EP2: An update

A few days ago I woke up to an email informing me that someone had bought a copy of my first EP. Nothing too unusual about that; I mean it doesn’t happen all the time – I made 100 copies over 2 years ago and still had 2 copies left. But to my surprise, this copy was going all the way to Japan.

I’m pretty big in Japan

In total, I’m aware of 3 copies that have gone overseas, so that was pretty exciting! Within a few hours of sharing this news, the last copy was also snapped up. So that’s it. All physical copies of Stay Dry, Stay Warm are now gone. I don’t even have a copy myself in fact. If you have one, I hope you’re enjoying it!

So it’s about damn time this next EP came to be right? It’s happening. Every day I’m finding new ideas and creating new sounds and songs are coming together. My songwriting ain’t waht it used to be I can tell you that. Words don’t come to me. But I’ll keep going.

At this point, I believe I have 2 EPs in the making. I guess it could have been an album, but I feel 2 very distinct ideas exist. The first is cut from a much more raw songwriting process. It’s more acoustic, organic and natural. Some of these songs have existed for a while and are finally being turned into something, some are still just bare-bones ideas that will become something soon. These songs will no doubt go through a wider production process; maybe live drums and other instruments – almost a full band’s worth of instrumentation, yet written acoustically, ready to be performed solo.

The second is much more complex and far from organic. It’s where many ideas that I made before have been stored; ideas that came from experimenting with all sorts of equipment and exploring what I was capable of with just myself and a looper. Many of these ideas have been put on hold while I’ve been without the space to play with my toys. That’s hopefully about to change soon though.

When will they be out? I’ll say the first one might – might – be out by the end of the year if I get a shift on. More likely early next year.

Watch this space I guess?

Oh hello.

Hey. It’s been a while. How have you been? I’m sorry we haven’t spoken recently, I’ve just had a few things going on; you know how it is. I just wanted to let you know that I’m doing OK. Things have been…weird…for the last year or so and I’m still not really sure what’s going on.

It seems I have – either through intention or sheer incompetence – put myself in a hole. I made everything more difficult than it needed to be and I can’t really say for certain that it’s been completely worthwhile. But I’m pushing through.

I’ve been slowly working on some new recordings. Just sketches for now, scratch tracks. Ideas digitally penned onto digital paper while I work out what I even want to do with it.

There’s a lot coming out actually. More than I realised. I’d say at the moment I have enough partially finished tracks for maybe two EPs or even a whole album – or, you know like four actually good tracks.

Either way, something is coming. I’m not sure what, or when, or even how, but it’s coming. I’m gradually emerging from the dark and trying to make sense of the stuff in my head, make sense of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

I guess I just wanted to let you know that I’m not dead. I’m still here in some form or another. I hope this letter finds you well.

Steve

O Fortuna!

So it’s the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, the whole country has been hit with a blanket of snow seemingly from nowhere, but I’m out facing the cold regardless, on my way to see my friends in Awooga supporting Amplifier; a band I’ve loved since my teens. I find Taz and James down by the sea and we walk back to the venue where Amplifier are soundchecking. The night before, the two bands had been in Birmingham and a stellar show had left Sel’s voice a little worse for wear. The guys from Awooga asked, seemingly jokingly, if i’d be up for singing for Amplifier (Taz has put me on gig listings plenty of times in Sheffield so he knows what I do). But then the idea was floated again, this time a bit more seriously…

Next thing I know, I’m in the back room with Amplifier going through their setlist, nervously confirming which songs I know well enough to sing. Matt is digging out a shirt and tie and I realise this is really happening.

Amplifier aren’t just a favourite of mine. They’re one of those bands that appeared in my formative years. They’re a huge inspiration, the soundtrack to my university days and the reason I met many of my friends. And somehow, here I was, on stage with them, singing my favourite songs to an audience who made me feel incredibly welcome.

It was an absolute honour and the most fun I’ve ever had at a gig. Thanks to Taz for getting some footage of it, just so I can be sure it actually happened.

Return to the Sea

I’ve been sleeping. Dormant. Occupied by duties and distractions that have taken priority, much more than they should have.

I’ll try and blame it on circumstance; money, work, my health. Truth is I’m too distracted. I’ve let bad habits develop into a lifestyle, somehow convincing myself that goals would still happen if I just started tomorrow. Maybe in the back of my mind I’d resided to the idea that they actually won’t.

But then everything got reset. A new place, a new life, and a new burst of motivation. Things can happen, but you have to make them happen.

I want to make music. When I packed my life into boxes and moved to a new home, I accepted that doing what I wanted was too difficult. Time to take a break. There will be time in the future. I told myself I wasn’t giving up while I put all of my energy into plan B.

I’d accepted that it would be a long time before I’d perform again. But then I had opportunities thrown at me out of the blue, and I was forced out of retirement. And so with a stripped back set I was back on stage, receiving feedback from total strangers that reminded me why I ever wanted to do this at all. The kind words of strangers can be intoxicating.

It was then that I realised that you can’t sit around waiting for the right circumstances and conditions. You have to find a way to make it work with whatever you have.

I don’t know exactly what it is I’m trying to achieve. But I know what it is that I’m motivated to do.

SoI’ll do it.