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Homecooked: Songs From FAWM 2013

by TA Walker

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Dave Jeffery
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Dave Jeffery I always look forward to TA Walker's FAWM collections and in my opinion this one is particularly strong and the one I have played the most over the years. There is everything here in just the right amounts - humour, romance, drama, history and the disparate styles and themes go together as beautifully as the chocolates and toffees in a tin of Quality Street. I'd highly recommend it. Favorite track: An Anniversary Song (second demo).
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1.
The last tour that you played It ended last July Off-track, time to kick back Look for patterns in the sky Now the crowds call your name again From St Ives to Whitley Bay Your transport’s here, so you concentrate On remembering how to play [chorus] You’ve had your rest, it’s time to rise, get Back on the bus The road ahead, new lands that lie In wait for us Won't get there by lying here Back on the bus... Your band has pitched their camp And grass has grown beneath Guy-ropes - they've got high hopes Of a life like Mick and Keith But the bills won't pay themselves this month And your fans have waited long So the roadie's brought the Transit round And the highway starts its song You've had your rest... [bridge] The glaring lights, adoring crowds await you Your career has come to this - it's not too late to Reach for the sky
2.
Five hours’ drive from a Monday morning Leaving with the tide A vintage split-screen camper van The only wheels to ride, to... (St Ives) A haven by the sea (St Ives) A hundred galleries (St Ives) It waits for you and me In my St Ives state of mind Ambling through the tiny streets Past gift-shops, artists’ nests The seagulls’ song reminds us of The town we love the best (St Ives) Sea-breeze on my face (St Ives) Far from the rat-race (St Ives) Trawlers catching plaice In my St Ives state of mind [bridge] Fishing-boats in harbour Look out on passing ships The seagulls divebomb people’s lunch ‘Cos they love that fish-and-chips! [instrumental] From the azure waves of Carbis Bay To the Hayle estuary The clearest light in England fair Guess where I love to be (St Ives) The artists’ balconies (St Ives) Face the ocean breeze (St Ives) Picture my memories In my St Ives state of mind
3.
Trocadero - late-80s Neon lights, mirrored screens Soundtracked by Walkman I play "The Man-Machine" Step out to the dirty streets The present, unexpectedly Maybe the future Isn't what it used to be Automatic - "Metamatic" Jet-packs, flying cars The Net came from nowhere So near, yet so far A super-computer In every hand I see Maybe the future Isn't what it used to be The sky - no limit Bases on the moon Four decades - low orbit Flying nowhere soon The stars we aimed for And missed totally Maybe the future Isn't what it used to be
4.
In springtime years ago they met by the stream Paddled in the shallows, talked about the wind As days grew longer, new pastimes they would dream Meadows bloom, daisies by the score Before the war Taking walks on verdant hills, skylark song above That summer barely passed, as if it wouldn't end It felt to them the hedgerows would celebrate their love Like the larks, their insides seemed to soar Before the war [bridge] Sometimes the words get in the way Sometimes there's nothing right to say September brought the gathering storm, and cast a shadow long An argument of distant men, sweeping all before To fight and hurt for others' hate - they felt it surely wrong Still the letter came, dropping through their door And then the war [instrumental] Sometimes the words... They do their best to shield the flame, despite their time apart Pen and ink are now their tongue, for now it has to do The nights pass quiet and empty - when will they meet again? And somewhere still, the stream will ever pour - like it did Before the war
5.
Quick Song 01:48
I've got to write this quick song for you Can't guarantee a masterpiece to set the world aflame The melody and chords aren't all that new And you could've heard some other songs that maybe sound the same [chorus] But it's a quick song - it's your song Especially for you It's a quick song - it's your song And the latest... in the queue Do you mind the demo's slightly rough? I was thwarted in my attempts to book the Wrecking Crew So it's just me, this old guitar and a beatbox on my phone And for our present purposes, I hope that it will do But it's a quick song...
6.
Alaska 03:39
Then here you came, blown by north winds A winter visitor, welcome still Settled quickly in a warm nest Shielded from the Arctic chill [chorus] Whither Greenland, or Alaska Icy wings that bank and soar Shelter on our balmy marshes 'Til the cold retreats once more Go no wandering, while the blizzards Coat your distant breeding ground Take our rain- and wind-swept island For this time, to stay around Whither Greenland... [bridge] And then we'll turn one day And all we'll find A lighter mist for lighter days And next year left behind
7.
Not much good at bowling Down the gutter, every time The others get the beers in I nurse my Coke and lime [chorus] That's me in the corner at parties Wonder why I bother showing up Not quite a wow with ladies Eye-contact, distant dream Got a girlfriend with my pension That's just the way it seems That's me in the corner at parties Wonder why I bother showing up [bridge] Then one fateful night, I dropped a contact lens Crawling round a dance-floor - so this is how it ends I thought But guess who gave it back to me - she was a shy one too We'd gone to the same parties, with never the same view That's not us in the corner at parties And you know we're glad we bothered showing up that night
8.
Fiction 01:41
When a Briton asks the Met Office about tomorrow's weather When a £5 wallet from a market claims it's real leather When a politician postulates "we're all in this together" - oh Perhaps they're definitions of "fiction" When the National Enquirer swears that Elvis is alive When it's preferable to travel hopefully than to arrive When the latest manufactured star is billed as singing "live" They may be three examples of "fiction" When someone claims agreement from "the vast majority" When something that looks really cool is advertised as "free" When you hold forth with your narrow views, then claim to speak for me I heartily suspect a work of "fiction" To pass it off as truth engenders friction Yes, it fits the definition of fiction
9.
From the day that the lights came on My Oscar shortlist was down to one The statuette, the second prize To your embrace, your loving eyes Forget the Tinseltown reception I wish upon a star to be your film The critics' views don't interest me When I stay for the matinée You're the feature - me, the cartoon The "Heaven's Gate" to your "High Noon" Romance, horror or comedy Every day I want to be your film Frame by frame - you make yourself a name More and more - you get to write the score
10.
Remember the walk that we took in the spring? Lined with snowdrops The quickening year could bring anything The future in seed Winter dissolves into springtime Running to meet you Your hair like a rippling stream Through the fields Remember the hill that we climbed in the sun? Alive with daisies Stopped for the view - did time stand still For you and for me? Springtime dissolves into summer Running to catch you Your feet through the grassy waves Across the fields
11.
A Shady Spot 00:46
12.
Nearly Run 03:42
Been running for a lifetime Now the home straight's hoving into view Those muscles feel on fire These legs are running out on you A second wind awaits you When the fans prepare to cheer you home [chorus] Carry on, your race is nearly run (x3) And the time to stop is when you're done Recall the sights that passed you But don't look back until the end No time to fall to pieces Those aches will fade, that tear will mend Around this final corner Just one more spurt, and then the prize Keep on, your race is nearly run (x3) And the time to stop is when you're done
13.
A bright warm day in early spring Found us both in Cheongryangri Dressed our once-in-a-lifetime best And joined by friends and family It seemed even the cherry trees Had thought to blossom early A present for our special day Especially for you and me Eleven springs have rolled around Through rain and sun and heat and snow Still we walk this lane as one Past snowdrops bursting from below Each spring renews our memories Our garden grows a cherry tree Our daughter catches petals, as we Recall that spring in Cheongryangri
14.
See where the water and sky overlap The sea-spray and clouds become one Follow the line from horizon to shore This time tomorrow, we've gone Over the waves and far away Over the salt-crests we'll ride Away with the tide

about

The fourteen tracks in this collection were all composed and (with one exception) recorded from scratch, between 1st-28th February 2013 for that year's FAWM (February Album Writing Month) challenge. (The exception is the version of "An Anniversary Song" included here - whilst the song was written and submitted (demo 1) on the 26th February, the version here is the more "polished" second demo, recorded on 1st March as a present to my wife for our wedding anniversary the following day.)

These demos are presented here more or less in the state in which they were uploaded during the challenge period, and have not been reworked, nor have any parts been re-recorded. Considering that each song was written and recorded over an average period of two days... well, the listener can work out for themselves what this may mean!

That said, I have remixed and generally "buffed up" all the demos for this release, so they should sound generally better than the rough mixes I uploaded to the FAWM site during the challenge itself.

All the demos here were recorded mostly (and in many cases, entirely) on an iPhone 4S using the Garageband and Multitrack DAW apps (plus various instrument apps as well), with only occasional synth overdubs and mixing/mastering taking place in Logic Pro on a Mac.

I may well return to some of these songs at a later date to re-work or re-record them, but for now, here are my submissions for FAWM 2013, just as I presented them...

(If you enjoy the album, please consider giving me something for it... not least because it will increase the chances of me being able to spend more time/effort/etc on the next project - many thanks!)

credits

released March 4, 2013

Produced by T.A. Walker for Sidingsound Productions
Guitars, guitalele, guitar/keyboard/touch synths, ukulele, percussion, programming, piano, voices, vocoder - T.A. Walker
All songs written by T.A. Walker during FAWM (February Album Writing Month) 2013
Recorded and programmed by Tim on an iPhone 4S and iPod Touch (with additional synth overdubs in Logic Pro) between 1-28 February 2013
Apps (software) used: Garageband, Multitrack DAW, FunkBox, Sunrizer XS, JamUp Pro XT, Audiobus, TASCAM PCM Recorder
Extra recording and mixing by T.A. Walker @ Sidingsound, England - spring 2013 Cover photo by tim
Thanks to my family (mainly for patience), my fellow FAWM'ers and listeners, and you
Play with consideration
For Joy and Naomi xxx

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TA Walker UK

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter, often with "electronica", "lo-fi" and "prog" inclinations.

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