Squackett revealed - A Life Within a Day - May 12
Steve, Chris and Roger
Photo © Vicedomini
Steve and Chris in Copenhagen, Autumn 2009
Look out everyone - Squackett is about to be unleashed...
Chris Squire, Roger King and I had a lot of fun putting the tracks together. We recorded both at my flat and studio, with Jeremy Stacey's drums at his studio in Chelsea and Amanda Lehmann's vocals at her home in Norfolk.
The opener A Life within a Day compresses several different styles into one. It's probably the most progressive of all the tracks. It has a bold, epic feel. Guitar, bass, keyboards and drums all play flat out in the middle section. It touches on the vastness of Earth and the universe beyond - an homage to the power of Nature.
Tall Ships was built around a Chris bass riff and brought further to life by Roger's keyboard orchestration. It's particularly inspiring in 5.1. A night sea journey that runs from church bells tolling under the ocean to the exotica of South Sea Islands.
On Divided Self both Chris and I are playing Rickenbackers. It's inspired by mid sixties Beatles along with the Shads and it spans genres from early forties Wurlitzer cinema organ through to late 60s psychedelia. Nick Clabburn was involved with us writing the lyrics. A spoof on identity crisis, drawing on neurosis and paranoia, it's best listened to on a psychiatrist's couch...
Aliens is largely a Chris song based around a sci-fi idea that aliens are only us from the future. I enjoyed weaving the guitar around this gentle tune.
The title Sea of Smiles (also part of the AA single) is taken from Kahlil Gibran. It's a song about rising above oppression and the resolving power of love. An arrangement built around vocal harmonies with a sense of tension followed by a release into the joyful chorus.
The title Summer Backwards was inspired by a comment my grandmother made during the sunset of an Indian summer. Lyric ideas developed out of conversations I had with my wife Jo about how a metaphorical voyage can return you to a kind of grail of your lost inspirations. Sonically it blends the styles of both Genesis and Yes, the twelve string guitars along with vocal harmonies.
Stormchaser is a song with an elemental feel and a sense of dancing with danger. This track first kicked off the Squackett project with a riff I suggested that fired up Chris and Roger. Squackett was born in the eye of the storm!
Can't Stop the Rain is a Chris inspired philosophical love song with a hypnotic midnight feel. It has a luxurious groove laid down by Jeremy's drums. Harmonies on both this track and the following one are joined by Amanda's vocals. This also segues into the next track...
A Perfect Love Song (also part of the AA single) celebrates music and love. Just when you think that life is cast in slabs of grey stone, love kicks in and transforms everything. The song has an ascending chord sequence and upbeat lyrics, rounding off one of the most rewarding projects I've been involved with.
Chris and his wife Scotland at Steve and Jo's wedding, June 2011
Photo © Tish Dodd
Nick, Steve, Jo, Ant and Chris, at the wedding June 2011
Photo © Tish Dodd