Altar Flowers recently released their Performance EP, the first new material since their debut album i.d.s.t and also since some line-up changes. Jay kindly took time out to talk us through the five songs on the EP and tell us a little more about what they're about and how they recorded them.
This was the very first track we wrote since releasing our debut album (i.d.s.t, 2016), and the first track we recorded, and also the first track that Azie worked on since she joined last summer, so I think collectively and subconsciously we already had this down as the opening track. Lyrically, it’s fitting too as it touches on subjects of change; ‘out with the old, in with the new’ kinda thing. It’s boss live, too.
We released this last summer maybe a bit too prematurely. It was too “rock” and less what we was trying to get across, so we re-did the thing. We found that stripping away the cymbals and guitars seemed to really open it up, and soften the overall sound. The band Air was mentioned a lot whilst mixing- I think it shows in parts.
Overall, it’s your basic three-chord punk band riff or whatever but with a shit load of different layered synths all playing the same thing. I love playing this live, and one I’m particularly made up with both musically and lyrically, which is rare, but this was about those needy as fuck social media swipe types… always needing constant reassurances that they’re great. I’ve been guilty of it, as most of us, but the serial ones do my fuckin’ head in. Ee arr… ‘Here’s a hug, you’re wonderful, now go on, you go get ‘em tiger! ‘
I can pin point where I was when I wrote the words to this - sat in the Night & Day on my birthday at 11am on 27th November 2017, ha! It was a relatively easy track to lay down, though we were torn between a synth driving bass and Tom’s live bass for a couple of weeks but the live bass is what’s on the final recording. It has a real, raw, dirty, sexy, energy thing about it throughout.
This is one of them tracks where everyone is doing what they do best individually –then all coming together. I kept singing ‘cheap, free’ for weeks – that fine line between something or nothing – overall, folk can decide what it is to them. It’s probably my favourite track on the ep, though for once, I think we’re all pleased with all the tracks, which is delightful.
Running Along The Edge Of The World
We built the song around a synth loop that Tom had written. It was just a matter of getting a nice flowing structure together, which wasn’t easy, but I’m happy with how it’s turned out. Tom, Paul and G absolutely bossed this track – Everything sounds locked in. Everything is technically great. Everything flows. Everything works, and it was a piece of piss to sing over for me and Azie. The only track without a robot vocoder thing, too! ha.
Lyrically, it may seem a bit far-fetched, or maybe a bit U2-y but fuck it, we love the extravagance, and detest the dull and mundane! I mean, if you listen to Prince or summut- he could be singing about going for a pint of milk but he’ll probably be able to translate it to summut to do with unicorns and fairy dust to make it interesting. Have I been defensive enough?
Car On Fire
Nosey people really get on my fucking nerves, man. And this is pretty much about that. Here’s just two folk falling in love or whatever but with their “concerned” busy body “friends” sticking their big noses in. There’s no need. We all know you’re jealous, or just bored. To them lot, there’s bird watching or summut- turn your voyeurism into a hobby – negative into positive seems to be the in thing at the moment.
But anyway, the song ; Azie bosses this track and it was a chance to get get G’s orchestral mallet things out. I love the sound of them things – it’s make the kit sound all warm and grandiose! But again it was a track where everything is boss. There’s little fat. All instruments and vocals are perfect – well, for my liking they are! I don’t really do too much on this, maybe that’s why, but it’s chance for me to have a fag break I guess!
Altar Flowers play London The Finsbury (April 21) and Manchester Jimmy's (24).
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