Simon Waldram

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2014 Releases

Posted by SimonWaldram on March 30, 2014 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

At the beginning on the year I went on the radio and said that I was going to release at least one thing - an album, a single or an EP - during an every month of 2014. The DJ, Steve, told me that this is not something he'd announce if he was doing this as he'd feel he was setting himself up to fail. That's a good point. 2014 has not been the easiest year so far and, as we head into April, I have done very little recording and all that's come out so far is a compilation of mostly previously released stuff. There's still a lot of stuff in the pipeline though - a lot of which is already finished - which I thought I'd tell you about here. All this stuff is coming out this year, it's just a matter of when.

First Day In Spring (single)
A different version to the one that appears on The Space Between. This one has strings and is way better, I think.

EP on 23 Seconds
They have just released a compilation of my stuff and in the summer 23 Seconds will also be putting out an EP I've been making too. It's much more indie rock than anything I've released for a long time and features a collaboration with Fall Colors / Pleasure Holiday singer Julia Fernandez.


Split cassette with Halaka
Halaka are one of my favourite bands ever, so to be able to do an album with them is pretty special to me. Apparently "the curse of the Halaka split" means that usually when they plan to do these kind of releases they never actually come out, so I've reassured them that this is definitely happening. My side of the tape features psychedelic, noise and folk stuff - plus a song that mixes krautrock, punk and dubstep (no, really). Halaka's side is frickin' amazing and features some of the best stuff I've heard them do in ages.

Inside Out / Colliding Circles (single)
For one reason or another it's taken nearly 5 years to get Inside Out to the point where I can actually put it out. It's a good song, I think, and was influenced by late-period Husker Du. A video for the song is being made in LA, although I'm not going to be in it. Lucia Buffa has provided the cover photo for the single (and for the First Day In Spring single too).

Insolation (album)
This is the big one - although I'm still not sure how big it's going to be. It's already 20 tracks, which is enough for the digital release, but I'm trying to make the CD version a bit special - especially as it's probably going to be my last release on a physical format...at least for a few years. So it's going to be in a specially made box with handmade inners by Sarah Hopping (as shown in the photo below) with extra goodies and the album itself may or may not be spread across 2 CDs in an a Approximately Infinite Universe kind of way.




So those are the definite releases. There are also more tentative ones, such as an EP of electronic stuff, an album of field and ambient recordings, a tape of really way out stuff... we'll have to see how things go in the summer. Thanks for reading.

 

The making of Conchology

Posted by SimonWaldram on October 2, 2012 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

In 2006 I met Martin Brown through Dmusic.com - a site we were both a part of and shared our music on. Martin was from Leeds originally but had moved to Canada years before. We became friends and talked a lot about the music we were making. I had wanted to make an album for a couple of years, but I was struggling with the best way to approach it. On the demo CD I made in 2003-04 my recording set-up was pretty rudimentary and most of the songs were just me singing and playing guitar into a cheap microphone. I wanted to have something more like a full band sound for the songs I was writing at that time.

In the summer of 2007 we worked together on a short instrumental called For Her. At the time this was for a charity album I was trying to make featuring various musicians and bands from DMusic. The project fell through, but it encouraged us to work together more. After I’d said that I’d like to put other instruments on my vocal/guitar tracks Martin took demos I had made of Madeline, What Were You Thinking and On the Moon and added some extra instrumentation. The results were okay, but we both knew that we were being hampered by my practice of playing guitar and singing at the same time when recording, which wasn’t Martin enough room in the mix to work. He encouraged me record them separately. I was reluctant to do this at first, which seems kind of absurd in retrospect, but it was just what I was used to.  However I knew how much better our work could be if I tried this.

In early 2008 I finally got a decent multitrack recorder and started recording songs for Conchology. One of the first things I did was a new version of On the Moon for Martin. When I heard what he had added to it I was blown away. It was leaps and bounds from the version we had done the previous year and I could tell that we were really starting to click musically.

Despite taking quite a long time to develop, I recorded much of Conchology in one week in April of that year, including songs that didn’t make the finished album. Martin and I carried on working together until December 2008. He ended up doing production work and overdubs on 6 of the albums songs. Things got a little fraught by the end. My increasing perfectionism drove him to distraction and we had a minor falling out over Madeline, which ended with me replacing some of the parts he’d recorded and remixing it. Martin had a lot of heavy stuff happening in his life, but I was only aware of some of this. We patched things up between us quickly enough, but I’m not sure things were quite the same afterwards.

Conchology had quite a lot of outtakes. These included: The Archerfish, Girl with the Clipboard, Random Hearts, Peggy Kennedy, The Way To Your House, Summer Moon, It Wasn’t Meant and a few instrumentals. In retrospect I think It Wasn’t Meant would have fit on the album pretty well. Girl with the Clipboard ended up on a compilation for Awkwardcore Records.

There’s no way this album would have happened without Martin. As well as being a constant source of encouragement and a bottomless well of technical knowledge he was a great musician and producer and helped to take my songs to places I previously didn’t even know they could go myself. Above all he was my friend. By 2010 we had drifted apart somewhat, but when he passed away in December of that year I was heartbroken. These days I see Conchology as a way of helping to keep his memory alive.

Martin was also the brains behind Umbriel Rising and LiQuidMetamorphosis. You can check out his albums on Bandcamp (click the links).

Conchology
is available from Bandcamp, Amazon, Pebble Records, CDUnsigned and this sites' store.

Si

Music Plans for 2012

Posted by SimonWaldram on January 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I tend to do quite a lot of planning around the music I want to make, as well as how and when I want to release it. Of course things sometimes changed or get delayed. Here are my plans as they stand, though...


As I write this I will soon be taking part in FAWM 2012. FAWM (February Album Writing Month) is a friendly online songwriting contest where the aim is to come up with 14 songs in the 28 days of the month..although as it's a leap year we have to do 14½ songs this time (I'm not quite sure how I should approach writing a song. I'm thinking of writing a whole one and somehow taking half of it away...or something). My previous best on FAWM is 6 songs, which is a frankly rubbish effort. I'm sure I can do better than that this time around.


Anyway, I am in the middle of writing and recording two albums. One is a follow-up of sorts to Signal and is half recorded and completely written apart from a few sets of lyrics. That one is called The Space Between and will be out later this year. The other is something a little different and hopefully I can do some of it during FAWM: it's a double album of found sounds, fuzzy folk, feedback excursions, psychedelic rock, spoken word and more besides. It's going to be called Insolation and I'm planning on releasing it early next year. I would also like to do another experimental/noise album (like Industrial Skyline, but further out). However I've not really decided how I should approach that yet.


They'll be a few singles too this year. In May there will be a free single from The Space Between out called 'How To Let Go'. Also later in the year I'm hopefully going to be releasing my first piece of vinyl featuring the songs 'Inside Out' and 'Colliding Circles'. There might be one or two other releases, plus videos and such, but I shouldn't say too much about them in case they don't happen! Thank you for reading this and for having an interest in what I'm doing.

Simon