A long time supporter of Hertfordshire's Minnie Birch, FATEA are delighted to be able to share the soundcloud links to both tracks and a video for Minnie's next self released AA single, which is released on 13th July.
This double track single showcases both Minnie's inventive and playful side, as well as her creative reimagining of a traditional folk song, John Barleycorn, so this 'double bill' suits both the 'folk' and the 'singer songwriter' market perfectly.
The two tracks are Emeralds and John Barleycorn, a previously unreleased track, both of which were recorded by Lauren Deakin Davies.
Emeralds comes from Minnie's superb second album Tethered, about which you can read our review of her album launch here (http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/live/MinnieBirchlive.php/) , and as with many of Minnie's tracks, has an apparent 'fairy story like' innocence yet, once you dig a little deeper you find a more sinistermessage emerging.
'I wrote Emeralds when I was thinking about the world we live in. It was written post-brexit referendum and after the Presidential elections in America. I was feeling a bit at a loss with regard to the world we live in. I was also in the middle of discovering a person close to me had been quite dishonest with me. I was feeling a sense of not knowing which way up was anymore. The general feeling was I was looking at the world both directly around me and at large and thinking “We’re not in Kansas anymore” the line from the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy becomes aware of the absurdity of Oz and that nothing around her is as it seems. The song is entirely littered with references to the Wizard of Oz.'
'It was one of my favourite studio experiences – to drag myself out of this obsession with ‘space’ in music and just let Lauren build the chaos that was required to get across what I wanted so it could really feel like we were ‘dancing in the forest’ by the time it crescendos. I mostly recall Lauren saying things like “let’s just try this”. I always have this idea my albums need to be able to be recreated live. But Lauren helped me to see that the recorded version can be a completely different version to the live and there’s a beauty in that.
I also used my tap shoes to create part of the percussion on this track – they are ruby red tap shoes so I felt it fitting.’
'John Barleycorn came about from a quite different starting point, I was commissioned to do a 'Minnie' version of the song, which I found to be an exciting, if a bit scary, challenge.'
Hertfordshire film maker Mark Crane used Minnie's somewhat ethereal interpretation for his film, based on Leslie Tate’s memoirs ‘Heaven’s Rage’ which is winning awards and being shown at a number of film festivals including Liverpool’s Pride and he also made Minnie a video using some of the film footage, to support the release. https://youtu.be/tzLEHCWWo9c with the soundcloud preview here https://soundcloud.com/minnie-birch/sets/john-barleycorn-emeralds-aa
‘It was an honour to be asked to work on a track for Mark’s ‘Heaven’s Rage’. I know Mark through the local scene of creative types in Watford and we often end up at the same events together but I got to know him even better when we both found ourselves acting as ghosts in Hemel Hempstead’s ‘Spirit of the Old Town’ ghost walks!'
‘Inviting Cian Davis (from Molly and the Beekeepers) to guest on the track really made it something special. I just felt the track needed another haunting vocal because the moment in the film itself -for me- is all about the many demons of alcoholism and the different lives the protagonist’s lives, the different sides of himself he feels he can or can’t show to people so it made some sense for me for there to be another vocal.’
'We did the guitar and vocal together as a live take and I think Lauren did a great job of capturing the emotion of the track. Cian had very little time with the track before we threw him in the studio but I think that fitted with the ‘raw’ nature of what Mark wanted us to capture. Lauren is very skilled at making people feel comfortable in the studio so she was the ideal producer for us to work with on something with such a short deadline and which we’d had such little time to compose together'.
Minnie's tracks will be available via her website, bandcamp and on general digital release from 13th July. https://minniebirch.bandcamp.com/