Here’s a post with a faintly disturbing actual Umbrella Head in it!
Tag Archives: Umbrella Head
My brother and I have a thing about umbrellas. We’re both fairly insistent that we never owned one as children and I guess we were simply taken with the general oddness of their shape. I have to force myself to keep them out of my lyrics. But this one works with it well. I look back over lyrics and wonder who has heard them, who has been affected by them. I’m quite intrigued when people apply their own meanings. It seems an umbrella head is a popular cultural image.
Recorded this with Arthur on a day full of much mirth and it was also, sadly, the last day we spent together with Ben in the band.
I’m scared to say it… I think Umbrella Head is ready to unleash. It sounds kind of good and sparkly and nicely ramshackle in places and I left the vocal on that I mentioned before. Need a few more listens on different speakers and then I’ll let it go!!
I’ve been working on the recording of Umbrella Head this week, one of our most popular songs. The riff has been recorded about five different ways – I just couldn’t get the sound I wanted. Started with some kind of phasery sound and realised it was too much, too wavery, not direct enough for the song, so proceeded to throw loads of distortion and overdrive and fuzz in and then took all that off and added a bit of reverb. Sounds right now. Just lots of tweaking to do and the singing needs to be redone. I don’t mind little mistakes in the singing (gives it character) but the overall feel has to be just right. Don’t know when I recorded the vox that are on there at the moment but they just don’t sound quite 100%. So incredibly subtle, no one else would question it I’m sure but there’s just a feeling in there that I could sing them with a little more confidence and attack, maybe.
There comes a point during the mixing of a song where it all seems to come together. All the sounds seem right, the singing is good enough, the parts gel together to make the whole. And more often than not, soon after that is the time where I personally get what I shall confusingly term ‘song blindness’. This is the equivalent of looking at or writing a single word on a page so often that the meaning becomes vague and the look of the word makes you want to pronounce it wrong and even rearrange the letters. I’m at that point tonight. It’s been an extremely productive day considering I watched a film, two episodes of a favourite programme and had a 4 o’ clock siesta for half an hour as well. But thanks to my song blindness I may well have loads to do to finish the songs off. In an ideal world, the two I finished tonight (Six String Heart, Umbrella Head) will leave me to concentrate solely on Something About Love tomorrow. We’ll see.
So, contrary to what I may have written in a previous post, I have not got anything to play out loud yet. Well, I have but I want to wait until I have a few songs to release together. They are now under the title of ‘Seven Imaginary Songs Volume 1’. There were two previous versions of SIS – Volume 1 and 2 but the songs contained therein have gone on to pastures elsewhere, some released, some shelved, some waiting and watching and getting impatient. I’ve done one song for the new SIS Vol. 1 – Pandora. It’s in late mixing stage, it’s a bit rough and ready, I used the wrong mic to record it, but the emotion on there is right and that’s what I intended to get across with this set of songs. Great emotion. Today, I’ve made five of my fingers throb by playing Six String Heart LOADS of times without a plectrum. It felt as though the rhythm guitar sounded better, more intimate, by strumming with my index finger but now it is very red as well as my left hand fingers which were obviously fretting! And I played it loads of times because I found the right mic to record with half way through today’s takes and realised I could remove the horrid buzzing sound on every take by USING the right mic. Still, got a great version down now so all’s hunky and dory so far. Singing yet to do. Hopefully sometime this weekend I will also get closer to finishing Umbrella Head and Something About Love.
Keep you posted Coo Kids!
Really enjoyable night on Thursday of singing and trying (with about 85% success) to get some timing issues right on Something About Love. Again, I was quite laid back about starting, didn’t sing (on Umbrella Head) until about 9.15pm. It went swimmingly though. The first singing I tried to do on Umbrella was a couple of weeks ago and I did it as the original demo which was a gentle, breathy kind of voice. Thursday I sang it as I do live, loud and raucous and crackly and it filled the song up so much better. Then kept finding bits I wanted to improve so sang loads of odd phrases with varying degrees of success. As ever I won’t know how well it went until I listen back. Felt on a slight roll though so I carried on and sang a few takes of Something… I think the third take was good and I left it almost intact. Nice!