The album was written while travelling through Europe, in particular France, Germany and Scandinavia. It documents a lot of landscapes, and a lot of different peoples lives for very brief moments. The songs were mostly written when I had some time to myself, so at stations or airports. The music was written when I returned to the UK.
It was recorded in just over an hour at a studio in Brighton in early December 2021. I intended for the album just to be played on guitar and piano. After consulting a producer and the sound-engineer, I had a number of the tracks re-recorded mixed and produced later that year, in a small studio in Hackney, London. The guitars are either a nylon string classical guitar or a steel string electric. The upright piano is used most except on A Few Good Men where an organ speaker is used to alter the sound. The songs are written using Cmaj. or Gmaj. guitar chord shapes, the piano song is in C#maj.
You hear the word 'wanderlust' is used a lot when people talk about wanting to travel. I wouldn't say the album is about that in particular, it's more just a collection of songs about some of what happened over the few months I was playing and recording in Europe.
What the songs are about:
1. She Came Down is a short story in four verses about what happened between two people who met in a bar. It's quite relatable to most people on some level.
2. Shadows in Relief is like an introduction to the album. Again, its a very familier scene. I just described the landscape rather than the people involved. It sets the scene.
3. No Water, No Moon was written after reading this passage by Osho, he was a teacher in Japan. A woman carries a pale of water and the moon is reflected in it. When the pale breaks the moon disappears, so we can see how most things are temporary. I wanted to show how you can enjoy that.
4. The Palmist was written when I was trying to learn how to read tarot cards. I found the culture in the UK repressive at the time and there were a few places in Europe that made it a bit easier for me to write. You could wait up all night for the morning trains and no one would say a word.
5. Second Time Around is about a relationship which wasn't meant to last very long. The people involved were both playing a lot of shows at the time.
6. Hesperus and Phosphorus is about two people who get too caught up in each other too quickly and stop seeing how different they are. You loose a sense of individuality.
7. Another Guard to Change is about a couple I met who liked playing with guns. What attracted me to that was the fact that they made war into a game. I thought that was a great way to work through something which is much more serious. Shorthly after writing the song the war in the Ukraine broke out.
8. A Few Good Men was written about how I felt more comforatable the further from home I travelled. Like home had always been a long way away and I was still trying to get back there.
9. The Moon and Orion. That particular constellation has always been the most obvious to me. When I was living up behind Brighton station that was the first thing I saw in the night sky. Someone was descibing a dream to me. The word 'burning' here refers to the feeling of longing for something very much, as in the phrase 'burning with desire'.
10. Before the flood. Is the last track on the album and is meant to build a feeling of anticipation. It's also about two people saying goodbye without necessarily wanting to.