Kill That Song on the radio
I was very excited to be the featured artist on The Morning Dew on Ridge Radio. Jason Ross and Andy McCormick played several tracks from Kill That Song over the course of this summer. Guys, thank you so much for your support.
In Graz, Austria, my family’s hometown, I was interviewed by Radio Steiermark in May this year, and the station added Midnight Garden to their playlist. I was blown away when they told me that 250,000 people had heard it!
And I had a great time being interviewed by James Hodder for Soundcheck on Resonance FM. He played four tracks from the album, and you can hear the interview here.
In January 2009 I rented a house overlooking the sea in Cornwall, bought a blue guitar and vanished for a whole month to see if I could write some songs. The first one I wrote was Midnight Garden, a kind of Cathy and Heathcliff ballad, and I was so overjoyed to have written it that I cried!
The songs on the record are mainly about ghosts of the past that need to be exorcised, the shadowy pain which needs to be healed and transformed. So if you’re not into letting yourself feel sadness, regret, melancholy, unrequited love, loss and dark desire- the kind you know will get you nowhere good- then look elsewhere. But if you’re unafraid of your shadow side, your lost innocence, your gloom (!), you might like them. After all, beauty grows in dark places too.
Kill That Song is one of my favourites. Developing the record, I put together a list of music that I loved and that had influenced me. While I was listening to these, there was one song I just didn’t want to- and couldn’t play. When I did play it, it was impossibly painful for me- it ripped bits of me open I’d tried to forget about. But I made myself listen. I listened to it over and over, filling pages of lyrics with tears; and Kill That Song was born.
Songs can be powerful magic. They can take you back to a time and place, every time you hear them. Locking inside them everything you were experiencing the first time you heard that song, they release that in you again, as if it were all new…and just (in this case) as painful. That’s what Kill That Song is about.
I’m grateful to the song that held all those emotions for me (for eighteen years!) and I’m grateful to Kill That Song for allowing me to release them. The song that inspired the song? Nightswimming by REM.
The album was recorded and mixed in the Autumn of 2010 at Eastcote Studios in London. I’m very thankful to all the talented and inspiring musicians who contributed to the record, including: Grant Windsor, Jasmine Nelson, Wendy Parr, Troy Miller, Ali Friend, Femi Temowo, Debbie White, Natalia Bonner, Emma Owens, Bryony James, Graeme Blevins, Mike Kearsey and Quentin Collins. I was also delighted that Philip Bagenal, the owner of Eastcote was able to mix the album (ably assisted by Sam Navel) – that man has some very cool stories to tell!
My mother introduced me to Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Enrico Caruso and I would lie on a rug by the fire for days just listening…sometimes I would cry, sometimes I would laugh and sometimes I would get up and dance.
My father plays the trumpet and the accordion and loves to sing like Louis Armstrong! But he always played Mozart in his café. I remember the warm sunlight, the condensation on the windows, good food and Mozart, lifting everyone’s spirits.
When I was little, I’d carry our heavy 1950’s record player into my room and play the old 78s we had… crackly records carrying songs from far away. There were 45’s too, of the Beatles and my own, first ever 45, It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. (The Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin version).
I used to change the words of the hymns we sang at school and put my own words in. They were usually about boys. Playground boys I was in love with. As a teenager I spent my money on records from the London markets. Always music from a time before mine. Roxy Music, John Lennon, Dusty Springfield, Maria Callas, Sam Cooke…