Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Golden Book

It's been over a month now since we recorded our album and we're due to get the final mix in the next few days. In the meantime, we've been busying ourselves trying to sort out tour dates, looking at artwork options, doing a river baptism photoshoot (pictured) and generally plotting here and there about what we want to do with the album. Although fun, it quickly reminds me of what I need to soon get back to and it seems a long time since I actually wrote a song. I wrote a short song called The Golden Book just before we went into the studio, which was a song about revenge and redemption from the perspective of a prisoner of war who is confused by where to direct his anger. The protagonist reverses his role by becoming the torturer to an innocent victim. It's a brutal tale, and my hope was to explore that idea of someone trying to find relief in revenge.
Where that fits into future projects, I'm not yet sure, as I'm now moving onto writing our next album. My idea is to write a very focused canon of songs which all take place in one town in Western New York in the 1820s and 1830s. I've touched on the Burnt Over District a little before in previous songs and that period is certainly the most interesting to me in American history. Whether I write self-contained stories or try and produce a clearer narrative throughout the songs is something I'll discover in the writing process - or more likely, the research process.

I'm also very lucky to have recently befriended some fantastic people in the History department at the University of Sheffield, who we're hoping to collaborate with at some point. I've received some great reading recommendations and I've just started on What Hath God Wrought: The transformation of America 1815-1848  by Daniel Walker Howe. It's a tremendous read and brings to life the huge change going on at that time. The project is a great challenge and I can't wait to get stuck into it. It'll require a greater effort on my part, though I also have to remember we're intending to release an album in the new year!

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