I’ve tried to write songs, with no success at all. I can play music all right, but every time I try and write songs, they sound, at best, faintly embarrassing. So I have the utmost respect for those who carve a career in this most mysterious of skills (to me at least).
It seems like its a skill, or maybe even a compulsion depending on which songwriter you talk to, that never leaves you. Certainly Paul McCartney is still knocking out a decent tune or two at an age where he should be attending bridge clubs or rotary dinners.
Not quite in his age bracket but still no spring chickens are former (creation records) labelmates, now band mates Pete Fij and Terry Bickers. The two have had a long history in indie royalty, with Fij in Adorable (a group that I, well, adored growing up) and Polak, while Vickers brought his musical genius to The House of Love and then Levitation.
They’ve traded in their electric instruments, to make an album, Broken Heart Surgery full of wistful, melancholy soaked acoustic songs that’s due out next February. They’ve already had some success with debut single Betty Ford, and will release their new song ‘downsizing’ on October 28th, on one of those pay what you want type things over on their bandcamp page.
In these days of cutting cloths, and living within means, it’s a tale of not practical but emotional downsizing. The subject of the song has been let go, not needed anymore by his love. ‘Its nothing personal she said / in the email that was sent / you could say, I was surplus to requirements’ sings Fij, and its this matter of fact honestly and this aching melancholy that goes with it that’s the songs greatest strength. It’s beautifully observed, memorable, acoustic (indie) pop.
Seems that, certainly in the case of Pete Fij and Terry Bickers, songwriting gets better with age.