Track-By-Track zum Debüt des britischen Pop-Duos um Josh Beech…
Dieser Tage erscheint die erste LP von BEECH. Selbst wem der Name nichts sagt, dürfte eventuell Sänger JOSH BEECH wiedererkennen: Als eines der begehrtesten Männer-Models zierte dieser bereits die Plakate und Laufstege von Burberry, Levis, Moschino, Hilfiger oder Valentino, und mit seiner Ehefrau, der amerikanischen Schauspielerin Shenae Grimes-Beech (ebenfalls im neuesten Video zu „Dance For The Money“ zu sehen), betreibt er daneben einen eigenen Modeblog. So viel zur Fashion-Welt.
Als Musiker möchte JOSH BEECH einzig große Pop-Melodien sprechen lassen, die in Zusammenarbeit mit seinem Bandkollegen OLIVER SOM entstehen. Im Interview mit POPMONITOR galt die Aufmerksamkeit deshalb voll und ganz den 11 Titeln des neuen Albums. Hier sind die exklusiven Kommentare der beiden zu den Songs von Letters Written In The Sky – wie immer im Original und komplett ungebügelt…
OLIVER: We basically rented like an apartment for like a few weeks when we made the album and we were also living there and I think it was towards the end of the album when I woke up at like three in the morning. I was bored ‘cause I couldn’t sleep so I went down to the studio, I sort of played those chords and I forgot I did it ‘cause I was half asleep. Then I accidently opened up the recording again and played it to Josh and he was like “Cool man! Put it as the intro!”. So it actually came up accidently. It just worked. We really enjoy intros and interludes and stuff on albums and that vibe just fitted. It’s all about the atmosphere.
HELL OR HIGH WATER
JOSH: That’s a song that’s pretty close to my heart. I found a penny on the floor and in England they say „Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you have good luck“. So all these lyrics started coming to my head and I was just writing them down, writing them down, writing them down. I just bought a new guitar and so I was playing some chords. Then Oli was getting really excited and that song happened so fast. We finished that in two hours. The message behind that song is everything is gonna be alright. Sometimes you hit a wall and you feel that everything is against you, but if you keep on thinking negatively, more negative things gonna happen. So this song is positive. It’s just says: I look after you, everything is gonna be fine, don’t worry! It’s all about luck. It starts pretty much as an acoustic folk song and then turns out to be a massive pop song. In the end it’s just honest. It’s honest rock pop. That’s what the whole album is about. You can put each song into a different box: There’s a bit of electronics, some indie rock, some folk, but in the end it’s just an honest and strong pop record.
DANCE FOR THE MONEY
JOSH: That’s our new single! We observed the life of some runaway strippers. We don’t know any personally but we were at our studios in Hollywood and there are a lot of strippers and hookers and stuff around there. Everybody has seen the film “Pretty Woman”. We’d see those working girls every night and at the end of the sessions it got us thinking about it. I was just thinking: “Did they choose to be that?”. Were they like “I really wanna be a stripper!” as a young girl? Or were they like “I really wanna be a dancer!” and then that didn’t work out and they fell into doing that. So it’s a fictional story with a little bit of sadness in it. I felt sad for these people. Since then we got to meet some strippers in L.A. that are in our music video and a lot of them just chose to do it and are quite happy. They do it because it’s fucking great money.
OLIVER: One thing really great about the lyrics is that it doesn’t only reflect things in a stripper context. It’s just about like in life, like about dancing for money, like everybody kind of has to dance for the money in some kind of way that they don’t enjoy. That’s definitely a part of the meaning behind that.
THE SIMPLE THINGS
JOSH: That song really sums it up. That song is really about remembering to enjoy the simple things in life and always in a new relationship. When you’re first in a relationship everything is fucking exciting and everything is great and you don’t ever want that to change. It’s just about remembering that forever because it shouldn’t be just for the first few weeks where everything is like great and you can stay in bed for four days and you don’t even know why and it’s just like everything’s so fun and you can run out in the rain and be silly. It’s just about remembering you can be like that all the time. You just need to remember to enjoy the simple things in life because they are the most important.
JOSH: We released it as a single like one year ago. That wasn’t our choice. It was just an accident I think. We had the album ready nearly a year ago but we’ve just been waiting for the right time to put it out. I think everybody agreed that it was more kind of a summer album because a lot of the songs are quite happy and we wanted to do some festivals this year. Well, you don’t have to be really intelligent to work out it’s a love song. I write all the lyrics. It’s about my personal story, about finding Shenae who’s my other half. We got married around that time and I was very happy. It’s just a good, old-fashioned love song. That’s one of the best songs.
OLIVER: It’s actually a very important song for us. That’s just one of the first songs we’ve been working on together. A milestone! The way that we started our project was I was producing and Josh was a solo artist. And then it all kind of happened by accident and we started working together as a band. That was literally the first thing we actually did together and we were like “Hey, that’s really cool!”.
JOSH: „London Riots“ is an older song from my solo career that we re-worked for the album, written on the night of the London riots a couple of years ago. It was a crazy time in London. We were both living there around that time. I was a bit shocked that the English people and Londoners in particular were reacting in such a crazy way to something that they didn’t really know anything about. So I started questioning London and how far is this gonna go. It was literally like a wave. This wave was coming and just destroying everything and I was like “Shit! Is this gonna effect my house? Is this gonna effect my mom’s house?“. So the song is a bit about those fears around that time.
OLIVER: That song used to be quite big. We used to have lots of stuff going on there. Then Josh was just sending me the vocals and we were like “Oh my gosh! That vocals!”. So we decided to cut down some elements and to put more focus on the lyrics.
JOSH: We love that song! It is our favourite on the album actually! It’s the most stripped back one. I guess it’s about being anxious and worrying too much. I’m not really a worrier. I don’t see you need to put so much energy into worrying about something when you can put all your energy into getting yourself out of that situation instead. Lying in bed with restless thoughts is the worst. Everybody hates that, don’t they? You just lay there, you can’t concentrate on anything and you’re just worrying about what’s going on. It’s the worst. Just get yourself out and look on what you actually have! Find the positive! The whole record is a bit about that. That wasn’t intentionally. It just worked out that way.
OLIVER: That’s another song that came from Josh’s solo career. It’s a nice example of how we ended up sort of collaborating. When we were in the recording process, we suddenly realised that there were no limits. Like we could use any sounds. There wasn’t just like guitars and bass drums. We could use whatever. So that was really exciting. We almost felt challenged to make this song work and to give it another sound.
JOSH: Yeah, I think I was playing that live on my solo shows for the last few years but I never really finished it and it wasn’t gonna go on the album. Then one night Oli was asking about it and we re-worked it and did that massive chorus. I was like “This is gonna be on the album!”. Then we put a bit of drums and stuff on it and it just worked. I love that song!
JOSH: That’s probably the most removed from the album personally for us. One of my really really really good friends Joe Hunt, who worked with us on the new “Dance For The Money” video, his brother died about three years ago quite suddenly. They were very close. Joe helped me out in my solo career and in BEECH and in my personal life for so many times. I always wanted to find a way to repay him. He’s also a great photographer and he’s done so much for us. When we were drunk, he always said “Write me a song man! Write me a song!”. And then one day we actually had a serious chat and I was just like: “Joe, let’s write a song together about your brother!”. But Joe is not musician so that wasn’t really gonna work. So then we decided that he was gonna write a poem and send it to me and within the poem there’d be all these thoughts about losing his brother and his best friend. Then he was gonna send it to me and I would take it into my own hands as if I was Joe and re-write it. So we did that and it was the most beautiful poem. I really wanted to make this into a song so I just worded it the way that I would say things because obviously it wouldn’t really fit on the album. And then it turned out beautifully as one of my favourites and Joe and his family were really happy. It’s nice to have this tribute to Joe and to his brother. That’s not a song that fits into our live sets. We have played it live before but on this tour we’re not doing it because we’ll be playing a lot of club nights. I think for that song it needs to be in the right mood.
OLIVER: One of my favourite things in the whole world is hearing an orchestra and all these notes that are clashing. It’s like really cool. That song is an electronic version of that. It was my idea because when you’re working with electronics the notes are so perfect. So I wanted to challenge that kind of thing and then a friend played harp on that as well. It’s a nice kind of merge of the two worlds – a merge of instruments and electronics.
LETTERS WRITTEN IN THE SKY
OLIVER: That was also the last song we wrote for the album. I think we were going for lunch and Josh was like “Hey man, let’s call the album “Letters Written In The Sky” and I was like “Okay, cool!”. We wrote the song with the title already in our heads.
JOSH: Yeah, that was a different process because we build that song around the album title. We always try to set ourselves challenges because for us writing is relatively easy. I think this song is just a perfect way to end the album.
Letters Written In The Sky
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