Image Courtesy of We Are The Birdcage
Sydney duo We Are The Birdcage are currently in lock down in the studio, hard at work on their next release. But we were lucky enough to entice amanda.k – one half of the band – out into the sunshine just long enough to talk us through their wonderful EP Little Father Time for our latest Track by Track. Check out what she had to say:
“Sweet Sue” – The title of our EP Little Father Time, and our track “Sweet Sue” are references to a book by Thomas Hardy, called Jude The Obscure. I was making my way through his collection of novels last year when I was particularly struck by the writing and the story of this book. It was easily the gloomiest story I have ever read, but was written so beautifully that I was captivated by it. This style was something that I connected with immediately, as it approaches writing the same way I often do. “Sweet Sue” is a snapshot of a moment in the book, sung from Jude’s perspective. He longs for Sue, but she won’t commit. Jude has just discovered he has an illegitimate son – Little Father Time, and so is trying to do the right thing by both Sue and the boy.
“Lonely Stones” – “Lonely Stones” is my attempt at the kind of story telling found in traditional folk music. It tells the tale of a girl refusing to settle for a guy who has strung her along for too long. He has everyone fooled into thinking that he is decent, but she doesn’t buy it. I suppose in one sense it carries a fairly pensive air, but is ultimately about sticking to your instincts despite what others may think. Although she feels alone, she holds on to the hope that love will come one day. Matt and I really enjoyed recording this song. Layering the vocals and guitar right through the bridge section made it really come to life. Usually when we play this song live, we play with an acoustic and electric guitar, and belt out our vocals to hopefully have the same impact as the rhythm section has on the recording.
“Crook” – “Crook” was one of the toughest songs to get right in the studio. For the majority of the tune, the lyrics are quite cynical and dark, but then it takes a turn in the bridge and becomes more reflective; so we wanted to make sure that that really came across in the song.
Essentially “Crook” is about a difficult conversation I had – when I was really disappointed by what I was hearing, but yet for the sake of the other person, I wasn’t able to convey how I was feeling. In hindsight, that conversation saved me a lot of trouble and I learnt quite a bit about myself.
“Two Left Feet” – “Two Left Feet” is a bittersweet song about having to admit to yourself that you are flawed. It’s about owning your issues, because the alternative is often damaging to relationships and hurtful to others. The opening lyrics “Maybe it was sewn in, part of my design” acknowledges that it is within our nature to think or behave selfishly at times. The song is not meant to be self-depleting, just a humble apology. Our video was written, directed and shot by our good friend Javed Steritt, founder of Lion Says Roar. Javed made our first video clip for our single called “Up & Leave” earlier in the year.
“Much Too Small” – “Much Too Small” is another song about not always being good with words, struggling to communicate. It follows many of the same themes as our song “Two Left Feet” and both were written around the same time. The main lyrics in the chorus “So I’ll put it in a note for you, cause I should’ve learnt a thing or two” is about finding an alternative way to say what you need to when it feels too hard. In this case, writing a letter. It is potentially my favourite tune on the EP, as I was really happy with how honest Matt and my vocals sounded. There’s nothing too polished about it; it is sincere and conveys the emotions I felt when writing it.