‘Me by myself I’m perfectly fine’
So sings Guy in his haunting first solo, ‘Just Being Realistic’. Take a listen here:
For lots of us, we’ve had to learn over the last few months how to be alone. To not be busy. To not see friends.
On which note: we (Leo and Stephen, aka leo&hyde) saw each other for the first time in five months(!) this weekend. We were watching the first night of the outdoor touring production Three Inch Fools - they're touring A Midsummer Night's Dream around the UK. Check them out here!).
For some of us, the solitude has been strangely welcome. It's as if the constant pressure of the world to achieve, to make, to produce, was switched off. We've had some time to ourselves.
But for others, it's been a lonely time. In the song, GUY confides in us that, although he finds plenty of fun and interesting ways to spend time, he (to be realistic) wants more. He wants to meet someone.
GUY is about people meeting on the internet, and the magical feeling you get when you're chatting to someone - even if you're hundreds of miles apart - that you feel a click with. If you're feeling lonely, you don't have to meet someone in person - just the act of conversation, of a quick back-and-forth, of sharing interests, can be enough.
It's easy to make fun of online conversations as "not being the real thing". But the truth is that there are a million magical online chats happening at any one moment.
Here's one of them:
How have you spent lockdown? l&h composer Stephen Hyde has been busy preparing the GUY soundtrack for its Spotify release... and realised that there's a lot more to it than meets the ear.
It’s only when I tried to 'master' the GUY recordings that I realised that verb actually meant something.
It would be easy to think to put out a recording on Spotify, all you have to do is meet the singers, hit record, have a cuppa tea and post it to Spotify.
Turns out all sorts of other scary verbs take place along the way: “mixing”, “side-chaining”, “EQ’ing”… “bouncing”. Oh yes, these songs will have been bounced. I don’t wish to refer to me and Leo’s work as squidgy balls, but the amount of times I’ve had to bounce them, they may as well be.
Oh and they’ve been automated too. Each “track” is made up of lots of little tracks - so you might have “lead vocal”, “lead synth”, “bongo drum”, “kazoo” - and they all go together to make up the overall song. I’m a bit of a glutton for tracks. Don’t ask me how, but Click has 97 of them!
For each one you can “automate” different things like volume, reverb, cutoff - which may sound totally boring BUT you do get to construct pretty little houses made of yellow stilts (see picture above). And then, when you’re happy everything is automated, side-chained, EQ’d, cut off, filtered, limited, reverberated and spliced, you finally get to the BOUNCING. Anti-climax: that’s basically when all those little tracks are made into one little neat audio file. (Then you listen to it, realise synth no 6 has too much reverb and bongo no 10 hasn’t been side-chained… and you repeat.)
Who knew making an EP could be so fiddly?!
Click comes out on May 25th. The GUY EP comes out on June 5th.