I have recently released an acoustic blues album I conceptualised and began recording back in 2018. The album was recorded entirely at home using only acoustic guitars and vocals, and a couple of other bits knocking around. I wanted to keep it simple, but also intimate and egoless in the manner of old traditional country blues. I recorded the most recent song ‘Thames Estuary Blues’ in 2020 and mixed the whole album before release. This is a song I am most happy with, its about who I am now and how I fit into my surroundings. But its also conceptually quite simple – its about coming home and I’m sure we can all relate to that. I decided to film a music video to capture both my music and the environmental atmosphere I was seeking to create. You can watch this below:
The video which I produced and shot myself around Canvey Island; my hometown, with help of Oliver Gill, also with drone shots from Joe Mander
On the whole, the album explores making sense of emotion and experience amongst environments. True to the form of the blues, the subject matter is often uncomplicated. This album was conceptualised and recorded often in tough times, hence the title; Blue as Hell – it became an outlet. But it’s not to encourage perpetual sadness, its simply for those times that are. After all, that’s when creative self expression shines. However, also true to the genre, its about laughing in the face of adversity, and making light of bad situations. There’s also more upbeat boogie-style tracks on there. I’d also like to think it has some depth and innovation beyond traditional blues, via a merging of British and American attitudes, and introducing themes such as psychogeography, existentialism, and other genres such as jazz, music hall, comedy, and rockabilly. The result is a very individual yet also hopefully a universally relatable record, and that’s really what I was trying to achieve.