In the last days of last summer, Patrick, Windom and I recorded these songs in a little church, in the sleeping heart of rural Bedfordshire.
Overseeing proceedings from behind his large, mixing desk-shaped lectern was our friend and hero Johnny Parry.
In the short time we had together, Patrick got very excited about the church's bell*, Anne-Marie Kirby stopped by and shipwrecked our hearts with her violin, and Johnny taught us how to waltz around a darkened kitchen floor.
Most of the songs were recorded completely as live**, either in the little church or in the sprawlingly beautiful cottage we were calling home. While we sang and tripped over each other's feet, Claire Harrison was back in Falmouth, designing the album's foldingly beautiful sleeve.
The last song on the album is the last song we recorded. As we reached the final verse – and despite the unrepentant atheism of more than one the preceding tracks – the heavens opened. Turn the volume up at the end and you'll hear us sitting in the pews, trying to be quieter than the rain.
Love Kieran, 21.06.2011
*Witness the opening few seconds of Hotel Esmeralda.
**Recording ‘as live’ here means recording everybody playing at once, often with little or no room to correct mistakes later. If you plan to use this phrase in conversation, it’s important to remember that there is no direct opposite to describe the much more common approach of recording one instrument at a time. The sentence ‘Yeah, I heard they locked themselves away in the studio for months, recording the whole thing as dead’ is not correct. Well, maybe if you're referring to a goth band. ;)
released August 21, 2011
The Black Maria Memorial Fund... loves you.
Performed and arranged by...
Kieran Haynes – Guitar, Vocals
Patrick Durkan – Accordion, Bass, Church Bell, Glockenspiel, Percussion (mostly
Windom Owl – Vocals
Johnny Parry – Piano
Anne-Marie Kirby – Violin
in Beds at...
All Saints Church
The Black Maria Memorial Fund loves...
Patrick, Johnny & Liz, Claire
The Haynes family
Dave & Katy, Roger & Rose, John
Dave and Martin (especially for their generosity with bass guitars)
Coline, Arnold, Stan and their families
Joe, Casimir, Jack, Deva, Cally, Zapoppin’ and all the musicians of Falmouth, UK
This record is for JR & A Cox, and JT & S Haynes
Words and music by Kieran Haynes, © 2011 Kieran Haynes
Performances recorded and produced by Johnny Parry
Art and design by Claire Harrison, © 2011 Claire Harrison
This recording © 2011 Kieran Haynes