I recorded my self-funded debut EP "Pair Shaped" at Joe Public Studios between August and December 2010. I sang all the vocals and played all the keyboard parts, and my producer Joe Lonsdale played all the bass and guitar parts and did all the drum programming.
Below are videos of the songs on the EP, with a brief description of each one. During the recording process I made a couple of Making-Of videos, which you can also see below. I hope you enjoy them - they give a good indication of the fun we had making the EP.
Note: The version of "Pair Shaped" that is currently on iTunes and Spotify is slightly different to the version I originally released in 2010. Back then, I also released an accompanying double-single called "Another Pair" (no longer available) which featured an alternate version of "Your Picture" and a Christmas version of "Some Things Never Change". In 2020, when I remixed the songs on my three EPs for the compilation album "All Shapes, Sides & Sizes", I decided to release a new version of "Pair Shaped", which contained the alternate version of "Your Picture" (literally the only difference between this and the original is this one includes some "sho-be-doo-be-doo" background vocals, which I discuss in the first Making-Of video) and a new mix of "Some Things Never Change", which combines instrumental parts and lyrics from both previous versions of the song. Also, the original version of "Pair Shaped" opened with an short instrumental called "Take" (also discussed in the first Making-Of video) which is omitted from the latest version.
When I came up with the tune for this song, I always pictured it being arranged like a gloriously cheesy 80s movie ballad, which is what I've gone for in the arrangement (full-on Supertramp!) The first lyrics I came up with were the first four lines of the chorus, and after that the rest came pretty quickly. It's about being grateful for that special someone who makes life worth living.
This is a song I wrote about singer/songwriters who are always complaining or writing songs about death and pain. I'm not saying sad and melancholy songs can't be great or beautiful, but some artists seems to be incapable of singing about anything else. And honestly, if you've got tons of money and millions of adoring fans, what are you complaining about?
To be honest, I'm not really sure what this song is about (I guess that's part of the mystery!) But if I had to guess what was going through my mind when I wrote the lyrics, I would say it's about how hard it is to see another person's viewpoint when you''re so convinced that yours is correct. It could also be about the desire not to have an opinion about something, or to remain neutral on an issue you don't care or know much about.
SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE
This is a bittersweet song about how days, even years can go by without much changing, and even though that may seem like a sad thing, it can also be seen as reassuring, knowing that there are people and things you can always count on.
CRAZY LIKE ME
Lyrically, the inspiration for this song came from watching too many indie rom-com's, the kind where a dull guy's life is turned upside down by a kooky girl who likes to do wild, spontaneous things. Musically, this song was inspired by the uptempo Jim Steinman/Meat Loaf songs, Bruce Springsteen (and, by extension, The Killers), and there's also a bit of Coldplay in there as well. Hopefully, all these elements have come together to form something cool and unique, but that's for you to decide.
THIS IS IT
This is the song that spurred me on to start recording my music properly - the tribute song I wrote for Michael Jackson the day he died. Despite the allegations against him, I've always loved his music, and he's always been one of my biggest artistic inspirations.
MAKING OF - PART 1
This video covers the writing and recording of 'Take' (an instrumental that was on the original release of the EP), 'Your Picture' & 'Cheer Up'.
MAKING OF - PART 2
This video covers the writing and recording of 'Mystery', 'Some Things Never Change', 'Crazy Like Me' & 'This Is It'.