Meursault's <b>Neil Pennycook</b> gives us the lowdown on his band's highly anticipated second album, <i>All Creatures Will Make Merry</i>
This is a very literal song and therefore a natural choice for the opener as it's fairly representative of a lot of the album's lyrical content. With the majority of these songs I wanted to find the clearest, most direct way to communicate the themes I was interested in.
This one has been played live more than any of the rest. It was the first thing I had written that gave me a clear idea of what I wanted to do with this record. These songs have a lot more of the band on them than those on the last record and with the addition of Pete [Harvey, cello] and Phil [Quirie, guitar], they have a sense of urgency that's hard to achieve when you're recording by yourself.
All Creatures Will Make Merry... Under Pain Of Death
I'd say the main theme of the record is one of contentment – what people are willing to do to obtain it, hold on to it, and what we stand to lose or gain if we try.
This is the first of the more stripped back recordings. It starts as a sort of pledge to a loved one, a promise. The second half is about what happens when these promises don't come good and where the blame lies.
One Day This'll All Be Fields
A ghost story; the dearly departed return to take back what they left us.
What You Don't Have
This is probably one of the most upbeat songs I can ever remember writing. It's a love song. It's fairly self-explanatory.
This song was intended to be included on the Nothing Broke EP but for some reason just didn't seem to fit, maybe because the subject matter was a little too hopeful for what was a relatively gloomy disc.
Another song that's evolved fairly rapidly as a result of being played a lot live. It's the bleakest song on the record by far but was one of the most satisfying to record. It's fairly brutal towards the end.
This was done pretty much live with just Pete, Chris [Bryant, guitar] and myself, which was a new challenge in terms of how I would normally choose to record. The idea of working so closely with other musicians has been a difficult one for me as I had grown so comfortable working on my own, but I think it was worth the effort.
Song For Martin Kippenberger
We wrote a version of this song as part of a soundtrack last year. It's been trimmed down by about ten minutes since but it captures the overall feel of the album quite well. I like the idea of music being able to be really dense and orchestral and at the same time staying honest and believable. It can be a hard balance to find.
A Fair Exchange
I wrote the lyrics for this song when I was about 18, maybe younger, and I still feel it's one of the strongest things I've written. It comes from a story I once read about a monk who lived in a beautiful temple. He lived there alone and loved it dearly. Over time the temple began to age and became structurally unsound. The monk realized that he would rather live with the temple as a memory than watch it rot and decay, so he burned it to the ground.
All Creatures Will Make Merry will be available on limited release on the album launch nights at Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 7 Apr and Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh on 10 Apr.
The album will receive a general release via Song By Toad Records on 24 May.http://www.myspace.com/meursaulta701