Yearn – songwriting with Bobbie Watson (1999 – 2002)

‘That could almost be a hit. Almost.’

During the last year or so of B So glObal’s existence, I had started to store up a lot of chord progression / bass / rhythm ideas that wouldn’t have worked within the confines of B So glObal’s sound world.
I had an idea that at least some of them might work as songs, so I offered a fat batch of these sketches to our then recently added vocalist, Bobbie Watson, to see if she could do anything with them. Bobbie responded by bringing a fabulous treasure-trove of lyrics and melodic ideas to the table. That moment marked the start of our long-term songwriting partnership.

Many of the songs that we wrote between 1999 and 2002 later featured – in radically different readings – in the live sets and recordings of both Drift and the Colins of Paradise.

Bobbie and I realised a while ago that the original duo versions of these songs had never really had an airing anywhere, so I’ve pulled together fifteen of them into a 70 minute album which we’ve named ‘Yearn’.

The tracks on Yearn range from voice and electric piano to some pretty hefty, large-scale arrangements. Many of the tracks needed a bit of fleet-footed detective and DAW work to find and then extract the necessary MIDI and audio parts from now long-defunct DAWs. Once extracted, I re-constructed the songs from these original stems and re-mixed them. Three or four of the songs have also been polished-up with a bit of additional instrumentation, which includes the occasional furtive appearance of my signature wobbly trombone playing (what a tricky instrument to learn THAT’S turning out to be)!

The cover images for Yearn are taken from the paintings, ‘Shirt #2’, and ‘Silhouette‘, both by Bobbie. You can see more of Bobbie’s work on her website, and you can read Bobbie’s lyrics for the songs here.

The handwritten extract reproduced in the inner gatefold is from Bobbie’s lyrics for the song ‘Glow‘.

Inner gatefold:

Yearn’ is available as a CD in a signed, gatefold digipak from Discogs or Bandcamp, and as a digital download from Bandcamp.

All 15 tracks can be played on Bandcamp, but in the meantime, here are quick Soundcloud listens of two differently-mooded songs from Yearn:

‘Glow’;

& ‘Lodestar’;