You Are My Life: Celebratory Track By Track (Track One)
Celebratory track by track of songs from The Answer: You Are My Life.
As the opening track on the album, I wanted to choose a song that welcomed you into the record, enveloping the listener into a safe, positive space that prepares you for what's to come later on The Answer.
We recorded You Are My Life at StudiOwz recording studio when it was on Owain Fleetwood Jenkins (the producer and owner)'s parents dairy farm. I remember we had to stop at 4.30pm every day of the recording because it was milking time on the farm, the machines were so loud, they'd carry into the studio mics. So, during that down time we'd often spend it going over parts to play on a track, jam the song together and experiment, or just go down to our local pub, Druidstone Hotel - which is still a fond favourite, for some much needed fresh air and fresh ears!
I wrote You Are My Life when I had my first electric guitar - a Gretsch Streamliner in racing car green. I've always played and written on acoustic guitars or piano, but this new territory of composing on an electric really inspired more riff based songwriting - something I'd never explored before. I also realised that generally, I tend to write from a melancholic standpoint, using my creativity in music as a form of therapy for myself and the listener, so when it came to writing a 'happy' song like You Are My Life I felt a bit out of my comfort zone, desperate not to write a cheesy love song!
I originally recorded the song with me on electric, using the chord progression I had written as a base for the rest of the band - Jimmy Brewer (guitarist), Tom Sinnett (bassist), Jack Beddis (drums) and Owain Fleetwood Jenkins (Jen Synth & Mellotron), which shaped the song, and I worked production ideas around that with Owain's expertise in production. We later realised that this guitar part that I had put down, was no longer needed as it was taking up too much space, the instruments that the rest of the band had put down were strong enough to carry it alone. We had invited Toby Couling down to lay percussion on the track and Dan Moore to play Hammond Organ.
We started the song with just my lead vocal, tambourine and bass - a bold introduction to not only this track, but the whole album - an idea that stemmed from some stunning Motown/Soul artists that have inspired my music no end.
I think we can often take things we love for granted in life, and for me this celebratory track, You Are My Life, was my way of showing the people around me that have stood by my side through thick and thin are not forgotten. I couldn't do music without them and I'm so glad I have them in my life.
Listen to the full track HERE!