Alex Knight from FatCat asked for a song for one of his boys Raf. I don’t think Raf’s actually a wrestler but I imagined him needing some entrance music for the ring. I grew up loving WWF so I was well equipped. The drum loop’s from a Black Flag song and the whole thing ended up sounding sinister and psychedelic…maybe.
My pal Sian requested a song for her radio show with no song title, theme or anything. I’d spent a week listening to La Monte Young and figured Sian might be open to me doing something vaguely weird. I have no idea whether she liked it or not but this song took me longer than any other to record…..
This one was based on some lyrics that the requester sent me. Slightly maturing in years, still enthused about life and girls. I felt slightly uncomfortable singing some of the lyrics, so I didn’t but his original sentiment remains in tact… basically he gets bored. He asked for the song to be ‘like The Jam’ which I couldn’t bring myself to do. He seemed happy nonetheless…well he paid me anyway.
Saffron Hunt asked me to write a song for her about a friend who thinks she’s a witch. I won’t go into why or the background, but this is my favourite out of the 21 songs I’ve written for this so far. I tried to make it sound like the Byrds. The drums are from a Broadcast song off Tender Buttons and the whole thing is totally Gene Clark. Maybe a clumsy pastiche… I dunno
I’m buddies with a few people in the band Fanfarlo. When I told them about this idea, they were intrigued. We spoke about it a bunch and they said they wanted me to do a song for them… maybe they’ll cover it and make me millions. Justin from the band asked me to write about their name…I think it’s a made up word but whatever, I ran with that and sampled them to boot… completely uncleared sample, so it’d be a nice bit of synergy if their record label sued me. Stranger things have happened. I went with a doomy Sabbathy riff and hoped for the best, channelling a lame John Lennon on the vocals.
UPDATE: ‘Fanfarlo’ is a character from a Bauderlaire novella. I knew that
I’ve had a couple of requests so far from people asking for songs for children. Anna France Inglis Hall wrote me asking for a song for her new nephew Henry. She sent a photo of the scan from when he wasn’t born and a photo of him actually in the world. I’ve been listening to Belle & Sebastian this morning for the first time in aaaages, so the song came out a little twee but I’m ‘OK’ with that. It’s interesting turning my hand to different things… I suppose the lyrics are slightly nihilistic but Henry… take note.
Music to promote commerce. A tricky subject. One I’d always felt reasonably strongly about. When Ky from a frozen yogurt shop in Brighton contacted me for a song about their shop ‘Lick’ I thought twice about doing it, but realised that if I was going to do this project, I had to follow it through no matter who asked for a song and within reason; what the subject matter was. Thankfully, I’d had their yogurt on a trip to Brighton and it was super delicious…they’re a small company and I was flattered that they thought a song of mine would be cool for their website. AND they paid me alot more than £10…. The song itself is a Jonathan Richman/VU kinda rip and I wrote some lyrics with ‘I’m Waiting For My Man’ in mind… Ky was pleased anyway and complimented me on the guitar solo, which I think I recorded half asleep. http://lickyoghurt.com/