Ever the musical chameleons, and let’s face it, musical geniuses, Brisbane’s formidable Fingerless are already following up the release of their album ‘Life, Death & Prizes’ earlier this year with a brand new single ‘Cry A Little’ that whips us right back to the crooning fifties. In fact, nicknamed the Roy Orbison song by the band as it was originally written as a homage to the great man, ‘Cry A Little’ has a doo-wop fifties sparkle that just confirms the band’s inordinate ability to tackle a range of style and master everyone they touch.
The meticulousness with which the band captured the sound is extraordinary – a testament to their professionalism and musicianship. Marc Cheeseman says of the process:
For me personally the worst part of recording this song was doing the loud vocal section near the end of the song. The “just like the sandman” bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wrote that bit and I love it. Obviously it’s a huge nod to the breakdown in Roy Orbison’s ‘Only the Lonely’, and I’m really happy that I managed to get a section like that into the song. But, when we recorded that particular bit it was just me in the (very visible) vocal booth and Wolfe in the (not very visible) control room, and there was this random band just sitting outside having a few beers and a chat right where I could see them and they could see me. This section is not easy to sing, and I’ll be honest, it took me quite a few takes. And for every take those guys were just sitting there. I can only imagine what it sounded like to them, without the backing track in their ears, and me singing that same line over and over and over.
The result is nothing short of magnificent – the band sounding like they were transported back in time with all the modern miracles of today’s recording facilities. But above all, it is a fantastic piece of pop:
The artwork for ‘Cry a Little’ was produced using generative AI: Midjourney. Cheeseman says::
I wanted something that reflected the 1950s sound of the song that was also eye-catching and slightly off, you know? Just a little weird. I think the giant onion has that special something.
Fingerless will be launching the single on 9 September at Brisbane’s home of all things groovy, The Bearded Lady, as part of 4000 Records’ fourth birthday celebrations. Fingerless will share the stage with The Double Happiness, DARLING. and Cloud Tangle for an evening of brilliant music celebrating a brilliant label. Details and tickets here.
Feature Photograph: Jonny Pickvance