This album, the first by The Grand Gestures, is out today – Monday 28th May – and I’m on it!
The band is a collaborative project led by Spare Snare‘s Jan Burnett. Here’s how he describes the process of recording the album:
Being a fan of dusty 12” vinyl, synth duos and electronica has led me to create The Grand Gestures.
I wanted it to be fun, with a small ‘f’, with a brief to the vocalists and lyricists to steer towards the dark and poignant but do what they want.
I created the music separately, based around loops, vintage synths and home grown noises. The music was sent to the singer. The singer visited my home, recorded a vocal in the bathroom, and I supplied a curry lunch.
Nobody bat an eyelid to recording in the bathroom or sitting on the toilet to revise lyrics. The reverb of the tiles helped with the overall sound while giving a nod to Joe Meek.
Lo budget, hi fi, partly out of necessity, partly out of the freedom it gives me. There is no budget, The Grand Gestures is a love story, a hobby, a happening, a need, a collaboration, a must.
No computers, but a stand alone 16 track recorder.
Treat it like tape, not zeros and ones.
The contributors were picked up through the years. Friends, and friends of friends.
No pressure, at ease. Surprisingly everyone turned up, everyone understood, with no need for kneecapping or broken bones.
My father added guitars and banjo, another clue to the mystery, while some live drums were added to keep us all in time.
I hope it surprises you, as much as it keeps surprising me.
I sing a song on the album called ‘Baiting’. The other contributors are Jill O’Sullivan, Sanjeev Kholi, Emma Pollock, Celie Byrne, Calamity Horse, Dave Burnett (Jan’s Dad) and Barry Gibson (also of Spare Snare).
The album’s already had great reviews from Is This Music?, Artrocker and Manic Pop Thrills, with more expected soon. The first track on the album, ‘Deer in a Crosshair’ (featuring Jill O’Sullivan of Sparrow and the Workshop) has had airplay from Vic Galloway, Tom Ravenscroft and Marion Scott.
Here’s the gorgeous video for Jill O’Sullivan’s other track on the album, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’:
We’re playing a one-off live show (the first time we’ll all be in the same room at the same time!) to celebrate the debut album release this Friday 1st June at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow – you can buy tickets here.
I hope you like it – and if you do, please spread the word – thanks!