Monday, 6 March 2023

Starboard Hazes EP2

My band, Starboard Hazes recorded our second EP at La Chunky Studio in Finnieston, Glasgow on Saturday 28th January. It was almost exactly a year since James and I had ventured in to record our first EP. 

On that occasion we roped in our friend Calum on drums. We hadn't rehearsed with Calum in advance. Indeed Calum thought he was only in to record 2-songs. We persuaded him to record a couple more and the songs Out Of My Mind and Reflected Sunlight were both recorded in 1-take to create a 4-track EP. Calum's skills helped us produce something we loved. 

This time James and I were going in as a fully formed band after the addition of Andy (bass) and Jamie (drums) and we had rehearsed!  

The cover of EP2-Sunshine
Taken in Elie, August 2022

We recorded 3-songs with the magnificently named Gaspard Casanova on production & engineer duties and have again produced something we love. Here is my take on the EP;

  • Sunshine - One of the very first songs I wrote as a teenager! The song only ever had two verses, just using the D and G chords, but it always stuck with me. I guess due to the simplicity and the fact the melody is pretty strong (in my opinion!). Years later I wrote a third verse/chorus/outro section after meeting my wife. I loved the way she would tilt her head to the sunshine and close her eyes. This wasn't a song I intended to bring to the band but last September I was jamming the chords during a break in a practise session, Andy had picked up James guitar while he was out the room and asked me what I was playing. We jammed along with Jamie on drums and by the time James came back we had something! So James then picked up Andy's bass - the joy of having a talented band! I couldn't believe how quickly we transformed it. Sunshine was always an acoustic song and I'd always just played it in a normal tuning. But when we jammed I had my Capo on the 3rd fret and I just kept it there. Now it's kind of Lemonheads-y/Velvets-y and then the outro goes a little Stone Roses. Andy's guitar on the outro is sublime. James switches to bass, creating a very Mani-esque bass groove. Jamie's drumming throughout is superb.
  • Yeah! - I love the groove of this song, just the same 4 chord sequence over and over again. Great to jam on. There is a warmth to it, brilliant lead guitar from James. It's got a real Teenage Fanclub feel to it - obviously a good thing in my book! 
  • I Still Dream That I Can Fly -  A two chord song that was originally inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain's Why'd You Want Me? Or you could say it rips it off! Garage pop psychedelia. I like the way we build this up, break it down and then let loose. Who knew what fun you could have with 2 chords! I really love the way James introduces the organ sound in the outro. I think we only rehearsed this a few times before going into the studio and we captured it in two takes. I think there is a real freshness to this song as a result. Fun to play in practice, I look forward to playing it live.
  • Sunset - The dreamy psychedelic groove at the end of Sunshine reminded me of the Stone Roses, so I wondered what it would sound like backwards. An old Roses trick that inspired Don't Stop and a number of b-sides. This is the result. Rather gorgeous! I think I sound better backwards! 
All of them are love songs. Sunshine about the heady heights of young love and walks in the summer sun. Yeah! and I Still Dream That I Can Fly have that broken heart, lets try it again/I'll never get over you/keep positive vibe.

The EP is out now exclusively via our BANDCAMP page where you can stream/download. We'll get it up on other sites in the near future.

We play 13th Note next Friday, 10th March with support from Scottish Fault Lines. DJ Phil Redfearn will be playing before, during and afterwards.

The event is SOLD OUT!  Hopefully we'll get another gig in the diary before too long.

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