“My sound has evolved since my first single, No Fall of Rome. I’m delving into early snyth and keyboard sounds more right now…especially your Junos, Jupiter-8s etc., and I’ve incorporated them much more into my sound. I find them so lush and great to write with rather than just a guitar. ‘These Days’ is very intentionally a nod to 1980s production, complete with some 80s snyths, chorus-rich guitar and the use of drum machine sounds from that era. In a way it’s my little homage this era. But rather than being a 1980s pastiche, my intention was to somewhat contrast the innocence, colour and creativity of the music in that era but lyrically reflecting on how things are today, socially etc.”
“These Days is part tongue-in-cheek, part social commentary. It’s a playful song on the surface with themes that I see as ubiquitous nowadays – disconnection, relationship ambiguity and, oh yeah, global warming for good measure! We have become more socially distant and ever more isolated despite the advancements of modern technology seemingly bringing the world closer together….and good luck trying to form a new relationship with someone given the paradox of choice with all the dating apps out there”
How the Song Came About
“Within a week of a pretty bad surfing accident in the West of Ireland that left me with a scar under my eye (having nearly lost it!) I came up the main chord sequence and wrote some lyrics. I flew from Dublin to London shortly after the accident in August 2021 and recorded the initial version of this song with Julian Chown in his home studio on Kings Road. I had pretty-bad concussion, whiplash and a sore head but I was keen to get down “on tape” the bones of the song. The initial version featured a guide acoustic track, some synths, strings and the vocal you hear today.
I eventually got round to revisiting the song when I eventually returned to London in March 2022. I did some tracking with Julian and then last-minute I sent the track to Dave Skelton in County Galway who really helped bring out the best of the song. What I love about putting the finishing touches to the song in the West is that this was where I penned the initial lyrics to the song several months previously around the time of my surf accident. Every song takes you on a journey”
“The song started out a little heavier, with more overdriven guitars in the chorus a-la My Bloody Valentine and I had a different melody in the verses, slightly different lyrics and a different drum rhythm. “I recorded the final vocals with Declan (Bluebird Studios) in May 2021. I had a kind of Fleetwod Mac vibe in my head for the layered background vocals in the chorus. I later added the Roland Juno & Prophet V keyboard parts with Julian (Joules Productions) to give it a sprinkle of pop”
“There’s a synergy between how you live and what you write…it’s inevitable. No Fall of Rome was born out of a fascination I have with both Rome and people’s journeys. Freud referred to the mind as being like Rome (Civilisation and its Discontents) with its long and rich past and the book deals with that clash between individuality & society’s expectations. Anyway, all things begins in the mind and continue with how you manage it. The people you have around you are so important. I’d seen people in different life-stages entertaining giving up on themselves a bit, blunted by life’s challenges – letting their earlier hopes and dreams slip. I liked the metaphor of Rome and your life as having all the attributes of a city and hypothesising that there ain’t no fall of Rome gonna happen on my watch.
The song lyrics are kinda like an imaginary conversation you might have with a friend (“I can tell by the way you’re leaning“…etc), who’s entertaining giving up on themselves. But (“No way I’m falling for it”…etc) you’ve got their back no matter what.
During lockdown I was reading about how Nero recreated the city of Rome following the fire. I had read some W.B. Yeats poems again so I might have channelled some of his great poems (e.g. Sailing to Byzantium, No Second
Troy). And it’s always struck me how many of the architecturally noteworthy and robust buildings in Ireland are long-standing artefacts of the British empire, hence the line “you’re an empire building”. I felt blending these concepts and word-pictures (’empire building’ and ‘no fall of Rome”) into the chorus made for an interesting lyric & description for somebody who can stand the test of time.”