Track X Track: Halves - It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever)
2. Blood Branches
We had previously recorded this song for a split 7" back in 2009, but felt we could do a better job of it in (Canadian studio) Hotel2Tango. I remember this day being a very enjoyable one, as Dave (a founding member now living in Canada) was able to join us on four songs and it was very comforting to see him sitting at the antique piano. The track features some creepy theremin that Elis multi-tracked, and Brian got to play a very expensive accordion which our harpist-friend Elaine Kelly-Canning kindly procured. She put one of her harps up as insurance, and thankfully he didn't break anything! As for the title? Take a sleeping pill and stare at your veins....Hilarious fun.
3. Darling, You'll Meet Your Maker (stream below)
This is actually a really old song that Tim had written with just an acoustic guitar, and Elis took it and made it much more awesome than it had been by recording lots of organic sounds to give a slightly jilted feel to the rhythm. Phil Boughton from Subplots kindly provided guest vocals.
4. Growing & Glow (stream below)
We had an idea to have a song that formed from different rhythms; in the studio one lunchtime we decided to track the four of us banging different things (broken cymbals/pockets with coins/marching drum). Elaine Kelly-Canning played some lovely harp on the choruses - we thought it'd be nice to use a harp like a guitar. Amy Millan dropped by and recorded some vocals, but then forgot her sunglasses.
5. The Little Octoberist
We attempted this song for our 2008 EP, but ditched the recordings and went back to the drawing board. Just like with 'Growing...', we decided to cut the guitars and replace them with harp/autoharp and banjo. Much nicer! Folks who get the vinyl of the album should read the lyrics that Tim is vocoding in the verse; they are very nice indeed.
6. Only Safe Landings
This started as an arpeggiator and a drumbeat, which is heard continuously throughout the song. Then Elis took this and started to build a song around it, with those melodies that keep popping up everywhere. With this song we wanted it to be the cleanest and most 'produced'-sounding track on the record, just to set it apart from everything else. This song as a whole is, I think, the first one we wrote for the album, and we've been playing it live for a good few years now. It doesn't really seem new to us anymore, but hopefully it does to the people listening.
7. Haunt Me When I'm Drowsy
I think this was the last song to come together on the album. We left a lot of it up to the studio, and what we could do there to get the right sound for it. We wanted it to sound like everybody just playing in a room.....with a choir.....and a string octet. Hopefully we pulled that off(?) When we left Canada the end of this song was just piano and guitar, which was a bit nothing, but Elis had a little surprise when it came to recording strings and it turned out to be one of the nicest parts of the album. I think this song is every band member's favourite.....or maybe we're all just saying that to keep each other happy...hmmmm!
8. The Wellwisher
This song had been around for ages under a different name (by which we still refer to it) and with a completely different feel. It started off as lots of little organic glitch loops on a laptop, then the chords and melodies were written around these. We wanted an upbeat song to put towards the end of the album, and this seemed to fit perfectly. It also features the ladies of the Kilkenny Choir on the end of it for a good old sing-song.
9. I Raise Bears
This was one of the last ones to be finished before we left for Montréal. We liked the idea of a duet on the record - seemed like a challenge. We'd asked Katie Kim when we were in Toronto (long before the song was fully written), and she obliged us. For the end section we had a fun afternoon of playing around with feedback. There are an awful lot of layers in this song and it took a while to mix it correctly. This song has nothing to do with bears.
10. Don't Send Your Kids To The Lakes
Thanks to Brian for this ridiculous but brilliant title. We felt like the album needed a short 'piece', if you will, just to calm everything down for a bit. Elis had this piano thing written, and then we decided to put a billion string players over it. Ripping off Ligeti you say? Greenwood's been doing that for years, so why can't we?!! (We love you, Jonny!)
11. Mountain Bell
I think the initial idea for this was Elis', but we all had a hand in it; the middle section contains a number of interlinking lines, each written by a different person. When we were listening back to the end section after recording it we realised that we had sped it up way faster than we had ever played it before - but we also thought that gave it extra energy, so we left it that way.
It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever) is out via hateistheenemy today (October 29th) - get your copy here. The band play an instore at Dublin’s Tower Records (1pm) and an album launch show at the city’s Workman’s Club (8pm) tomorrow (October 30th) to celebrate the release.