The best thing about the summer holidays, for me, is the opportunity to throw myself into my music so this is exactly what I've been trying to do.
I'm not going to lie... I had a weird start to the break which was probably the result of a very hectic term. I felt frazzled and couldn't catch my breath at all. A quick nip to the Drs and they suspect I have asthma which I'll be taking a test for later in the month - asthma! A singer with asthma! I'm so grateful I had a bit of training and my tonsils removed now... I do believe a lot of it has been brought on by stress so I've been back to the yoga mat everyday and have been visiting my piano regularly. Oh my word do I love my piano. I never realised how much I wanted a piano until one fell into my lap - thankfully not literally. I play it everyday, I've even found myself writing new piano tunes at long last! I can't wait to have a gig where there's a piano in the corner that I can play.
So I've been plinking and plonking, yawning and stretching... I also played a set at Lapstock which in spite of the great British weather was jolly good fun. Next time you're struggling to get into the festival mood, maybe the rain is hammering it down or the mud has swallowed your tent, take a leaf out of lapstock and remember to get some glitter plastered on your face. Honestly it makes the world of a difference! I have huge thanks to give to Lapstock because it pulled me out of a funk and gave me the motivation I need to keep going with the new album.
Ah the new album, well it IS happening it's just not happening this month anymore. Summer has slithered into the schedules and annihilated practise times but hey it's all meant to be so I'm pretty sure that we'll have it nailed down by October and hopefully get it released early next year. The strange thing is I was going through my old song folder which was in dire need of an update - it's from college and plastered in emo stickers - and I found some old gems that I'd almost forgotten about. There's a couple I'm now considering trying on the new album or just recording for fun as really this next one is all about FUN. The past couple albums haven't been recorded in the best of circumstances and I want to get back to capturing the light-hearted, feathery acoustics of Spilling the Beans so hopefully come October that's what we'll have! I'm hoping to use the same instrumentation and studio as beans so that's a start! They'll be twins...
I've also been dabbling in making instruments for the school I work at. I could not have done it with out a lot of help from my good friend John Purser who has the skill to turn my vague sketches into reality. I was so excited yesterday to be driving away with a vibraphone (metal xylophone) and a tubular bell frame ready to varnish. It got me quite inspired actually, I might have to borrow them for the album!
I've also been rehearsing my Wilderness Gathering Set with Tim. It's taking a bit of knocking into place but I'm hoping it'll be a good one. Although I was mortified to find last years setlist yesterday as I realised I was repeating myself a bit (I hate to do that) so I might just mix it up a bit. I like to keep it fresh, or as fresh as I can!
So I hope you've enjoyed my waffle and I do hope you had a warm beverage to accompany it 'cause I really can talk for England! Hope to see some of you at Wilderness, 'til then have a great summer and show the rain who's boss!