Oh Long Long Escape Songs


This is a long-overdue update, and it isn’t good news, unfortunately. We’ve had more setbacks with production of the vinyl package – money, time, printing, etc – and as a result, we’ve had to push back the release of the LP, shirts and a few other things til July. I know, I know, it’s taken a long time to get this thing ready, but the kind of album we’ve chosen to make just isn’t particular easy to finalise. We’d like to have had the LP ready before June – when Ana goes away to Prague for a month to accept this award (she rules!) – but due to the production delays, we’ll be waiting until she’s back in July to ‘re-release’ the album. We may play a Wellington gig in the meantime; info soon.

Anyway this delay is also an opportunity for me to ‘word up’ our delicious musical product – we’ve already released the book/cd package (though we’ll be waiting for the LP before we start selling it online), but the LP package will be different, and quite lavish and intimate in its own way. The package comes with recycled, screenprinted outers and a few ‘tokens’ inside, as well as a typewritten letter with lyrics and some password-accessible online content (a ‘vault’ of demos/structures/videos/photos etc from the making of the album). When this is made available for preorder, we’ll also make available the last track from the record (‘One Way’) and return the Bandcamp page to free download status. Around this time we’ll essentially ‘re-release’ the album at a few live gigs around NZ (South island included…) and hopefully launch a music video for one of the songs. That should be interesting. Any ideas? We could record a live video of us playing at Mighty Mighty wearing sunglasses at night? That sounds pretty cool and maybe (just maybe?) the taxpayer could fund it?

Anyway, in conclusion, this delay is John Key’s fault (obviously). And it highlights the conundrum of being a non-profiting band who releases their music for free while trying to make a desirable physical item that makes people want to buy it even though they can get it for free… yuhknow? It’s a lot of tears before bedtime; I’m sure you can understand. If you wait for us, we’ll make sure these next live shows are the best ones we’ve ever done.

Also, here’s the album cover on its own:

(Image acknowledged to Steffano Webb Collection via the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ: F-10498-1/1
Photographer: Steffano Francis Webb
Group, including nurses, with laundry and other equipment, during the 1919
influenza epidemic, Christchurch.)

Here‘s a nice review from Groove Guide, by the way. Here‘s some photos of the Wellington release show by Marms. Here‘s some by Rachel Brandon.

I’m also going to take this chance to force links upon you for our various individual thingies that we work on when we’re not crying and playing Body Lyre songs: our drummer Callum’s band Spook the Horses will be releasing their debut album Brighter sometime in the next couple of months (also recorded with God-child Timothy ‘Tom Shane’ Shann). Graeme’s playing with Dan Burmester (in a band that should be called Daniel & The Burmesters, if you ask me), and he’s just released his first album here, with another coming soon. Mr Shann is still playing in Razorwyre here, but he’s also playing in The Eversons here (they’ve just released an EP and have a video coming soon). Angus is pretty much just chilling and drinking his three beers every Thursday night (probably more on the weekend too, tsk tsk); he used to play in this rad-as-hell band called The Colour of My Bones that broke up far too early into their lifespan (demos here). And I’ve just had a poem printed in the latest issue of Sport; you can order the book here (it’s a poetry/prose journal and it has lots of NZ writing including the winning entries from Unity Books’ ‘The Long and the Short of it’ competition).

Lastly, make sure you check out the Concerned Citizens exhibition at 13 Garrett st, Wellington; beginning June 4th. Ana and I will both have work in it, and the funds raised will be put towards the legal defense fund of what the media has called the ‘Uruwera 15’. Details here.

Always Watching You While You’re Asleep,





Yeah, it’s taken a while. Yeah, nothing really kept to schedule. Yeah, you’ve seen us before but we’re a six-piece now and we’ll be playing all new songs. Yeah, staying in and tweeting would be nice, but I promise that these will be some hella soulful introspective soft whiteboy rock going on at these gigs.

We’ll have the LP and book/cd for sale, and I’ll post details about mailordering these when we have them. Please bring your friends!



No End Yet


So it’s the 1st of a new year and the 12th track from Escape Songs isn’t online… well, that’s because we’re saving it for the release of the album in physical form. We’re looking at the end of February/start of March as a release date, and this last song for December will come out then. As I’ve mentioned numerous times already; the album will be coming out in three different forms –

a) book/cd combination (featuring written/visual accompaniments for each song as well as a few other bits and pieces)
b) vinyl 2xLP (also with the book and some other artwork, and in a small number of editions)
c) free download from our Bandcamp page

Right now, we’re finishing off the last song, booking release shows, compiling the artwork for the book and vinyl, and tweaking a few mixing issues on the songs that have been released already. We’ll post a link to download the remixed versions when they’re ready – basically, doing the album in this drip-fed way means that often we haven’t had a lot of time to work on the songs before they were due to be posted online, so there are just a few minor things that we’d like to change.

Anyway I think that’s it… more news when we’ve got dates for the Escape Songs release shows.


Number Eleven: Geranium


Oh hi, here’s the eleventh of twelve. Only one track left to go! This one’s short and sweet; sickly-sweet even. Yuck. It’s me on guitar and vocals and Callum on synth.

As far as planning for the release goes… last track will be out in December and then we’ll take a month adjusting a few mixing issues and practicing our live show. The release of Escape Songs will be in February and will include a few live shows with a full band… as a six-piece I think.

Anyway enjoy the track for free as usual and we’ll see you soon.


Number Ten: No Problem


Q: Problem?
A: No Problem.

Rhydian W. Thomas – vocals, guitars, bass, trumpet
Ana McGowan – vocals, cello, accordion
Callum Gay – drums, percussion

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tim Shann.

No Problem.

Number Nine: The Colonel and His Birds


Here it is – our first late track of the year, The Colonel and His Birds. This one’s a bit of an oddity; composed and recorded by me this time (it’s essentially spoken word, I guess). Mastered by Tim Shann. As for instruments, you’ll hear a little guitar, some harmonica, some bells, some plastic thing I got out of a Christmas cracker, and the birds that live in the chimney in my house. I suppose that it’s also envisioned as a bit of a segue between tracks on the greater Escape Songs album, which is something I’m thinking about more and more as the year goes on, and a bit of an ode to Pierre Schaeffer. Mixing this has been the most laborious process I’ve attempted in a long time and I’m glad it’s finally over.

Headphones might work best for this one.





First track that’s been late so far – The Colonel and his Birds will be up on Monday.