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Single 27 - Summer Of Song.jpg
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Summer Of Song

There's a 12 minute track on my 2017 instrumental album called 'Stream', which is essentially a medley of many different musical ideas/sections. I knew when I recorded it that several of these sections had the potential to become full songs in their own right, and the first one I chose to expand was the section that starts 7 minutes and 16 seconds in (which, when we originally worked on it, my producer Joe Lonsdale and I nicknamed the 'Happy Dream' section).

I started writing lyrics for the expanded track in the summer of 2019, and I took inspiration from two sources. Firstly, a family member of mine had recently started a new job after leaving one that was very unpleasant, and the new job wasn't turning out to be as good as they had hoped – this situation inspired the lyrics of the opening verses and the first bridge. Secondly, I had just started a three-month trial of Spotify Premium, and was listening to a lot more new music than I normally did – this inspired the title and overall message of the song (i.e. that music can be a great source of comfort and joy in difficult times).

In expanding the song from the original instrumental section, I not only needed to record vocals (over a dozen layers of them!), but additional guitars, drums and bass. To ensure consistency I enlisted Joe Lonsdale
 to record the new parts in the same style (and using the same instruments) as on 'Stream', and to make the song grander as it progressed I also recorded new parts myself using software instruments, including strings, horns, timpani and glockenspiel. While this gave the song a rich, full sound, it also meant that it ended up having far more tracks than any other song I've mixed myself - it took months of fine-tuning and trial-and-error before I was happy with it.

In the video above I play clips from 'Stream' and 'Summer Of Song' back-to-back to give a sense of how the track evolved. If you listen you can hear that the first bridge and chorus are essentially the same as on the original instrumental (apart from the added vocals), but I varied the arrangement on the last two lines of the chorus
, and I changed the key of the original's ending to become the new middle 8. My aim with this project was to create a song where if you heard it before you heard 'Stream', you'd think the 'Happy Dream' section was a nice albeit simplified version of 'Summer Of Song' – I think I achieved that.

For the artwork I decided to create a cover that was a companion piece to the one I made for 'Winter Sun', my collaboration with Stage Parades from 2020. While that cover featured a framed photo of my family's old summer house in Denmark taken in the winter, this one featured an almost identical photo taken in the summer (and with a different frame). 'Summer Of Song' was released on March 15th 2024, and as I mentioned in the video above it is my aim to expand several other sections from 'Stream' into full songs and
eventually turn them into an EP – watch this space!


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