Mike Gale has been a favourite round here since before Joyzine even existed, producing woozy, melancholic indie-folk gems as frontman of Black Nielson, Co-Pilgrim and more recently under his own name.
Latest album, ‘The Star Spread Indefinite’ continues this rich vein of form, with it’s laid-back, sun-drenched acoustic strums offset by Gale’s mournful double-tracked vocal. It’s released today on limited edition CD and digital download via Bandcamp, and we’re delighted to bring you both a first listen to the album and a track by track guide from Mike himself.
As soon as I had the repeating riff and the melody then the whole song just fell into place without me really even having to think about it. That doesn’t happen often. I barely even recall recording it, everything just flowed and it was finished before I knew it. Even the muted trumpet sample was pretty much fully formed and fitted perfectly, I think the only thing I changed about it was the pitch. Lyrically the song begins the theme of most of the rest of the album of wishing to be alone and quiet.
This Year is about the few people in my life, besides family, that I feel a genuine connection too. It’s also about accepting that my music is never going to be heard by more than a handful of people and how that doesn’t matter at all.
Pastel Coloured Warm
I had a whole different bunch of songs lined up to be an album originally but some stuff happened in my personal life that inspired new material and a new direction, so I ended up replacing most of the songs with what became the finished album. Pastel Coloured Warm was the only song to survive. Lyrically it’s just another story of wishing to be somewhere still and peaceful.
There is a planet in Star Wars called Kamino which is aquatic, remote and where it hardly ever stops raining. I’ve always imagined it would be the place where I’d most like to settle down. It was summer when I wrote most of these songs and I was just yearning for Autumn and some rain and cold.
Straight out tribute to The Go-Betweens. I’d just finished reading Robert Forster’s brilliant book ‘Grant and I’ and was inspired to try and put into words what those guys, especially Grant mean to me. I feel a real affinity to Grant McLennan, musically and personally and just wanted to try and express that. The acapella section in the middle is somehow, ever so slightly out of tune with the rest of the song but it works I think.
I Used My Head As A Mother
As I said before, I was going through some stuff when writing most of these songs and this one in particular is on that theme. Most of it touches on the fact that despite my Dad dying almost 7 years ago now, I was still trying to accept that and grieve properly and how that was affecting other parts of my life. It’s not the cheeriest little number but it was good for me to let it out.
Weird song that I was never really happy with. I felt like I lost the direction of this one a bit and just had to try and scramble it together. I like the lyrics and the clarinet sample but it’s not my favourite.
I’ll Get My Wish
This was a fun one to record. I didn’t really have a clear idea of how it was going to work when I started, I just had different pieces of songs and had to fit them together. I found some really lovely samples and I think I pulled it off. Lyrically it’s about how I’ve always prefered my own company and that one day that would ultimately leave me completely alone.
The Star Spread Indefinite is available on cd and digital download from Bandcamp.
Introduction by Paul Maps