Composer and folk artist Paul Mosley is returning next week with a new album, You’re Going to Die!, looking at grief and what comes after that. Together with his Red Meat Orchestra and a few guest artists, Paul has made the kind of album that has the ability to utterly resonate with an audience. Grief is an emotion that all of us feel at some time or other and the ups and downs are portrayed here in songs that chime with truth.
The Red Meat Orchestra are a sixteen piece mixture of blues, baroque strings, woodwinds and found junk percussion and bring intelligence and creative musicianship to the songs on this album. You’re Going to Die! has an overall touch of minimalism about it that supports, rather than detracts from, the subject matter of grief. As an accomplished theatrical composer (currently creating the score for Little Angel Theatre’s new adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’), Paul knows how to tell a story through music and this is borne out here.
‘People Are Idiots’ is full of sci-fi synths and pizzicato strings creating an absolutely upbeat and jumping sound, neatly juxtaposed against the lyrics which tell a different story: “love is not winning here today” being just one example. There are many reasons as to why people might be idiots but in the case of this song at least, the truth is that when people are idiots, love does not win – an unpalatable truth for our times, perhaps?
Another favourite track is ‘The 1970’s‘, featuring Josienne Clarke and Esther Dee, The gloriously retro synths ripple over the story of driving at night as a child and the endless magic that night time holds for us, nostalgically telling us to “remember everything you feel forever”. Memories fade but often, what is left is how we felt at a given moment, rather than what we did and this track, with it’s updated 70’s sound does a great job of reminding us of this truth.
Red Meat regulars Catherine Earnshaw and Darren Allford combine on the title track, which Paul says was written after a theatre review described him as ‘The Muppets meet Tom Waits’ adding “I didn’t think it was quite true before and I really wanted to live up to that!” Muppets aside (I’ve never written this in a review before and as a Muppet fan it makes me quite happy!), ‘You’re Going to Die‘ is a serious look at the business of living: “why are we sitting here wasting all this time” is the message.
A couple of sad, slower, songs (‘A Week of Rain‘ and ‘Well Done Son‘) precede the closing track and this is when the good vibes return.
‘Because I Did Not Die Today’ takes us through what happens when indeed, we did not die today – we kept on living and for some, that’s hard. Lyrics such as “because I did not die today, I have to face the world again” show us that life can be difficult and grief makes it more so. However, the song is upbeat and jazzy and ends a sometimes sombre collection of songs with a good time vibe.
In Paul’s advice to younger musicians, he takes notice of his own advice:
“The best bit of advice I got about being a musician was third hand. The singer Sam Brown told me, after Jools Holland told her, after Fats Domino told him : ‘Remember the music business is not the music world.’ I took it to mean the music business is where you work, the music world is where you live. We don’t have to lose ourselves in other people’s ideas of what success means in order to be musicians – we are musicians regardless. It does help sometimes.
Also ‘name drop whenever you can’.”
You’re Going to Die! will be released on October 11th on Crow Collective Records. Get your copy here.
The album launch is on 15 October at The Slaughtered Lamb, Farringdon. Or if you can’t make it, follow them at:
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