• Conor Houston

Simple Songs, Recorded Quickly

Last year, I spent an unreasonable amount time working on a bunch of songs which, in retrospect, weren't worth the extra effort or money. It didn't improve them or make people enjoy them. I vowed that I would never do this again, and would finish things without any superfluous fannying about. In addition, I would spend no more than £0.00 on my next recording, freeing up considerable funds to be used at The Street Food Chef.

And so, I recorded something else called Piano Sketches. A friend told me it was their favourite thing of mine, as they could actually hear the musician in me, the human touch, as opposed to my usual dense mix of noises. I spent a total of two days on Piano Sketches, recording and writing. Whilst I knew my approach to getting the job done had changed, I hadn't realised how the music itself had changed; I was no longer over-complicating my music, and this realisation completely flipped my creativity on its head.

My latest release is titled Simple Songs, Recorded Quickly, as this was the nicest way to tie the three songs together. I began writing in January, was recording later that month, and was done with them in February. To me, they sound full of life. Instrumental arrangements were kept simple, and I never did more than two takes of anything aside from the drums. Having never recorded drums before, the bulk of my time behind the kit was actually spent warming up. My drumming's a bit Lars Ulrich, but it has character and serves the songs well. You can bollocks!

I wanted these to sound like the complete antithesis to any kind of modern rock/pop recording. There are so many things about contemporary culture which frustrate me, from technology, to advertising, to the way films and music are made. My senses are assaulted daily, and it plays havoc with my mental well-being; I want to make things which are a little softer on the soul.

It felt so good to approach these songs free from the obsessive approach which has affected me in the past. I can be quite obsessive in any area of life when I'm not careful, so knowing that I can keep it at bay really helps me. Whilst these songs are fairly traditional, it doesn't mean I won't do something stranger in the future. Strangeness isn't the same as over-complexity or obsession. I've got a new idea which involves elevator music and short stories. But I promise not to over-think it.

'Simple Songs, Recorded Quickly' is out now:

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Three men gather round the grey table at 12:03pm. Eat everything in moderation, make sure you get your protein, and train harder than you eat. It's such a simple concept. One of the men is eating chic