NEW Album: Sky In My Pocket

What’s that in my pocket? Oh, it’s the sky.

My NEW album Sky In My Pocket is ready to go and will feature 10 songs. You’ll be able to buy and stream the album from the 26th of October, until then you can listen to the lead single from the album Feelin’ This Good or enjoy a preview of all the songs below.

To find out more about the album and the recording process do please read on 🙂

Making Sky In My Pocket
I began work on this album back in April, although back then i wasn’t 100% sure on the tracklist or how i wanted it sound. I was also working on other songs too, those that made the EP Sunshine Street and the singles, Save The World, Let Me Sleep, Down Wembley Way, The Vegan Bop and It’s Revolution Love! [Single Version]. It’s been a busy time in the studio, with plenty of tracks left over too.

Singing alongside me on 7 of the 10 songs is Amy Walklett, a singer/songwriter from Dorset, she happened to be on work experience at the studio during one of my sessions and offered to lend her voice to a song or two and she was so good that i got her back another 2 times and it was sure worth it! Her voice really improves the songs!

Right time for a quick run through of all the songs i think, in order they’ll appear of course.

1. It’s Revolution Love!
As mentioned above there is a single version of this track which featured heavy electric guitar but the version that opens my new album is an acoustic rendition, and also in a different key, for no real reason.

As far as i see it with all the war and fighting in the world it’s time for a revolution built on love and an actual desire for change in the way things are done. As consumers we control what companies are successful and what foods are produced, etc so the growing awareness of veganism and people’s eyes being opened to wars based on corporate greed and funded by governments for oil, etc, perhaps a real change is closer than we think? (Well i can dream).

It’s quite a bouncy song too. Oh yeah, oh yeah!

2. Feelin’ This Good
Time for a feel good poppy kinda song i think, a song about nothing more than making the most of the day ahead and taking moments as they arrive. I must of been a rather good mood, perhaps i had a day off work?

Amy sang most of her lines in one take, she would of no doubt done them all in one take if it wasn’t for me not being sure what she should sing at the end of each verse. It was great to be sat there listening to her sing and hearing someone else sing my songs.

3. Something About Her
It’s standard rockin’ love song time! Not a great deal to say about this one other than that. Although Duncan (the engineer at Sound Gallery) must take credit for the drum fill, it gives the song a little bit extra.

It’s got a good groove!

Mixing in progress

Mixing in progress

4. No Guru Needed
Another pretty rockin’ song, it’s good fun to get the electric guitar out on this album, it features in 8 of the 10 songs. I somehow doubt they’ll be quite the same furore as when Dylan went electric though.

Was good to get the electric out!

Was good to get the electric out!

This track is another “make the most of the day” / “it’s your life, live your dreams” kinda song.

I actually have very little against guru’s on the whole, in fact i wouldn’t mind popping over to India and checking out that part of it but i do believe that worshipping anybody (dead or alive) is a bit much to say the least. All we can really do is seek out ways to improve ourselves and learn lessons where we find them, answers may be given to us by another but it’s important to remember we are all human and none of us perfect, so no guru is needed, just an open mind and a desire to learn.

5. When The Angels Sing
This track and following one to me show the influence of Noel Gallagher on my song writing, i was listening to his album Chasing Yesterday around the time i wrote them.

The verses speak of a desire to escape the world around me, the tedium of daily life and to have someone to share a new adventure with and the chorus’ are about… well i’m not sure exactly but i guess they kinda say when it’s time to go, it’s time to go, so just make sure you enjoy life, your journey, so that when the angels sing you’re good to go and join them.

Quite a bit going on in this track too, organ, piano, choir and the like. It was the final song to be completed and one i’m looking forward to singing live, although it will be a stripped down version of course as currently i have no backing band.

6. The Loving Light
I remember finishing this track off when on holiday in St. Ives, where i got most the songs finished off in fact, it was a productive week of song writing by the celtic sea.

Songwriting by the Celtic Sea

Songwriting by the Celtic Sea

It’s more a song of friendship then of love, having someone by your side in the tough times and helping them when they’re in need too. Duncan plays the piano solo on this, in fact every solo on the album that isn’t a harmonica he plays, i certainly couldn’t make this album without him.

The chords feel rather Oasis-y to me, it’s another i’m quite looking forward to putting into my set now and then.

Will you shine your loving light?

7. Peace By Peace
Amy’s favourite song on the album i think i’m right in saying, well it was at one point, i believe she told me that before she sang on some others so that may have changed.

Lots of dreaming going on in this song and it builds up nicely from a gentle acoustic start to a finish with drums, bass, piano and such all going on. It’s a nice simply structured song, well a lot of my songs are but i feel this would work well however it is performed, be it on piano, guitar or whatever.

There is an early demo made in January during the sessions for my album Walkin’ To Heaven that may be shared at some point, so keep your eyes out for that.

Maria and Amy

Maria and Amy

8. (Come On) Love One Another
You may have heard this song before, i released a different recording of it in December last year and also put a live performance of it on YouTube back in March.

This new version not only sees Amy take some of the verses but is also in a different key, has a different intro and generally has been improved with some added instruments and the like, making it well worth a place on the album.

It’s quite Let It Be like but was actually inspired by an Oasis track called Boy With The Blues but i don’t think it really sounds a lot like either. The title – and part of the lyric – is based on what are rumoured to be George Harrison’s last words “love one another”.

Oh come on, love one another!

9. Under The Moon
I started work on this song back in October 2014 but it was left unfinished as i didn’t really have a place for it past albums or EPs and wanted to save it for an album rather than putting it out separately.

It was a good job i waited too because now it has some added electric guitar and a new vocal take, it also features a trumpet solo (and outro) which is pretty darn cool. It was going to be the closing track until i decided I Believe deserved to be the closing epic.

Tis be a splendid little song.

10. I Believe
And onto the afore mentioned closing epic.

I Believe is another track you may have heard before, i recorded a version with Sarah Proctor in our duet Sogni d’amore and also put an acoustic version out earlier in the year on my album Walkin’ To Heaven but this new version is hands down the best one yet!

I remember writing the song in February 2014 after performing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah! live while i was working on Young Devon’s music course and this song just came out of me a few days later, although it’s nothing like Leonard Cohen’s song, in fact i recently noticed that the lyric “i believe, yes i believe” features in John Lennon’s song #9 Dream, how did i not notice that for 16 months or so?

Amy singing

Amy singing

Like the acoustic version the key has been shifted from the original Sogni d’amore version to better suit my vocal range but the best part is that Amy takes the chorus’ and takes the song to another level, even now after listening to it more than a few times i just love it when her vocals kick in and the song lifts.

The added drums and piano by Duncan give it a great new feel too, the song builds nicely and it really closes the album well.

I think it deserves a video too, so if there are any keen music video makers in the South West keen to get in touch and film me (and maybe Amy) miming along to this song then do please get in touch!

There is also an alternative version of the song which is a bonus track on the Bandcamp release of the album, it has no drums or guitar and is closer to the first recording of the song made in Sogni d’amore in sound.

B-Sides:
Prior to the album coming out i released Feelin’ This Good and it will featured two b-sides and they are…

1. There Goes The Sunrise
Another Sogni d’amore re-recording but again i couldn’t find a place for it on the album, even though it’s perhaps one of my personal favourites of my own stuff.

When me and Sarah made the Sogni d’amore album most of the songs i considered to be either old stuff that needed re-doing or just stuff i had lying about that i liked but didn’t love but i re-listed to the album and realised i really love a lot of those songs but i didn’t want to go re-recording them all but this one i felt i could do an ok job of alone.

Recording some vocals

Recording some vocals

2. Should The World Let You Down
I started recording this one back in April but felt the lyrics were too same-y to some other stuff on the album so i kinda forgot about it until August/September when i re-wrote the words and realised while it wouldn’t really fit on the album it’s a song that deserves to be shared, the chords could roll on forever.

Working on the songs

Working on the songs

3. Shine Your Light (?)
At this point i am undecided if I Believe will be released as a single but if i do put it out as a single then Shine Your Light will be it’s b-side and if not the song will still turn up somewhere, you can be sure of that.

It’s a short and simple song but lovely in it’s way.

Acknowledgement Time
Well not enough thanks can be given to Duncan for all his work and help on getting the best out of me and the songs, especially all the solos he plays. Sound Gallery really is a great place to make music, it’s why i’ve pretty much been living there these past 3 years or so and seeing how far my music has come in that time, from badly timed and flatly sung live takes through to this album it’s been a great journey so far!

Meeting Amy was such a blessing too, a chance meeting, i’ve had many students on the Simpti program sit in on sessions in the past. Some just sit and watch, others ask questions and some give their opinions but Amy is the first to take a step and offer her talents. I’m sure she’ll go far in whatever direction she heads in the world of music.

Playing the keyboard as a Simpti member gets his certificate

Playing the keyboard as a Simpti member gets his certificate

Simpti Logo

Simpti Logo

The Artwork
I decided to go for the simple approach this time, just a nice plain blue cover with the title on it (although there are pictures on the back). No need for a fancy cover, time to let the music do the talking i think and there are enough past albums and singles with a picture of my face on it.

There is a drawing of me on the CD however, a rather excellent self-portrait!

Sky In My Pocket Artwork

Sky In My Pocket – Artwork

The Title
Sky In My Pocket means very little and certainly has nothing to do with the songs, although if you can find a connection good on you!

I got the idea for the title when i was in the museum of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, there was an exhibit showing various ways people used to tell time and one of the captions near a piece was “the sky in your pocket” which sounded kinda cool to me, so i stole it.

God knows what the title would of been if i hadn’t been enjoying museums in London.

Let’s wrap this up…
Well done if you read all of the above and i hope when you lend your ears to the songs you’ll enjoy what you hear.

Next up for me is to continue gigging and playing wherever i can to share not only these songs but others too, i’ve spent a long time in the studio but now i think it’s time to try and focus on the performing side of things, so hopefully i’ll see you soon, be sure to get in touch if you’d like me to perform near you.

Until then…

Shine your love,
Ross

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