|Live Together, Eat Each Other (April 22, 2016)|
WILD PALMS — Live Together, Eat Each Other (April 22, 2016)
•→ Band ze společenství souvisejících umělců Portishead, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, These New Puritans, The Horrors a British Sea Power. They say you have your whole life to make your first album; years upon years of growth, learning and experience filtered into one perfect record. Your debut is supposed to be the one you labour over, while the follow–up is meant to be served up within spitting distance of the last. Well, not if you’re London based Wild Palms. “We did that in reverse,” explains the band’s sardonic, quick–witted frontman Lou Hill. “The first album was just the songs that we would play live, we wrote it really quickly. But this one took ages…” Five years in fact. London four–piece that wove its way through arty post–punk to Krautrock–influenced indie electronica. Formed: 2009 in Southgate, London, England
Location: London, UK
Album release: April 22, 2016
Record Label: One Little Indian
01. You Could Be Better (Intro) 0:47
02. Ennio 3:58
03. Again No 4:04
04. Rainmaking (Interlude) 0:53
05. A Is ForApple 5:31
06. 100 Cymbals 3:49
07. Flowers (Interlude) 0:56
08. Lance and Candice 4:38
09. Hungry–mouthed Hunting Dogs 4:10
10. Temper Gold 4:16
11. Open Window (Interlude) 0:48
12. Nothing 4:18
13. Feathers (pts 1 & 2) 6:35
• Louis Hill / Gareth Jones 9
• All other: Wild Palms
•→ James Giblin Group Member
•→ Darrell Hawkins Artwork, Group Member
•→ Lou Hill Composer
•→ Louis Hill Composer, Group Member
•→ Liam Howe Mixing, Producer
•→ Gareth Jones Composer, Group Member, Producer
•→ Farhan Mannan Mixing Assistant
•→ Mandy Parnell Mastering
•→ They say you have your whole life to make your first album; years upon years of growth, learning and experience filtered into one perfect record. Your debut is supposed to be the one you labour over, while the follow–up is meant to be served up within spitting distance of the last. Well, not if you’re London based Wild Palms. “We did that in reverse,” reverse,” explains the band’s sardonic, quick–witted frontman Lou Hill. “The first album was just the songs that we would play live, we wrote it really quickly. But this one took ages...” Five years in fact.
•→ Recorded by the band in the same self–built Manor House studio where they made their 2011 debut ‘Until Spring’, the new album ‘Live Together, Eat Each Other’ is a lusciously layered offering of hazy experimentalism and off–kilter alt–pop, that follows in the auspicious lineage of Beach House, Cocteau Twins and TV On The Radio.
•→ Half a decade in the works, ‘Live Together, Eat Each Other’ packs a lifetime’s worth of experience into 13 tracks, alongside a painstaking approach to recording that beams out of its shimmering glitches and collaged soundscapes. “Because we redid the songs so many times, and sat with them so long and went through so many transformations in terms of layering, it was kind of like the songs had eaten themselves and been regurgitated as something else,” explains Lou of the album’s title. “It seemed like the whole thing was this weird process of consumption and reconstitution. The time it took seemed to allow for a kind of gestation, or fermentation, period. It gave time for influences to bond and stick to each other. Things were made, smashed up into fragments and reformed repeatedly until we couldn’t really remember what it’d been before and it was just what it was. Darrell’s, (the bands guitarist and Saatchi approved artist) artwork followed the same trail as well, collage, re–working, painting, and blotting.”•→ Leading up to the release of his second album Live Together, Eat Each Other, Wild Palms walked us through the project track by track.
‘You Could Be Better’
•→ We created a lot of music for this record and some of it got used for interludes and this intro. We wanted to make a record that flowed, that built and then took breaths throughout and the idea of interludes helped us to create that journey.
‘You Could Be Better’ is a little piano motif that James (drummer) was mucking around with, and then (I can’t remember how it came about) someone had recorded this passage from Hoop Dreams and once we’d played around with it and manipulated it just seemed to fit, the attitude and belief of Will just struck a chord with what we were trying to do with this record.
•→ ‘Ennio’ is so simple. Originally based on an Ennio Morricone piano sample it just came around almost fully formed. It’s two chords for the most part and the same beat throughout. Two choruses. Its simplicity informed the lyrics and vocals. It’s a simple melody and the lyrics weren’t over–thought; I think it took me about half an hour to write it. Done. I love it for that, it shows how easy it can be. It’s beautiful because of that. And it became a cornerstone of the record in terms of the sound we wanted to create.
•→ One of the last songs to be added to the album, it came around just as we were finishing up with Liam Howe (producer). There was a great song in there but there was something that just wasn’t hinging right. After rummaging around within the track it turns out (Liam reliably informed us) we were playing in 3 slightly different keys... yeah that’ll do it. We beat it up a bit and re–shaped it and it started to pop.
To me it sounded triumphant, the horns gave it a feel of resilience and power but also a dash of euphoria. The same feelings that are produced when a group of people stand together for a common goal, for what they believe in, their values... so that’s what I wrote the lyrics about: strong communities taking a stand against bigotry and ignorance. There’s a lot of crap that gets spoken by people who should know better and it’s driving a huge wedge between people, it’s happening a lot now but it’s always been there, lurking then rearing its ugly head, but I fell its so much more frequent now, I’ve never experienced it in my lifetime. And some people have always said no to those kinds of attitudes and we need to again. Where I grew up different people from different backgrounds mixed, we all went school together, we were unified by our interaction with each other. Our community was based on personal one–to–one interaction. Just people being with people, but certain groups are trying to promote division rather than integration and what’s worse is that people listen... and that’s both really sad and really scary. And I just thought, it’s laughable what these idiots getting press coverage spout. Me and my friend are saying no. Again no.
•→ This instrumental seemed the right way to cap off ‘Again No’, I kind of see it as the aftermath. The future once we've won that battle. There's the bright chimes, the unified chants in the distance, the military drum roll. There’s positivity but also a kind of ethereal calm around it, the feeling you get from exhaustion after completing something worthwhile. Satisfaction.
‘A Is For Apple’
•→ ‘A is for Apple’ is about identity. The way it moves and morphs over time, it’s formation and evolution. When what you thought were givens reveal themselves to be untrue and where cornerstones of self–perception are obliterated by unforeseen jackhammers. Some things you’re given and sometimes you have a choice of what you take and what you reject, what you develop or keep dormant. Sometimes you don’t. It’s about this internal struggle.
And it’s about people. Other people who affect your life and your identity; family, friends, lovers, enemies, they all play their part. In a way the making of this song reflects that. It was the first song we wrote for the new album and the first one we endeavoured to record and produce ourselves... think we gave to Liam as 156 stems or something like that? Just pure madness. A fucking sonic jigsaw puzzle. But in its chaos, somewhere, is probably every seed of this album I think. There’s probably another couple of decent songs hidden in its layers actually. Probably get an EP out of it one day if we’re running low on ideas.
•→ Grief. I lost a good friend of mine a few years ago now but it was while we were making this record. We were very close when we were teenagers, kindred spirits. We always stayed in touch even when our lives veered away from each other. One night he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It didn’t hit me for a week or so; then all of a sudden, I was getting a DVD from blockbusters not thinking about anything in particular, and it just hit me from nowhere: overwhelming grief and sadness. I just started crying right there in the middle of the shop. The only way to keep the people you love alive after they go is to just keep remembering them, keep talking about them, writing about them. So that’s what I did. This one’s for Swifty.
•→ Again, this interlude felt like peace after coming to terms with the loss of someone. The laying of flowers and moving on. It’s a midway point, a time to take stock and carry on... and then...
‘Lance and Candice’
•→ ...CRASH CRASH CRASH. The industrial sampled drums you hear aren’t drums really, they're the empty water tank in our studio, a wheely bin outside, and a big metal box that we hit with various poles and bats. It’s a straightforward reworking of an old tale. Star–crossed lovers with the whole world working against them but set somewhere in a dystopian near future.
However the two protagonists are from my youth: Lance was my best mate growing up on my estate but moved to Trinidad when I was 10, and Candice was my first crush at about the same age. We met at Butlins one summer. I think she was a few years older than me but she knew I had a sweet spot for her but she obviously wasn’t interested at all. But that was my first taste of ‘the chase’, unrequited love. They both had a fair impact on me and are worthy of their starring roles.
‘Hungry–Mouthed Hunting Dogs’
•→ Gareth had written this piece of music for a short film but when I heard it I knew it was exactly what I’d been looking for. When I start about writing I just write down anything I think of, loads of random shit, ramblings, but I let I just let it flow and the eventually I’ll start trawling through it and picking bits out, developing them and eventually getting some sort of structure and start hanging them on a melody. This time though, I didn’t want to be confined by song structure or melody. There was a story that just wanted to be told straight so you had to listen to the words because there was no melody or real structure to hang on to.
It’s a story that if you’re from suburban North London you’ll know well. I wanted to express what I know about the area I grew up in and the people that will exist in the way I talk about forever. I love these people, I am one of them, maybe not all the time but it’s inescapable, we are products of our environment and sometimes that environment helps you to rise up and sometimes it drags you straight back down, that’s just its nature.
•→ Gareth again just brought this fully formed bit of beauty into the room and straight away I knew what I wanted it to be about. Uncontrollable anger or emotion is maybe something that happens to all of us from time to time but usually we can regain ourselves somewhere in the maelstrom and weigh up the consequences, balance our books. I am close to someone who can’t. No matter how hard they try, with all the best intentions, with focus and full–heart, they just can’t. And it hurts to watch it happen. A golden person and good soul keeps trying, keeps building something and then repeatedly destroys it and loses it. I’d like them to blow up so hard, to cause so much destruction, to exhaust themselves to such a degree that they had nothing left and could truly let go of it all and start again, for real. Love. Always.
‘Open Window’ (Interlude)
•→ I can’t remember who made this interlude, who played the piano (sounds like James, drummer) though? who put the street sounds sample in there? I spent many a night trawling through the BBC’s archive of sound recordings to find interesting stuff, I then recorded them onto tape converted them to MP3 and sent them to Gareth. Could be one of those? This record can be a bit like that for me, I can’t really remember who’s playing what on quite a bit of it... it was an all–hands–on–deck type of affair. For me, though this interlude is me sitting in my flat next to the window, Jim mucking around on the piano other the other side of the front room, a bottle of beer in my hand, sun out, people living out their busy lives below while I just snatch a moment of contentment.
•→ It’s bouncy and big. Loads of fun playing this live. It sounds carefree and that’s what the song’s about. Nothing used to start with a sample from the movie Cool Hand Luke. Luke’s just won a card game by straight up bluffing and shortly after he will not give up when fighting Dragline.
Dragline: “Nothin’. A handful of nothin’. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin’. Just like today when he kept comin’ back at me — with nothin’.”
Luke: “Yeah, well, sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”
I love that. The liberation of having sweet FA. I went to uni with a guy who one day just burnt all his possessions. Fucking everything. Everything that he’d collected over his life, sentimental stuff, guitars, clothes. Everything. He looked so happy. Fresh start, no anchor, no past, just eyes ahead, possibilities, adventure. That’s a good hand. A powerful hand.
‘Feathers’ (parts 1 + 2)
•→ I can’t even begin to recollect how many different versions of this song we’ve made. It’s been two entirely separate songs, one song, at one point we were only going to put one part on the album. Can’t believe we actually got a finished two–part version of this if I’m totally honest. The first part just didn’t work for ages until we just took the drums out. Done. It took us weeks to work that one out. The space it gives is so necessary to the record and the second part is like a huge exhalation at the end of the record and we just kind of let fly on it. I get lost in the second part every time I listen to it. I like that it still does that to me. It’s a journey musically but also lyrically. They say revenge is dish best–served cold and that's how I feel part 1 is; it’s glacial, it’s considered; the revenge is being talked about in a cold, definite manner. Part 2 is the resolution where the betrayal has been used positively. I find its always best to leave on a note of positivity.
|Live Together, Eat Each Other (April 22, 2016)|