Every Friday afternoon, sad bastard that I am, I draw a ‘review/regroup’ mindmap looking at where I’m up to with everything – mostly work but covering home and music as well. One point I wrote today was to examine this paralysis I have about getting on with my own recording – why I am I stuck? What can I move to get this ****ing stuff out? Rather than the 12 songs pencilled in for an album or the five for Romantic Fiction 2, I found seven where the end is in sight, and I can list what’s needed on each one. The exception to this organised approach was one called The Spell where I found I wrote only ‘lotsa stuff’. This exercise seems to have shuffled me forward at least a bit, as I sat and recorded a bass part for it (one practice, one take) and some synth strings here and there, most of which will be edited out.
The trouble is, I have a feeling for the kind of music I want to play live, the kind of band I want to be in, and it isn’t any of the ones I’m in. And only a handful of my songs fit it. This feeling has been growing over weeks, and signs have been appearing to confirm it’s the right direction. It’s essentially simple, folk-rocky, good-time music to which people can have a dance and a laugh. A million miles from singer-songwriters and also from 5/4 to 11/8 Crimsonisms and moody ballads. But how? When? Who? I feel like Locke in Lost: ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to dooooo!’
So what’s The Spell? A six-minute moody ballad. By a singer-songwriter. God damn!