Aberystwyth, Hills and Grasslands

2014-05-09 16.10.20

Aberystwyth is integral to the story of Grasslands. The general idea for the story was established while I was drunk in the Castle Hotel. This drunken discussion took place long before I decided to record music for the story instead of actually writing it.

Some of my own experiences of living in Aber also colour some of the songs. There is more than a hint of my experiences working in Safeway/Morrisons in the song Ambient Groceries.

It is always nice to return to Aberystwyth to see old friends (including old band mates from my former band The Small Dog Club).

It was particularly interesting to return so soon after finishing the recording of my second EP. My thoughts of the story were still quite heavy on my mind and I couldn’t help but see why I have spent so much time writing about hills through these songs.

Most people that visit or live in Aberystwyth know that Constitution Hill is one of the more famous hills in the area. It is located on the northern edge of Aberystwyth and includes a Victorian funicular railway. Although it is in easy reach of the town, it is quite difficult to see from most of Aberystwyth. Not like Pen Dinas.

Pen Dinas is found on the southern edge of the town and dominates the landscape. The flattened top of Pen Dinas is indicative of a complex history of hill fort structures that stood over the valleys from the Iron Age onwards (for more info click here).

This was the sight I was met with most mornings. Looking through the window and seeing this hill looking down at me. The Wellington Monument standing prominent in the centre. Although the monument isn’t really described within the story, I can now see that without Pen Dinas there would be very few tracks on Grasslands. It is referenced in one song on Time To Think. It is also referenced in at least three songs on my new EP: My Folks Prefer The Clone.

I had the opportunity while staying in a B&B to relive why I wrote the song ‘The Things I See Outside My Window’.

 

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Coming Soon in 2014: My Folks Prefer The Clone EP

Things don’t always go to plan. When I finished recording EP1 in 2011 I thought I would leap straight into recording EP2, but life and saltmarshes generally got in the way.

My Folks Prefer The Clone (Cover)

Now having learnt to play the drums over the past 12 months, and had some moral support with developing drums from a certain Mr Armitage, I can happily say that all six tracks of EP2: My Folks Prefer the Clone are now recorded.

I now have the rather dull job of mixing the tracks and trying to get them to compete with modern super-loud CD mixes. So please hold on for a little longer.

While preparing for the eventual release of the EP, I have decided to take down all the preview tracks I have uploaded so far. This will allow me to sort out a more consistent mix for all the tracks.

To make up for the delay I have a few surprises…

The first is… tah dah!!! my redesigned blog which will allow me to keep you updated with proceedings and allow me to post random thoughts, inspirations and add some pictures. Please do subscribe.

The next surprise is a limited period preview of the opening track: First True Sight. This track is a chilled out bit of electronic goodness, that foreshadows some of the narrative stages to come in the proceeding songs (he winks to his writing friends).

Here it is (edit – not anymore. The limited time offer is over!)

Last but not least is the exciting news that I am also 6-7 tracks through recording a new album as part of a new electronic band called No Side Effects. Just incase you couldn’t get enough blogging action – No Side Effects also has a new blog. Check it out: nosideeffectsmusic.wordpress.com

– He wipes the sweat from his brow –

So I hope you all enjoy the new track and please, please share the link and help me out getting my music ‘out there’. The digital world is a tough one after all.

Speak soon

Tom