Sometimes you need to take a step back, before you can move forward. Nowhere is that more true than in music.
Treetop Flyers decided to take a step back, following a period of immense upheaval in their personal and musical lives.
But the band still fought on. As Reid Morrison puts it: "We'd been through a lot individually and collectively. Coming together to make this record was very therapeutic for us, in a sense. It brought us closer and allowed us to let go of a lot of the bullshit that we'd had to endure and negotiate in the past."
New album 'Palomino' is the result. The product of a band whose fluidity is their main strength, it finds Treetop Flyers blending folk influences, that Laurel Canyon sound, with some of their most visceral songwriting to date.
Out on March 11th, you can check out 'Palomino' below.
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Check out a track by track guide to 'Palomino' from Treetop Flyers below...
You Darling You
We knew this was going to be good while writing it. Tomer had a song idea that we started jamming on, but we soon realised that the bridge section sounded the most powerful part in many ways, so we decided to write a song around that. As we were jamming, I started singing the line: ‘Better you’ll never find me in the mirror’ which was an angry stab at a love in vain. This (I think) made Tomer think about his situation with his divorce and it was a platform for him to speak about what was going on in his head. It was very therapeutic for him, as a lot of songs on this record are too each of us.
I’m a fan of making a song out of make believe situations that have no connection to yours or anyone’s life. I had quite a strong idea musically how I wanted it to sound, so I wrote the verse melodies and started the idea for the guitar riff that Sam and Laurie took to another level. At first I wasn’t sure if the song should have been played completely on acoustic guitars, but I thought that would pigeonhole the song too much. So we went the opposite way and went super groovy and spacey! I had a bunch of lyrics for this and Tomer helped myself shape it all to make the story make a bit more sense.
Sam had this idea for a while and when it came to putting in the songs for the recording process we felt this needed finishing: it had a lot of potential. Sam and Tomer finished off the lyrics while we started jamming to it. It really suited Sam’s voice, so we swapped roles on this one. We had a lot of fun with this in the studio. We added some weird sounds on this one too; the idea through the whole recording process was about breaking the mold. For example, at the end of the song, you hear talking which almost sounds like people talking in tongues, this was actually Sam and the engineer Dave talking about mic’s – ha! Jonathan Wilson who mixed this record made this song sound like it was in our heads, as he did do with most songs on this record. Top man.
It’s a Shame
This is a song we almost forgot about. We were going through old phone recordings, when we remembered this one. The chorus hook still sounded catchy after all that time, so we decided to work on it. At the time we had no bass player, so we all helped out on this duty giving the song a lot of space during the writing. I really enjoyed singing on this as the story behind the song was very personal - every time we took a take, I could see the 3 people it’s based on in my mind. It felt like the final turn of the page on that whole chapter.
Dance Through The Night
This was an old song I had recorded with an old band, but it never quite felt right. We had played it a couple of times live but stopped, added a jam section in the song (heard at the end of one of our old songs, haunted house), and that’s when it really started taking off. Being a clear live favourite even from the small section we played, we knew we had to get this up to scratch. Personally, this is still my most enjoyable song to play live as you just have to totally get into a mindset, and when you do it’s a journey. One on which you could never quite know what may happen. Lyrically, its another case of creating a song from personal experience, but seen through a highly twisted and distorted mindset.
St. Andrews Cross
This is the most personal song I have ever wrote; it’s about the passing of my Father. He was my biggest supporter musically and losing him was like losing a leg. I had written a song on our first record called ‘Waiting On You’, which was from the perspective of hoping he would get better, where as this song is writing it from the perspective of after the event and remembering being at the funeral where I had to perform a speech. I just hope this song gives people hope in a tough situation.
I love the lyrics in this one – Laurie, Sam and myself wrote this in one afternoon. We like the fun and cheeky element of this, and it’s also a new vibe for us, with new sounds and a more fun feeling to the overall track. I think you can feel how much fun we had recording this one in the finished product; we were also listening to a lot of William Onyeabor at the point. It also has a killer bass solo at the end from Ned, which you don’t often get any more!
Fairytales and Lullabies
This was a song we had in the list of tracks to go on the first album, but it didn't quite make the cut. So for this album we went back to it and gave it a bigger band feel, with drums, bass and electric guitars. I really love the way it turned out, and feel it really shows every member of the band at their best. Lyrically, it is about people moving on in different directions, but holding onto the past which we all do too much sometimes. Jonathan Wilson also did an amazing job at mixing this track creating some really cool textures and layers with different instruments.
Laurie had this song pretty much all written before he bought it to the group. When we were in LA recording our debut album, one of Laurie’s close friends sadly passed away. It took him a while to figure out what he wanted to say, and his approach was to make an uplifting tribute and the groove of the song dictated that. Although the record has a lot of tragic undertones, the message we want to put out is a positive one: this song sums that up for us.
Never Been As Hard
This was one of the slowest songs we have ever written tempo wise and we felt this was a great opportunity for some very personal lyrics. As the title suggests, humans can sometimes be really hard on themselves in order to overcome hurdles in life, (it has no sexual reference – ha!). Each of us band members went through a lot during the making of this record, and this song just highlights some of those scenarios. Tomer and I sat down and got this one under way. I think we had the chorus first and then for the verses both myself and Tomer had ideas. The song was finished a couple of days later.
Laurie and myself sat down and wrote this one from something he had been playing with. I liked it as it was quite proggy with the arrangement, meaning we could show off as musicians! Although the song is around the 4 minute mark, a hell of a lot happens during that time. So for the listener, it’s interesting and very different to anything else on the record. It also features my one and only guitar solo on the record! Lyrically, the concept was to try and get across the element of how important it sometimes is to keep your cool in a heated situation - ‘Never let your wild winds blow’ kind of vibe.
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'Palomino' will be released on March 11th.