STALKO'S NEW ALBUM: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Ten new tracks, intimate, minimal to quite some extent and openly reflecting quite a different approach to that which fuelled Grandiloquence's lush organic warmth. A Long Wave Goodbye marks the return of Stalko, the band's sophomore release exploring a new sonic landscape where the shimmering melodies melt into the ether, pulling the listener further into its magnificently, fragile and melancholy world with each gentle note, each whispered word, each measured space. In this MikeBugeja.com exclusive, here's a track-by-track run-through in the band's own words.
1. Three Sheets to the Wind
We’re opening and closing the new album with instrumental tracks. It happened by chance really but it does add a feeling of spaciousness that is reflected both in the other songs on the album, and in our evolved approach to song-writing.
The opening track seamlessly blends into this one. This effect was something that we wanted to achieve before even writing any songs. We've always found it interesting when we heard other artists do it. The lyrics here also make a very strong vocal introduction to the album's underlying theme.
3. Find Me/Miss Me
Since we pre-produced the album ourselves, the time we had at the studio was less about making sure that we could record everything in time, and more about experimenting and getting it just right. We were happy to play around with synths, arpeggiators, drum loopers and different guitar effects, guided by our skilled producer David Vella, until we achieved the melancholy and crazy longing that defines this song.
4. A Long Wave Goodbye
The title track is about altruism, yearning desire and euphemistic betrayal and separation. A friend of mine once told me that a psychiatrist recommended that he stop listening to Noah and the Whale’s The First Days of Spring album because it was sending him into a spiralling depression. To him I would not recommend this song.
5. A Distance Over Time
This nostalgic song brings back memories of our first album. We fell into our old groove while writing this. We can actually remember it being a summer day, and we were looking out over the Valletta Harbour when we wrote this song. We managed to throw some distorted piano into the mix too, which we felt was quite unusual.
6. When It Seemed Like It Would Last (click here for a snippet)
To me, this song is about love lost and the feeling you get after parting with someone you'd been sharing your life with. Sometimes running into someone you once loved incites some painful yet raw and honest emotions.
7. The Cold When You Open Your Eyes
The shortest Stalko song - ever! The working title of this track was 'Sneaky Chris' because he (Chris) didn’t show up when we started writing it. We try to bring it up with him as often as possible.
This is about the act that become a catalyst for the Arab Spring. It started out as a story about bravery but with hindsight, was it really a spring?
We layered strings and vocals over ambient guitar sounds to create what we think is a throwback to our previous sound, while embracing the spacious and electronic elements that we'd been aiming for this time round.
10. Between You, Me, the Ocean & the Sea
We started writing this song many years ago… and in fact played it live just once, as the opening song at the launch of our first album. We're more than happy that it's ended up being the closing track of our second effort.
Stalko will be launching A Long Wave Goodbye with a live performance at The Palace Theatre, Paola on Saturday, April 9, 2016.Tickets are at €17 (with album) and €12 (without album). Click here to book your tickets.