Brett posted on his forum over the weekend some initial thoughts and retrospective analysis of his new album ‘Slow Attack’.
..i thought i’d show my face and write something before the album deluge begins and we’re all caught up in a frenzied orgy of assessment and re-appraisal. i walked the dogs in the park today and listened to Slow Attack after deliberately giving it a bit of space. it’s not precisely the record i intended to make( but when is it ever? , the meandering script is part of the creative process) and quite unusual i think… probably not as focussed as Wilderness but also freer , with less boundaries. it was made with a genuine spirit of experimentation… i’m still learning how to do this you see, and hopefully getting better at being this different version of myself.
if you think this doesn’t sound like the usual, tedious ‘this is the greatest piece of music that has ever been created’ PR bullshit then that’s cos it isn’t ( the bullshit i mean, not the music, that’s up to you to decide). as i slowly dismantle my ego i am finding it less important to present a facade, i’ll leave that to the bleating herd still tethered to the trough.the bottom line is that i feel it contains real moments of magic. there are a couple of songs on there that i would proudly sing next to anything from my career , and that, i think, is about as much as you can ask.
the album was conceived and created in the bleak London winter. it’s actually the time i feel the most creative as i often feel inspired to drown myself in my music as a simple escape from the pain of the city’s icy embrace…the cycle i have slipped into seems to be a winter/summer loop of creation then pause and regurgitation….well, it suits me for the time being even if it does mean that i seem overly obsessed with seasonal change.
i tried to use words in a different way. not as the motor of the song but as fragments and hints of meaning. i suppose you could say they are less narrative. i was listening in awe to things like Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock and was inspired to be less obvious, to ‘deepen the mystery’ as Francis Bacon would have it.
Leo was incredibly inspiring to work with. he’s got a fascinating musical brain, always wanting to take the song somewhere else, sometimes to places it didn’t seem to want to go to at first, but like a cat settling into a new home would learn to love the space. my single favorite moment on the album is actually an instrumental section which comes at the end of a song called Scarecrows and Lilacs. we had written the song and then Leo decided it needed to go somewhere else so he came up with a simply beautiful meandering coda section which still gives me goose-bumps. his choice of instrumentation was also inspired, edging me into accepting woodwind instead of the more conventional string sections and layering the songs with an Alladin’s Cave of bizarre instruments. we even had a glass-keyed marimba specially made to create the sound that you will hear on another of my favorites, Ashes of Us .
so i suppose we are near the time when the inevitable, boring leaks will appear. if you come across my album before october , please have respect for me as an artist and keep it to yourself. i know the it’s tempting to tell everyone that you ‘heard it weeks ago’ or something but i would really prefer it if there was just a little bit of magic and sanctity left in actually waiting. remember that. not to mention the body blow that is dealt to artists like myself who are trying to keep afloat by making music that isn’t championed by Radio 1 and the music press.
the next time you will hear me is on friday when i will be singing an imprecise but passionate version of Frozen Roads as the first of this You Tube series. these fragile little films are just meant as ‘the smell of a taste’ as it were of the meal to come. i really enjoyed makng them and hope they will be listened to in the right spirit.
He certainly has a way of increasing the anticipation for what was an already highly anticipated release!
I think it is wonderful that he shares his musings and thoughts on the completed body of work. Personally I find what Brett says to still be very motivational and he seems to constantly strike a cord with my own thoughts which is one of the reasons I adore his music and passion so much.
This is the first album for some time where I truly am in the dark as to what it may sound like and to what direction it is going to go in. With the previous solo works there has always been a sound or lyric set that you expected to hear but with Slow Attack I really am starting to feel massively excited just as I used to years ago when a new Suede album was nearing its birth.
I really hope people take the time to read Brett’s post and urge all to share their thoughts on here or the official forum.
Goes without saying that the first video this Friday is going to be very interesting and another thing to look forward to!