On a recent tour of the US, drummer Bree Van Reyk and myself took a detour from our path on the greyhound bus to visit the fairytale town of pop music, Athens, Georgia. We completed three songs in three days in a fibro house by the railway tracks just on the outskirts of town by engineer Chris Bishop. Mr. Bishop couldn’t work out how to fix a hot water system but could sure get some lovely sounds. All the cold showers and microwaved cups of tea strangely added to the overall effect and organic feel of the finished product.
The upbeat circus-pop of ‘And the days were just packed’ recalls adolescent years spent trapped in small towns.
The vaudevillian ballad ‘Eli Wallach’ centres around my obsession with an 87-year-old actor of yesteryear and his most famous role as ‘the Ugly’ in the spaghetti western classic ‘the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. It features the piano playing of local Athenian and former keyboard player of those elephant 6 heroes ‘the Olivia Tremor Control’, Peter Erchick. After a year of stalking the man, I also managed to interview my hero while on the American tour and a transcript of which appears in the liner notes of the CD.
‘Lights’ finishes off the recording with the end of a relationship suffocated with a pillow of 1940’s Hammond organ, bells and drum machine. It may leave you melancholic but hopefully also optimistic that there’s better days ahead.