Here’s our finished song – Fifty To One!
A huge thanks to the creative team who helped me bring it to life: Goodnight Louisa (vocals), Mattie Foulds (production, synths, drums), Kevin McGuire (bass) & Mikey Owers (brass).
“the fantasy that keeps on fading”
My fifth collaboration with Goodnight Louisa, “Fifty To One”, came about after I was lucky enough to work alongside Louise (her real name!) in 2021 as part of a fantastic songwriting project for young people attending Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre in Edinburgh. The project was delivered in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival and Vox Liminis (with whom I’ve done quite a bit of rewarding work in the past around singing and songwriting in a social justice context, including “In Tune” family singing sessions with prisoners and their families).
The young people at Goodtrees had really risen to the challenges of the pandemic, and had been using their time and energy during lockdown to get food and other supplies to everyone who needed them in their community – and this led the Edinburgh International Festival to devise a way of giving back to the young people themselves, through a project called AMPLIFY, which gave them a platform to speak out and be heard, through songs and raps.
Discovering Louise’s unique aesthetic and voice through this project, as well as her confidence and skills in production, I was keen to collaborate with her as part of CONSEQUENCES, and to learn more about her personal songwriting process, which leads to unique and engaging work, as you may have discovered already, if you’ve checked out her debut album, Human Danger (if you haven’t, you can listen HERE).
Having settled on a theme of greed, and more specifically, gambling, in advance, we spent an evening together in real life, collaborating in a room, and it was most interesting for me to see Louise’s process which is quite different from my own – building up a melody by playing lines and chords on her synthesiser (which I also had a bash at!), and also building up a vibe using a drum machine that she had recently bought, and working at a speed which really impressed me to try out and then settle on the final pattern of electronic beats that feature in the track. Another thing that was really interesting to me was how films influenced Louise’s creativity, and how that made our developing lyrics very visual, in a way that greatly appealed to me.
What was also quite different for me (from my usual songwriting approach, at least) was that the song came into existence that night, despite not having many words – it had a real shape and an energy, and we knew what it was going to be about, but apart from the chorus phrases, it didn’t have many lyrics at this stage. That was something that we then worked on remotely afterwards…
The first real COVID-19 challenge happened during this collaboration; although much of the track was recorded mid month, sadly after that, Louise was unable to join a planned “in person” recording session with Mattie to record her vocals, because she tested positive for COVID. Despite being under the weather, and not having a functioning microphone or pop shield at home, Louise was a trouper and managed to borrow and record remotely in order to add what I’m sure you will agree are very distinctive and beautiful vocals to the song last night! As you can imagine, Mattie’s had quite a bit of work to do quickly in order to make the final mix and master and still meet today’s deadline – hats off to him, and his calm approach! It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Louise on this, and I really hope you enjoy the song 🙂
My fifth songwriting collaborator in the CONSEQUENCES project is Goodnight Louisa, a dark pop artist from Edinburgh, Scotland, whose debut album, Human Danger, is out now – you can listen to it here.
By the end of the month, I’ll share a blog with reflections on our collaboration, and a recording of our song! Exciting…
Meanwhile, if you’d like to support the project by pre-ordering the CD of the album for delivery in October 2022, you can do so here:
Thanks for all your support!