Malcolm Middleton tells all about going electro-pop on his first album in seven years.
Summer of '13 was recorded with the help of Beta Band founder Gordon Anderson, First Aid Kit’s Scott Simpson and dance producer Miaoux Miaoux. You can read Middleton's track-by-track take on the album below, followed by an exclusive stream of the record itself.
This song was the glue and fuel that got me excited about the thought of recording an album again. It's a bit daft, but was good fun to make.
This wasn't going to be on the album but then Miaoux Miaoux added the funky, bubbling bass and I started liking it again. It was written in 2010 so I'd grown used to it. Gordon's advice to "sing from beneath your accent" was experimented with unsuccessfully here. Or maybe I was trying to sound like Gary McNuman.
This was written ages ago in a weak attempt at doing R&B. It was probably a reaction to my own preference that all my own songs need to have some meaning or value lyrically. Obviously this one doesn't. The verses were a song once, I think, and the chorus is supposed to be funny/vanilla.
This used to be a normal, dark, indie guitar song. Julian/Miaoux reinvigorated it and did all the programming, only keeping the vocals and bass from the original version. I like it and I like the way it fits on the album. It's calm and detached and modern. Like me. I like the way it doesn't sound like something I would've done.
Dour cheesy pop! The backing vocals are funny. I was imagining a young East 17 doing this one. It's all baggy-trouser-crotch-holding, slow forward foot-flicks and sincerity. Lyrically, I had an epiphany once while listening to the song "Imagine", where I took his words to be meant as literal, with a touch of sarcasm.
Cheesy indie pop! Martin John Henry makes this song with his bassline and Kim Deal vocals. Closing credits to Dawson's Creek?
A strange one. Lots of words and humour in the production.
I really wanted to sample "Not Fade Away" for this, but I couldn't make it fit. The middle is an homage to "Purity" by The God Machine.
I heard "I Was A Fool" by Tegan & Sara and wanted to write a song with a nice piano hook too. I already had words and a tune so put them together and got this. Gordon added vocoder vocals etc. His advice for this one was to take out any personal references in the lyrics, like "me" or "I" and put in a girls name somewhere and make it universal. Also to cut it by 3 minutes and put the big synth hook at the start. I didn't do that though. Ellie Goulding probably would have. And maybe they'd both be right.
My son was born in 2013 and I made this up for him when he'd nap on my shoulder, back when he was the size of a small frozen chicken. I initially had the idea to do a rock lullaby, so when the chorus kicked in the recipient would wake up with a jolt. But that would be daft, and I needed to sleep too. I like this version though, it's perfect.