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It is Tuesday Tune day, and I have finally decided to deal with the 4 track. Basically, I realised that as a band we were reaching a point where we were splitting away from what we liked. I loved the earlier rough stuff that we had recorded, and I equally liked the better produced stuff that we had done with Kyri, and I wanted a way for us to have both. We seemed to struggle to find a middle ground.
I also realised at the time that I was having less and less influence in the sound we were making. Previously, when I had worked just with Alex or Kyri, I was able to be heard. Yet we had become a three, their superior music knowledge meant that the songs were shaped far more by their dialogue, with occasional input from myself. So I bought myself the 4 track so I could lay down some simple songs. I was never going to be as proficient a musician as either of the other 2, but I wanted to be able to have some sort of input regarding the direction and sound.
Alex was living in his nan’s flat at the time, and I don’t know if it was being surrounded by the chintz, but there was a very definite sense of mortality regarding the lyrics I wrote whilst we were recording there. There is a very definite 4 songs which I feel are from this period, and over time I will post them all, but the one I will post today is Build Me a Tower.
I was listening to a lot of Modest Mouse at the time, and when I listened to those songs, there was a lot of anger, but a great deal of acceptance and honesty about how the world was. There was a sense of loss, but it wasn’t gauche, just a world weary acceptance of the whole thing, and when I wrote the words to Build Me a Tower, I wanted it to embody the same feelings.
What is the song about? I think it is about how all of us try very hard to do something, only to be thwarted at every turn. It is about how plans rarely come to pass, and why we continue and try regardless. How we constantly look for answers from someone / something in the shape of god, when they are the person who maybe doing this to us, yet who never answers.
It also has one of my favourite lyrics that I ever wrote, which goes,
Rapunzel, let down your hair / I’ll cut it off and watch it fall down the stairs
Why do I like it? Because it links to the idea of building a tower (like Babel), but also, rather than the hair being an escape route, it is removed, because what use is escaping? Where do we escape too? Surely the angels will continue to find us and throw thunder bolts. There is pretty simple guitar track, with an even simpler keyboard backing, but to me it all clicks into place to embody that Modest Mouse feeling I mentioned earlier. Apologies about how quiet the song is, one thing we never really mastered with the 4 track was the mastering, funnily enough. We recorded very quietly and had difficulty removing the hiss and feedback.
Next week I will discuss 9 to 5 man (remix), which was the song that Kyri showed himself to be a genius (in my opinion).
Build Me A Tower 3 by Future Farmers Listen on Posterous