It's strange listening to this again after five years. Tracks like The Desert Was Better and Winter Sky are exactly as I'd do them now, I don't think I could improve them. Some, like Call Back Fall Back and The Wolf itself strike me as an uncomfortable compromise between what I wanted to do and what I and the people I was working with were able to do at the time. However I don't think I've ever topped Greenan Shore for a match of music and lyrics – that's a track I'm proud of.
Like most people's first albums, this was a 'floodgate' of material I'd been longing to record for years. I've always been a back-catalogue guy, still am. New songs are few and far between. In this case Winter Sky was the only new one, actually written during the making of the album, and the only track on which I played everything, in a couple of fairly furious sessions.
It got a few reviews, in magazines and online, which said things like:
…the fantastically-named Norman Lamont, who bolsters his Jonathan Richman-style debut with some rockier moments, some a capella and even The Ballad of Bob Dylan done in the style of the gruff troubadour himself. (The List)
Norman's eclectic songs have a dark side yet his lyrics are clever ranging from straightforward to mysterious. I am still trying to figure out who or what the 'Polecats' are. (Kweevac.com)
The songs are for the most part poetic, lyrical and delivered with arrangements surprisingly lush and complex for a low-budget album. There are a handful of haunting melodies that stick with you, notably Winter Sky, whilst the title track puts me in mind of Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World. (Noise magazine)
So a thank you to the people who made this music five years ago – especially Dave W, Lynsey, Mary, the G and Gil Murray.
Free to download. Five surreal story-songs. Just let me send you an occasional email!