Our right now digitally via the ever wonderful Fierce Panda label is the new track from London band Hatcham Social, based around brothers Finn and Toby. Well technically, although its new as in its never been released, it was actually recorded more than ten years ago. It will feature on the bands forthcoming career-spanning compilation ‘We Are The Weirdos’, due out in March 2022 and sees tracks taken from their four albums and lost releases as well.
“To re-record ‘If You Go Down To The Wood Today…’ we went in with Brian O’Shaunghessy at Bark Studio in Walthamstow,” explains Finn. “You may recognise Brian as the genius behind Lawrence’s post-Felt records, such as Go-Kart Mozart and Denim, as well as lesser known gems like My Bloody Valentine’s ‘You Made Me Realise’ and ‘Screamadelica’ by Primal Scream.
It was the first time we had worked with Brian in this capacity, and it was liberating to let someone else take the helm production-wise for once, letting me, Toby and James concentrate on playing. We approached it very much how we approached all the early singles, which meant doing live takes with the three instruments (guitar, bass, and drums), then main vocal and minimal overdubs, in this instance consisting of some 808 claps, an old synth (originally owned by Joe Meek), and a couple of backing vocals.”
“Originally the song was written before the first album but it was never finished,” elaborates Toby. “It felt like it was a manifesto of what the meaning of the name of the band was ‘Hatcham Social’ being about the clearing in the woods, and this was about claiming a space in the clearing, or standing up for this space together. I was thinking a lot at that time about the play and naivety of children’s rhymes and you can feel that in the verses. Then recently after we decided to re-record it for this, I finished off the lyrics and we finalised the arrangement. It was quite an interesting thing: it was like co-writing with myself!
I wrote quite a lot of new material and came down to the lines that are now the chorus that I think sum up some of the concerns of the whole Hatcham Social project from my contemporary perspective – albeit in a slightly abstracted and assembled manner. We see ourselves as part of nature, not apart from nature. We are not concrete towers living in concrete towers. We are empathetic fellow beings on a muddy watery rock who should prize that fellowship above ownership of land and tower blocks. It’s a simple call for sharing, not market shares.”
Blazing away wearing it’s sort of post-Smiths / Postcard records influences firmly on their (presumably paisley) sleeves, it’s gloriously melodic, sway-along indie pop that makes you smile and want to fetch your Chelsea boots out of the cupboard, grown your hair out and dance.
Check it out, here