Listen to a Micah P. Hinson track from his new split 12'' on Song, by Toad, out later this week
The Texan songwriter features on the latest release in Song, by Toad's split series, recorded at the label's Happiness Hotel base in Leith in late 2016. The release also features session tracks from Tissø Lake, Aberdeen neo-folk project Kitchen Cynics and alt-country trio Willard Grant Conspiracy, whose co-founder Robert Fisher sadly passed away last month at the age of 59. Hinson has a long history with the label, a history which Song, by Toad founder Matthew Young talks us through below.
"Micah and I have known each other ever since an interview backstage at End of the Road 2008. I was a bit of a rookie at that point, and neither particularly skilled nor particularly confident, but it went really well. I think I ended up annoying him a little with a review of an album once, but he accepted my invite to play a Song, by Toad showcase at SxSW a few years ago and we got to talking and became friends.
"This kind of thing happens in the music industry a lot: you don't see all that much of people, but over the years as you realise that neither of you has given up yet and that you still seem to like one another's way of doing things. You can slowly become friends with people based on little more than their professional output and a few chance meetings at festivals and brief conversations in green rooms.
"For this recording we still hadn't had The Happiness Hotel properly insulated, nor did we have heating installed and it was really very chilly indeed – and I was raised in Austria, so God knows what a man from Texas made of it. Between the cold and the painkillers Micah needs for his back injuries we really struggled to get a good take for ages, and I was beginning to worry about the wisdom of this whole project, but then you could see something change in his demeanour.
"Suddenly you could see his headspace shift slightly, and from then on it was effortless; we got five songs down in half an hour, with no more than two takes per song. It was magical to watch, and all the frustration Micah was feeling with himself seemed to just drop away, and that unhurried gravitas just emanated effortlessly from the performance.
"This kind of moment is what I find so rewarding about recording music for a living. Sometimes everything just clicks, and instead of thinking about being in a cold, concrete shed on a dreary winter's day in Leith you're watching something amazing happen right in front of you."
Song, by Toad Split 12'' vol 6 is out on clear orange vinyl on 24 Mar; pre–order via Song, by Toad here. Song, by Toad also host a label showcase featuring Meursault, Jonnie Common and Siobhan Wilson at The Glad Cafe, Glasgow on 23 Mar as part of BBC Radio 6 Music Festival Fringe.
Song, by Toad Split 12'' vol 6 tracklist:
Willard Grant Conspiracy – Light a Candle
Tissø Lake – When Work Is Done
Micah P. Hinson – Spaceman
Kitchen Cynics – Venus On A Buckie
Willard Grant Conspiracy – The Only Child
Tissø Lake – The Mist on the Lake
Kitchen Cynics – The Place You Hid
Micah P. Hinson – Changes (written by Paul Ochs)
Tissø Lake – I Am Like A Lake
Willard Grant Conspiracy – Eat You Alive
Kitchen Cynics – Francis Masson, Botanist
Micah P. Hinson – Everlasting Arms