It feels strange to finish something you’ve been working on for a year, right?
This is exactly what I feel but I’m pretty happy with the result, and this is what I want to talk about.
Listen to the EP while reading the text.
A personal record for personal feelings
I’ve been writing songs for a while now, but this is the first EP I release under the name of Selkirk. This record is very personal to me and was created over a year, from April 2018 to April 2019.
In this note, I want to tell you a little bit more about the songs and the recording of this EP, which could be pretty interesting!
Within the record, you can find two main subjects: Nature and feelings. The two first songs (“Our Love Was True” and “1 A.M. Note”) are more “feelings-centered” ones.
In the first one, “Our Love Was True,” I sing about a peaceful but sad ending of a long love relationship. I wanted to tell that, even when your link with someone you love disappears, you shouldn’t regret anything. I mean, you loved her/he, she/he loved you, you lived awesome things together, so why would regret anything? Your love was true, after all.
I wrote the second song, “1 A.M. Note”, in April or May 2018 (at 1 A.M. as you guessed). I was sitting at the small table in my little apartment, alone, working on some stuff for college, and then I realized it was 1 A.M., I got inspired to write things, so I wrote everything down on paper. The events happening in each verse of the song are transcripted in the order they appeared that night (myself, alone in my room, then the inspiration flowing in my mind, the wind blowing outside…). Moreover, I consider this song as an ode to my faithful companion: The Night. Everything I do is done by night (writing, painting, drawing, reading, recording..), so this is why one of the verses and the whole tune is dedicated to it.
Nature comes in the second half of the EP with the songs “Le Chant des Montagnes” (The Song of The Mountains”) and “Land Of Secrets.”
“Le Chant des Montagnes” is the only French-speaking song I’ve ever written. French is my native language, but I prefer writing songs in English because it feels more natural to me. Nevertheless, I wrote this song at a time when I was very homesick: I grew up in the countryside, between two mountains in Southern France, but I moved away to study. One day, I felt pretty bad, and I realized how much I loved my small town, but also how much I was missing it. So I grabbed my notebook and wrote the lyrics in about an hour or two. It felt natural and obvious for me to write those lyrics in my native language; I don’t know why.
If you want a little bit of translation, the lyrics are about visions I had of the place where I grew up: clouds in the sky, plants, and flowers everywhere, golden fields and massive mountains. In French language, concepts have genders and, in this song, I write about nature as I would do about a woman, I use the pronoun “elle” (her) and I give her a naked body I can see in the morning dew (“Dans la fraîcheur du matin, elle m’apparait nue”). I love nature as I would love someone, I do my best to protect her every day and this why I wrote this song.
The final song, “Land Of Secrets,” is also the last song I wrote for the record. Some people told me that it was the “English version” of “Le Chant des Montagnes,” but it is not the case. Indeed, the previous song is more metaphorical and “poetic,” it is about feelings and memories of my countryside. “Land Of Secrets” was written in a totally different way: I was sitting in a train heading to the city where I study, and I was gazing at the window. The mountains were enlightened by the sun setting; the river (le Rhône) was colored with pink and orange shades. It was a beautiful view. Then I tried to write a poem about this landscape, but it wasn’t good enough for me. So, the weeks after, I watched carefully at the mountains while sitting in my train and I ended up with the lyrics of this song.
The recording and the sound
I tried to record these songs a massive amount of times throughout the last year, but I was never happy with the result. In April 2019, I realized that I wanted something “raw” for this record, so I stopped trying to do multi-tracks versions to do “one take songs” using only a Tascam DR-05.
Indeed, on the EP, the guitar and the vocals are recorded on the same track, in “live” conditions. I added a mellotron during the mixing phase because I always loved the sound of this machine, but also because I wanted to do something original, mixing things from the 60’s folk (Bob Dylan, John Denver…) with ambient and “shoegaze” influences (Lowercase Noises, Slowdive, Neil Halstead…).
Here it is, I think I’ve said everything about the creation of this record. Thanks a lot for reading my post. I hope you liked learning things about my first record, “Flower.” You can listen to it everywhere for free (on Bandcamp, SoundCloud or Youtube).
See you soon.