the recording process. I also used a Brazilian Cuica to give it a pulsating groove throughout the track and the bass is what gives the song a really punch of energy. The verse melodies have a certain African element in them - a communal call and response. There are inherent Cuban influences and rhythms imbedded in these native African grooves as well. It's an example of how two cultures are not so far apart from one another.

History shows us that, as we migrated around the world, we also took the music with us and thus culture and people's expression of it became a shared experience. It still is today, as we continue to evolve our heritage and blend our influences together to create something new. That's what, in my opinion, really connects us. And I think we should celebrate that.

The lyrics of this song are about bringing people closer together. It saddens me to see how both far left and far right groups around the world are becoming popular and how they incite violence to no avail. The way I see it is that hate can only fuel more hate and there is no solution in violence. It's a never ending cycle. It is the innocent people and families stuck in the middle - who get hurt the most. I think it's important to acknowledge the past so we can learn from our mistakes and not let them happen again. This song is a plea to get together.”

Lyrics:

We go on and on

Get together

If not us who will

Who?

 

We're one people

One people

Get together now

 

We're moving on

Now or never

If not us who will

Who?

 

Who?

We're one people

One people

Get together now

 

Gotta give it

Give it a chance

 

Who?

We're one people

One people

Get together now

 

 

 

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HeartSongs - 20180430

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Oxbloods about their recent single ‘Minefield’.

Listen to 'Minefield' Here

Chris: “‘Minefield’ was originally a track from Matt's previous band. After showing it to me, we reworked the song making it more contemporary, and to an extent “poppy”. We then passed the track over to Charlie who wrote some great vocal parts and the song was essentially done. We finished it very quickly and it hasn't changed much during the recording process”.

Matt L: “It usually either starts with me or Chris writing a section or a skeleton of a song, which we then pass over to the rest of the guys to rip it apart and then work together to get it right”.

Matty A: “The recording process was quite long for the EP. We were all finishing different stages of our degrees so some sessions were weeks apart from one another. A lot of ‘Minefield’ (especially the vocals) is actually the demo tracks added in at the studio. Charlie just did such a good job the first time around we didn't redo them”.

Chris: “To me at least, playing the song online, and also live, breathes this completely different air into the song. We've spent so long keeping all our tracks locked away from the world while we finished them. So now they're out there for everyone, they suddenly feel fresh and alive like we only wrote them last weekend”.

Matt L: “There's literally no other feeling to play the songs live, there's that instant gratification which is completely different to recording the songs. Playing shows is the best part”.

Lyrics:

Do you remember the time?

Our minds were synchronized?

When did you draw the line?

Because you’re shooting in the dark

Don’t work unless you’re paid

Wipe off your masquerade

Leader of the cavalcade

But since when were you in charge?

 

All I wanna know is if all you’re gonna throw us is a lifeline,

An idea of where to go

Will you crawl back out of the grave they’ve dug out deep

Or have you lost hope in the only right you know?

You’re running low on steam when we’ve got so far to grow

‘Cause all I’ve ever known is you won’t condone promise

This is the last time, 

Are you friend or are you foe?

 

Where do you find the time to let your tact decline?

Don’t make us all recline

Because you’re taking this all too far

Just give your thoughts some space

Don’t make the passion fade

Pulling your strings again

How far will your back bend?

Your chance will come again

But for now we’re just killing time

 

All I wanna know is if all you’re gonna throw us is a lifeline,

An idea of where to go

Greed like love of comfort is fear

The smile you cast them, did you fake it?

Cause you reap what you have sewn

You’re running low on steam when we’ve got so far to grow

‘Cause all I’ve ever known is you won’t condone promise

This is the last time, 

Are you friend or are you foe?

 

All I wanna know is

All I’ve ever known is

All I wanna know is

All you’ll ever know is

 

All I wanna know is if all you’re gonna throw us is a lifeline,

An idea of where to go

Beg the question, 

Bend truth to fuel your misdemeanors with the wrong souls,

Just to feel you’re in control

You’re running low on steam when we’ve got so far to grow

‘Cause all I’ve ever known is you won’t condone promise

This is the last time, 

Are you friend or are you foe?

 

 

 

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HeartSongs - 20180326

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Dublin-based singer-songwriter, The Pickled Onions, about his recent single ‘Sing To Me’.

 

“The song is written from the point of view of my two year old Béibhinn. Her imagination is a constant source of inspiration. Some of the lines were inspired from stories we read, and some are straight from the horse’s mouth.

The music for this one came together more or less in an evening but the lyrics took a bit of time to reveal themselves. I recently been trying to set a limit on the amount of time I'll procrastinate on a tune in the interest of getting more songs finished and putting them out there, even if they're not perfect, and I'm really enjoying the process.

More than likely the last couple of tracks, ‘Sing To Me’, ‘Honey’ and ‘Harvest’ will end up on EP number three, or possibly an album, I'll see how it's looking in the Summer. Between now and then, I have finishing touches to put on EP2, The Mines, and send it off for mixing at the Isokon (Kevin Morby, Bob Weir). I found him through listening to Kevin Morby's Singing Saw last year which I loved. Looking forward to working with him when I get my finger out.”

Lyrics:

Lift me up

Higher than the sun

Spin me around

& put a nappy on my bum

 

You need to look

At this stone I just found

Do you think it's worth something?

I found it on the ground

 

Where are you going

And can I come with you?

Don't take my sister

She's done a smelly poo

 

Put on my record

Till I sharpen my sound

We'll watch it spinning

Like a merrily-go-round

 

Build me a robot

With a smile upon his face

I need juice for my rocket

To take me into space

Slide the rings arounds Saturn

Pic-a-nic on the moon

It's the best day I've had

But it's over all too soon

 

And I don't want to go

But I know in my head

That the best place for me

Is tucked up in my bed

Mr. Cat to my left

& the Gingerbread mam

Sings to me softly

We're all holding hands

Sing to me softly

We're all holding hands

.......................................

 

 

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HeartSongs - 20180319

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Michael J. Schumacher from New York experimental noise/pop outfit diNMachine about their new single, ‘Grilled Fish’.

 

"The spoken part is Alain Robbe-Grillet, the French writer and filmmaker. His name is where the title of the song comes from. His voice has a poignancy that I like. It's backed, so to speak, by a field recording of a park in Barcelona that I made on a trip there last year.

To me, this section seems to issue out of the first part of the song, like an echo of the feelings in the droning bass line; this introspective quality that I'm going for. It's a moment of contemplation before the interruption by the drums.

A lot of the songs on this record explore combining very unlike things; sounds, rhythms, melodies, testing the limits of coherence. This fits right in with that, but the sections are a bit clearer, and more separated. The textures are simpler; there are two or, at most, three things going on at any one time. Like many of the other songs, this started as a bass line improvised on my Verbos synthesizer."

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HeartSongs - 20180312

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Ross from Dublin punks Boom Child about their recent single ‘I Want To Shift Your Sister’.

“We were inspired to write the song after hearing the story of a young man trying to get the shift ("Shift" is Irish slang for "kissing with tongues" AKA "French Kissing”) and, upon rejection, accused the girl of being a slut. We thought his confusing and contradictory reaction was a great example of sexually frustrated young lads everywhere. So we wrote a song slagging him off. Also, I believe the young man in the story now works in finance or is a senator. 

The three of us love pop punk, so that was big influence on the sound. Influences on the humour would be people like Frank Zappa, Presidents of the United States of America (the band), The Toy Dolls and people’s Dads. 

The recording was extremely tense. Our drummer Tadhg Lipton produces all of our songs in his recording compound in Dublin, Tuff Lip Productions. He made us record the vocals while submerged neck-deep in water and would threaten to replace us with session musicians on a daily basis. He also thought sleep deprivation would give us a more raw sound but it just made us very tired. He ate jelly tots obsessively the whole way through the recording process and never shared. However, his methods proved effective and we are very happy with how the song turned out.

Some of the ideas we knew would definitely be in the video beforehand; such as the After Eights getting shoved under the door, the ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ reference and our mascot Boomer the dancing cow. When we met up with the German director, Dr. Lippy, the video took on a more improvisational approach. He originally wanted the video to have more controversial material including images of us getting sick into Trocáire boxes and chopping the heads off Furbies. We had to compromise by including a lot of footage of Pope Francis as Dr. Lippy thinks he’s class.”

LYRICS:

You're drinkin’ Diet Coke but you never drank it before

You're shovin’ After Eights underneath the door

 

I'm not sayin’ it's wrong

I'm not sayin’ it's tight (No no no no no no)

But there's a thousand other things I'd rather do to you tonight Because

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

Ooooooooooooooooooh

 

You're almost as sound as you were back in verse number one

And I'm not havin’, I'm not havin’ any fun

 

I'm not sayin’ it's wrong

I'm not sayin’ it's tight (No no no no no no)

But there's a thousand other things I'd rather eat than chicken tonight Because

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

 

She wouldn't shift me so I called her a slut

I'm really sorry

Ooooooooooooooooooh

(That came out wrong, I've a lot of problems at home, I never went to the debs!)

 

It wasn't worth goin’ out tonight, going out tonight, goin’ out tonight

It wasn't worth goin’ out tonight, going out tonight, goin’ out tonight (I think it was)

It wasn't worth goin’ out tonight, going out tonight, goin’ out tonight

It wasn't worth goin’ out tonight, going out tonight, goin’ out tonight Because

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

(It wasn't worth goin’ out tonight, going out tonight, goin’ out tonight)

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

I WANT TO SHIFT YOUR SISTER

(It wasn't worth goin’ out tonight, going out tonight, goin’ out tonight) OooooooooooOHHHOOooooooooohhhhh.... *guttural noises*

 

Upcoming Dublin gigs:

 

April 5th Fibber Magees

April 6th Whelan’s Upstairs

 

April 14th Workman’s Club Upstairs (Acoustic)

 

 

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