Let's kick off with the 1st song from my brand new EP - 'October 9 15'
‘Someday I’ll come back to this’.
Taking my Time really started its life in the middle of the #ASongInSevenDays project. Every month I was writing a new song, but often the process felt rushed and very high pressure - I regularly felt myself longing for another day! Ideas for songs were coming, but they simply wouldn’t fit the schedule of the project across the year. I felt off-balance having ideas for new unrelated songs when I was attempting to write a Christmas song in the middle of November - it was all interesting, challenging but confusing. I knew when I was finished with the project that I would put together an EP of songs that I really took my time over - no more seven day time limit!
Because of this, I would often have little ideas that I would jot down and tell myself ‘someday I’ll come back to this’. ‘October 9 15’ started its life like this.
I had one line, the line of the refrain - ‘I always knew I could get to you, I just kept it as an ace to play’. I fell in love with it - in a strange way it felt like a whole story in a couple of sentences. I knew that the rest of the song would present itself at some point, but it wasn’t going to come in the middle of #ASongInSevenDays…
When I finally picked up the song I was in a slightly more extravagant location - I was lucky enough to be sat by the pool on holiday in Corfu. With a cold Fanta Lemon in a glass bottle, I was raring to go. I took in the sights and sounds around me and started to build a series of images to work with in the lyrics.
"I always knew I could get to you..."
The thing about ‘October 9 15’ is it’s actually a sequence of ideas sewn together - I like to think of it as a series of ‘moments’ in a narrative. Instead of trying to create a story across the whole song, I focussed on couplets within the lyrics.
Naturally as I observed the things and people around me, the next line to come was ‘Cigarette smoke in the morning sun’ followed closely by ‘A glass of cold beer in your other free hand’ - the other half of both couplets followed as the writing started to flow.
When I got home, I had a few guitar ideas on tapes that I’d recorded over the last year - one of which was the opening to the song. I sat for a few hours and managed to piece together the beginnings of what became ‘October 9 15’ - I do still have the original demo of the song (and you might be able to get your hands on it very soon…)
After that it was a simple case of letting it rest for a while, building the song as I went along. This is also the only song on the EP that features the incredible Alex Byard-Cooke on the drums! The week before he injured himself, we had been in the studio recording some demos - including the early full band demo for this! As a result, I was able to piece together a drum track from what we’d captured on that day - a great way to involve ABC in the record in spite of him not being able to play!
The last thing I did on the song was change the final line - a simple change that to me made all the difference. In a strange way, it felt like closing the loop of the writing process. The first line that came to me is the start of the story - the final line brings it to a close…