‘Somewhere // Anywhere’ marked a significant point in the band’s journey. At the time of creating this album, The Alchemy were in a transitional phase from losing a founding member of the band and gaining a whole new member changing it all up for us.
We completely produced this record ourselves from the writing to the record mixing and mastering and then all the visuals that come with it. This allowed us the freedom to fully express ourselves artistically in a way I don’t think we have been able to before.
The songwriting process for this record was a completely collaborative effort among us. We were all deeply involved in crafting the music and lyrics which brought us closer as a band.
Aim for the Record:
With “Somewhere // Anywhere,” we aimed to create an album that captured a sense of exploration and snapshot in time. It was about breaking free from limitations, both in our music and in our lives. The album reflects the idea that you can find beauty and meaning in unexpected places, whether you’re somewhere specific or anywhere in the world a concept I’d been fighting for a while
The songwriting process for this record had its challenges, but it was also incredibly rewarding. With a completely different approach to the writing of this record to previous records, there was this balance we all had to figure out how we would create this new record. We drew inspiration from personal experiences, moments of self-discovery, and the ever-changing world around us.
One of the major challenges we faced during the making of “Somewhere // Anywhere” was time management. We were all deeply committed to the album’s creative process at every single stage, which sometimes meant long hours in the studio.
In terms of equipment and production, we aimed for a modern explosive sound yet raw sound, which required meticulous attention to detail. We wanted the album to sound cohesive while allowing each track to stand on its own.
Influences and World Factors:
The times when we were creating this record we were inspired by the changing world around us and the idea of capturing the snapshot of the time.
The album, in many ways, reflects our response to the complexities of the world around us and the desire to find solace and meaning within it.
“Somewhere // Anywhere” is a reflection of our collective growth, both as a band and as individuals.
Track by Track
Track 1: Birdsong
‘Birdsong’ serves as the opening track of the album ‘Somewhere // Anywhere’, and it plays a crucial role in setting the tone for the entire record. This song emerged from a caffeine fuelled studio session between Jack and Sam.
The adjective “chaotic” aptly describes the initial creative process for ‘Birdsong’.
The seemingly disparate ideas were finally melded together to create the steam train that is ‘Birdsong’.
Track 2: Lovesick
It’s a song with an early Brit pop vibe, reminiscent of the kind of energy you’d find in ‘Song 2’ by Blur. Much like many of our tracks, it was born out of a creative session between Jack and Sam.
The intro you hear in the song is actually directly from our initial demo. We wanted to preserve that raw, unfiltered essence that often gets lost in the recording process. However, I remember there was a particular challenge when it came to the recording of ‘Lovesick’. We wanted it to have that big, rock punch, but it couldn’t be too tidy. We didn’t want to lose that sense of chaos that’s inherent in the song.
During the editing process, there was a moment when the song started to lose its edge. I had, unintentionally, over-cleaned it up, and it just didn’t feel right. So, I had to go way back, to find that perfect balance between a polished sound and the raw chaos that ‘Lovesick’ embodies.
Track 3: Somewhere // Anywhere
‘Somewhere // Anywhere’ is not just a song; it’s the title track of our album, and it carries a special significance for us. When we were creating this track, we felt that it perfectly encapsulated the essence of the entire record.
The concept behind ‘Somewhere // Anywhere’ is deeply rooted in the idea of choice and freedom. It reflects a constant tug-of-war between staying in a familiar place, a sort of status quo, and venturing out into the unknown, seeking new experiences. This concept was a reflection of how we felt while making the entire record.
Lyrically, ‘Somewhere // Anywhere’ tells a narrative of two individuals who are growing apart but trying to understand each other’s perspectives. They’re grappling with the idea of where they want to be in life. It’s a story of choices and the complexities of deciding between the known and the uncharted.
We wanted the song to convey the sense that everyone has their own ‘somewhere’ and ‘anywhere’, and that’s perfectly okay.
It’s a title track that not only represents the album but also the journey that brought us to this point.
Track 4: True Loves A Waste Of Time
‘True Love’s a Waste of Time’ is a song that may sound nihilistic at first glance, especially with its title. However, when you delve into the lyrics and the full context, it’s actually quite the opposite.
This song went through a dramatic transformation from its initial demo. In its early stages, it was slower and much shorter in length. As we worked on it, the song took on a new life, into something we were going to run as a lead single if it wasn’t for the longer intro. Fun fact it also has the lowest note on the whole record being the big old Low B ! Just slaps when it hits.
Track 5: Real Life
‘Real Life’ is one of those tracks that truly resonates with us as a band, and it’s right up there as one of our favourite tracks on the record and to perform. It possesses this incredible airiness and power that seems to penetrate deep into the soul.
We even coined a word for it – ‘tragical’ – because it felt like the perfect way to describe the blend of the melancholic and the magical that this song embodies.
Recording ‘Real Life’ was an exhilarating experience. Every layer we added, from the drums to the bass, the guitars, and the synths, as well as the intricate layers of vocals, seemed to lift the song to new heights.
And then there’s that unforgettable last 60 seconds of the track. It never fails to make my head bounce, and I think thats a testament to the infectious energy that this song carries for us.
Track 6: Sun Bleached
One of the things that made recording ‘Sun Bleached’ such a memorable experience was watching Sam, lay down the drum parts. It was a blast to witness his unpretentious approach to recording. He didn’t go for anything fancy but focused on the firm, driven backbone to the track.
It definitely has some of my favourite lyrics “I think I found a connection, My hearts out of remission, You finally opened my eyes, You finally gave it a mission, I finally found connection.”
Track 7: Summer
‘Summer’, to us, is the most anthemic track on the record. It’s the kind of song that immediately transports you back to those 2000s rom-com soundtracks, with all the nostalgia and heartwarming feelings they bring. But it’s more than just a throwback; it’s a track that hits us right in the feels, and each of us has our own personal connection to it.
I remember the start of that track. It was me and an acoustic guitar, sitting outside the studio in not sunny weather; come on this is England. I was strumming away, waiting for everyone to arrive. And then, it was like it was just here, the song like fell out.
But what really stands out about ‘Summer’ is how the guys quickly jumped in with their ideas. I think we felt the song’s potential, and we couldn’t wait to see where it would take us.
One vivid memory I have is playing a mix of the track back to the guys. And Jack saying, “That last chorus needs to just keep repeating and drive the sentiment home.” It was one of those ‘aha’ moments, you know? We made that change, listened back, and collectively thought, “erm, yes, that’s it!”
So, ‘Summer’ isn’t just a song for us. It’s a memory, a feeling, and a reminder of why we do what we doIt’s a track that’s deeply personal and has become a part of our journey as a band for sure.
Track 8: Normal People
‘Normal People’ came about during one of our writing sessions, and it was born out of a simple statement Rhys just saying every week, “I want to write an anthem where you can sing the guitar riff.” The guys, are like, “God, fine, go on then.”
During another session, we had a guitar riff that had these semi-tone step-downs, and we thought, ‘Why not put these two ideas together?’ So, we did just that.
The result was ‘Normal People’.
Track 9: Glass Houses
It’s interesting how songs take shape, and this one had a real vitality from the start.
When we were creating “Glass Houses,” we were very much aware of the state of our world and the challenges we face. The lyrics, “You know, you can’t, you won’t believe, Slow cook your marbles, So frugal through greed”, reflect the idea that sometimes, the realities we face can be almost unbelievable. We see how certain actions, driven by greed and short-sightedness, can lead to dire consequences.
“Sitting back, having a relapse, back on track, getting stacks, getting stacked”, represents the cycle of how we often react to crises. We might briefly acknowledge the issues, then get back to our routines, accumulating material wealth while neglecting the larger problems at hand. The line “So hot, Oh don’t stop, Dustbowl, where the dirt cracks”, paints a vivid picture of the environmental challenges we’re up against
Track 10: Brothers
‘Brothers’ was born from one of those fast and furious writing sessions where Sam and Jack were determined to smash out a track in 2 hours.
One of the standout features of ‘Brothers’ is the way Jack took the lead on vocals in the verses. It was a breath of fresh air for us, a new dimension to our sound that we were eager to explore.
What makes this song truly unforgettable is how much fun it is to play together in the same room. The energy is infectious. It’s one of those tracks that just clicks.
Track 11: Hollywood
‘Hollywood’ was the last song we wrote for ‘Somewhere // Anywhere’, and it served as the perfect conclusion to the album. We wanted to create a sonic landscape that felt like an otherworldly experience and weird, a sort of sonic scape that would transport listeners to a different dimension.
One of the most cathartic aspects of writing ‘Hollywood’ was that it allowed us to tap into some of the closest elements of our band. It’s a track where we let loose and allow our creativity to run wild. Jack, in particular, had the opportunity to really let his energy shine through in the ending monologue. He gets to shout like the Essex lad he is, and it adds a unique and authentic element to the song.
What makes ‘Hollywood’ so special to us is its explosive and exhilarating ending. It felt like the perfect way to conclude the album. It’s a track that pushes boundaries and takes risks, which is something we always strive for as a band.
As we reflect on ‘Hollywood’ now, we can’t help but feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in how it turned out. It’s a testament to our creative process and our willingness to explore new sonic territories. We hope that listeners find it to be a fitting and exhilarating end to the journey that is ‘Somewhere // Anywhere’
Check out the albums opening track Birdsong, below:
Read our interview with the band here