Another new Spearmint single and video!

The video for the new Spearmint single is out now:  https://youtu.be/TQSmNTwKWWY

‘St Thomas in the Darkness’ is released on 18th October and is the second single from the album ‘Are You From The Future?’, which comes out on 1st November. The song was originally conceived as an acapella piece over a quite sombre drum-beat, a bit like something the Shirelles or the Crystals would have done. That’s where the harmonies over the single chord in the verses came from. Then as usual when writing, it kept going round in my head while I was walking round town, and in my mind it started to become a disco tune, a bit ‘Heart of Glass’.

From there the one-note bass-line for the verses emerged, which I really like, and that became the centre of the arrangement.

Lyrically it’s a love song, and it’s totally literal – I don’t feel like it needs any explanation. I’m very fond of the words as they are close to my heart, but also, I really like the “When I’m weak…” and the “I’m not good with names…” sections.

We recorded the song in Brighton with our producer JB. Even during recording it veered between disco, girl-group plain-song and a more gothic direction, which we slightly backed away from in the end, but we might explore more when we play it live. We landed on a mixture of these and I think it works well. Ronan put the drums down, Jim did the bass and Si did all the harmonies.

We shot the video in the Observer Building in Hastings with director Martin Gordon. I really enjoyed how pretentious it all got, almost Hammer Horror, with us creeping round the vaults in darkness. The song is totally Spearmint, fits nicely on the album, and we’re really looking forward to playing in our live shows.

New Spearmint single out now… new album available to pre-order

The new Spearmint single ’24 Hours in A and E’ is available to buy digitally now, from all the usual places. You can hear it here.

The new album is called ‘Are You From The Future?’ and is released on 1st November (that seems like ages away, but it’s only a few weeks!). You can pre-order your CD now – if you do, you’ll get the digital single for free straight away.

News on the extremely limited vinyl version will follow in a couple of weeks’ time… and don’t forget that tickets for the London show on 14th November are on sale now too.

Here are a few of my musings on the single:

’24 Hours in A and E’ was one of the last songs written for the album. We were already well into recording when I finished it. We began making the album before the writing was finished, because I knew it would give me something to do if recording took a while. 

I had the intro (and outro) for quite a while but couldn’t figure out what should happen next. Everything I tried seemed disappointing. I was working on the main riff separately as an idea for a different song, and one day I wondered what would happen if that was what followed the intro. It worked straight away – it’s not often that happens, but it’s great when it does.

I got the vocal parts immediately. The longer string passages wrote themselves in my head as I was walking round Brighton. I don’t recommend you get this song trapped in your head by the way – it lodges itself and is painful to get rid of. The middle eight is a conscious nod to the break in our tune ‘A Trip Into Space’, which was itself reminiscent of the Style Council, which itself echoed Tanya Marie and Curtis Mayfield. Normally you get rid of those bits, but sometimes it’s fun to leave them in.

The title refers to our current life experience: somehow finding moments of joy amid sustained crisis. The two lyrical sections contrast how when things are going well, we are quite good at making things difficult, just by not communicating properly… yet often in periods of crisis, we somehow manage to find moments of real joy.

I was so proud of the song once it was finished, especially the structure, which I think is unique. I was worried that the band or our producer JB wouldn’t get it, and would want to change the structure to make it more orthodox, or not lead with the falsetto vocals. But they all got it straight away, it was a pleasure to work on, and makes the perfect opener to the new album.

Jim put the bass down and Ronan did the drums. Si and I did the vocals and Si played synth strings, which sounded really good. But we felt that it was worth trying real strings on the track, so JB introduced us to Ellie Wyatt, who did such a fabulous job of it. The final touch was the Star Trek-like boost to the vocal, which was provided by Dominique Levant. Jim did the artwork, riffing on the album sleeve, but it has me climbing into the tunnel rather than Si.

All in all, the song was a joy to be involved with, and very, very Spearmint.

All the best,

Shirl