Good morning, folks!
This month’s newsletter is a last-minute one again – I’ve been ridiculously busy this month (for reasons that will become apparent shortly) and neglected to write it until… well, right now. I’ll keep it short and sweet!
Part of the reason for my inability to remember what day it is comes from how I’ve spent the last two weeks – I spent 11 days in a studio with my cohorts in Ba’al, recording an absolute swathe of new music that we’ve been writing over the past few years. We had 9 songs in total, roughly 90 minutes’ worth of music, and it was A LOT to get done – a little recording secret for you: you don’t just play the part once and move on, there are so many layers and alternate takes and overdubs and other bits and pieces involved in getting it absolutely spot on. It was extremely hard work (especially with driving to and from Manchester each night, roughly 3 hours of driving per day) and I basically crashed out as soon as we were finished and went to bed at 9pm last night!
That said, the songs are sounding fantastic and I’m very happy with them so far – we’ve got some extra bits and pieces to do, and then they’ll need to be mixed and finessed to get the balance right, but I can’t wait to share them with the world!
On the comics side of things, I’ve been keeping busy as well – a couple of projects have started to take their first tentative steps, I’ve found a fantastic artist to collaborate with on one of my biggest and most ambitious stories, and pages are still rolling in at a fair clip for Brigantia Vol. 2 from the prodigiously talented Alaire. The first part of that volume has also now been coloured by the wonderful Rebecca Nalty, and it’s looking incredible!
At some point I’m going to drop one of these plates but hopefully not for a little while yet…
8 pages lettered – 4 for the Phoenix, 4 for Fractured Realms
Mostly lettering this month, I haven’t had the time to write anything (due to the reasons above) but that should hopefully change as the year progresses – nothing like getting one big project out of the door to light a fire under you!
In a first for this newsletter, I actually haven’t put together a playlist for this month – my listening was basically just Ba’al demos on repeat to get them lodged into my brain, and then relaxing ambient/electronica after each day of recording as a wind-down from all the crushingly heavy metal riffs we’d been recording! So I’ll just recommend one thing to you: an artist called 2 8 1 4 who does relaxing ambient cityscapes, kind of like a relaxed neon Blade Runner vibe. A bit synthwavey, very chilled, some lo-fi beats. Perfect writing/relaxing music!
This month marked the 50th anniversary of British horror classic The Wicker Man, and I particularly enjoyed this long-ish article about the soundtrack which remains unmatched: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jun/20/lusty-singalongs-and-brexit-portents-the-eternal-flame-of-the-wicker-man-soundtrack
It’s one of my favourite films and the music is very much part of that, so it was fascinating to read how appreciation for the soundtrack was part of keeping the movie in the public consciousness for long enough that it could be reappraised after a somewhat tepid debut. Worth your time!
That’s all from me for this month – hopefully next month’s newsletter will actually be written in advance? We can but hope!
All the best,