Phew! What a week, and where to begin? Let's get the naff stuff out the way and end on the high. The cystitis is now a suspected kidney infection or kidney stones (on both sides) so you can imagine the pain I have been in. I am told it is close to child birth; way-to-go put me off...
It really has been a hard week of ploughing through my recording schedule then medicating at the appropriate times to keep the excruciating throbs from coming through. It was so bad Wednesday night though that I had to wake Ben up and ask him to drive me to the primary care unit at Gloucester Hospital at 3:30am in the morning. Thankfully they gave me painkillers and anti-biotics which meant I could actually sleep but still the pain remains and this is starting to sound like a proper lament!
That morning trip to the hospital did allow me to see not only a creamy moon but also some deer, bunnies and a ridiculous amount of magpies on the way back to the Convent when the light was up so that was silver lining. Deer are so rare when you live in a town and normally the magpies are so few I count them to the rhyme and get paranoid if I don't see two in the space of ten minutes. The pain also inspired a new song which I rather like - and will hopefully perform in the near future - and allowed me extra conviction when I recorded vocals.
Anyway I should tell you of the recording process! Max was my tracking engineer (I've learnt that's what you call the man behind the buttons) and did a wonderful job of not only recording every minute detail I wanted - particularly on the title track - but also of suggesting ideas that I had never thought of before. I learnt loads not only about the professional recording process but also about my music and how I want it to sound.
We did a lot of experiments on the Thursday (having finished the album by Wednesday) and a fair amount paid off. Without giving too much away there are instruments on this album that I have never recorded with before but they are all me, promise, with the exception of a guest vocal on two tracks.
The more I think about it 'Time' [album title] is going to stand out a lot as being an unusual mix of instruments. I've really tried to give you the full display, even more so than Evergreen and not just girl-with-guitar like Spilling the Beans. I think we worked out that the titled track had 7 instrument tracks and 4 vocals (you can tell I'm pleased with that) and all in all there are around eight different instruments on the album. By comparison Geography had around three, which had sort of become my staple in the last two years. So I guess it's no wonder really that I started a take on a guitar straight after playing mandolin, opened with the wrong chord and said,
"sorry my brain forgot what instrument it was playing a G on." What a dope but anyway I think it's pretty clear that I am very proud of what I've managed to achieve in the space of four days and it appears to already be opening doors for me, again without saying too much. Let's not count our chickens before they've hatched!
So all that's left to say is a huge thank you to everyone that backed me on kickstarter and made this possible. This is the process that your support facilitated and why I was so damn determined not to let you down when I got ill. Thank you thank you thank you, because you have no idea what this album will mean.
I'll check in again when I've calmed down a bit for more stories from The Convent!
We're here! Against all odds (my 2nd favourite Phil Collins song not counting his contributions through Genesis) we made it to the convent in Stroud and after four days of Cystitis, - that sounds like a song title for the worst song ever - two trips to the pharmacy and one two hour wait at A&E I think/hope/pray that I am finally on the mend. Admittedly a roll top bath and bubbles helped...
I guess I've been burning the candle at both ends and this is perhaps divine intervention? The Cystitis nearly made me miss a private function celebrating Canada day and a birthday but thankfully three paracetamols (don't do this on your own kids) took care of that and I had a lovely evening complete with campfire, s'mores and fireworks. It was lovely to pay homage to all the Canadian acts I grew up loving; Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Rita McNeil and you know what I might as well list a few more that although I didn't cover, had and continue to have a massive impact on my music. Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Loreena McKennitt. All top notch artists that bring something new to the table so naturally now I feel like I need to go to Canada and see "her green fields" for myself.
Back to the convent then and we're just settling in for the night after going through the first four tracks I hope to record tomorrow (nothing like a last minute cram of note taking and musical refreshment). Feeling a little jittery but I can't tell if it's because I've been ill all day or just nerves for the recording... then again it could be the fear of waking up to the spirit of a nun at the foot of my bed...
Only 'Time' will tell ;)
Well thus ends a very stressful week! As many of you know the Tapeley gig was unfortunately cancelled due to lack of ticket sales - I guess we can't stress enough the need for advance sales these days - and then a bunch of tea towels and an overstocked cupboard meant I put my back out Wednesday and since then I've felt pretty rigid and low to be honest but hey never mind! I'm more that ready to bounce back with a second wave of enthusiasm!
Let's talk about father's day, just briefly mind on account of it being a touchy subject. It's nice to see everyone taking to social media with their selfies and I must say it's nice to see people remembering those they lost as well. It was probably the displays I saw last year on my feed that compelled me to share a picture this year but whatever it was I'm glad I did it. I'm normally quite private and although many of you know from the twaddle I talk between songs that I have lost a fair amount of people non were as important to me as my Dad; although they came close.
Growing up with one parent was hard enough and one of the opposite gender made puberty particularly difficult (for both of us!) but he was always there, supportive and encouraging. An absolute rock who would go out of his way to help anyone. I made a promise to my Dad that I would never forget him - I thought it was daft he even asked me to promise... I also swore I'd never wear those wireless head-mounted microphones he saw Britney wearing once... (he felt they looked stupid). His lasting impression is so obvious in my songs and the person I've become; it's why I feel the need to tell the world of my Dad. I remember making a winamp skin of him - does anyone still use winamp? - and I think it got 2 downloads somewhere in the middle east and I felt I'd made him famous! He's always in my songs, lurking in the background, like some warm lantern guiding the way and I think he'll be there again next week when I come to record my sixth album.
To quote Rafiki (for no particular reason), "It is time."
Happy Father's Day x