Track By Track: Graceful Mistake, Tomas Strode & The Tour Guides

Graceful Mistake
Image Courtesy of Tomas Strode & The Tour Guides

Melbourne six-piece indie-folk band Tomas Strode & The Tour Guides recently released their brand new album Graceful Mistake. Lead singer and songwriter Tomas Strode has taken the time to take us through the album for a very special Track by Track.

“Graceful Mistake” – The title track was one of those songs that pretty much wrote itself. During the pre-production phase of recording process I sat down to write a song that outlined all the themes on the album, and this song was what came out. The song focuses on the constant motion of time, the need to always reflect on the past and the lessons learnt with growing up. I think it introduces a more mature sound for the band.

“Bella” – This song came together while experimenting with open tunings on the guitar. It’s a pretty common story about a girl and the end of a relationship. The production on this song was a lot of fun, the choice to use handclaps and beat-boxing for the percussion really landed this song in a great space!

“A Thousand Voices” – This would definitely be one of my favourite songs on the album. When I listen to it I hear everything I wanted the album to be. The mood of this one, set by Melbourne ladies Aluka, builds slowly to a big sound in the final section. The song itself is quite an old one of mine, a reflection of love lost…

“Don’t Be Offended” – Writing this song was the first step towards the bigger production you can hear on the album. Before the lyrics or melody took shape, I had already come up with horn lines and arrangement ideas for the song. The first demo of this one was a lot heavier, with a strong rock beat and distorted guitars, when we came to record the album we decided a more delicate approach would suit the overall vibe a lot more.

“Loaded Gun” – I wrote this song as a duet for myself and fellow Melbourne singer-songwriter/bandmate Amy Alex. It’s a classic boy/girl duet really, and maybe as close to pop song as I’ll ever get! In production it didn’t seem like it was going to be a highlight, but I think once we had finished the album it had become a stand out.

“The Sword” – This track was the lead single off our album and the first taste of what was a new sound for The Tour Guides. It was written around the idea of blame and how certain events can’t ever be the responsibility of just one person. The horns in this one really add to the upbeat 70’s style production, even though it’s probably one the of darkest themed songs on the album.

“Bible Learned” – As the title might suggest, this songs tackles the idea of religion. I wrote this song quite a while ago, so when we got to the the pre-production stage it was really nice to work this onto the album. We let the arrangement for this song write itself. While in the studio we recorded a number of different takes of everything then pieced it together while mixing it. It was a real pleasure to watch it grow over the six months of recording.

“Broken Road” – This song surprised me, being the favourite of nearly every person I spoke to. I didn’t start off liking this song a whole heap, but it started to grow on me once the band pushed it for the follow up single. It was such a pleasure having the Aluka girls feature on this album, I think they really made this song special … We also have a cool little video clip for this one, you should check it out!

“Saved By The Bellé” – When it came to recording, we decided we would reinvent this song and feature it as part of the album, even though it was on our original EP The Cat & The Fiddle. It was one of the first songs I wrote as a songwriter and because of that it has stuck with me. Simply put, it’s about growing up.

“Too Busy Digging” – This one almost didn’t make it onto the album, it was problematic right from the start, I don’t think any of us had really settled on a solid idea. After piecing it together in the studio, we decided it would be a nice way to finish the album. I’ve always had a bit of a love/ hate relationship with the lyrics of this track, I think maybe because I never saw myself writing politically themed songs. It turns out, in fact, that people really love this song.

Graceful Mistake is available now via Bandcamp or iTunes.

1 Comment

  1. October 11, 2013 at 17:19

    […] “Writing this song was the first step towards the bigger production you can hear on the album. Before the lyrics or melody took shape, I had already come up with horn lines and arrangement ideas for the song. The first demo of this one was a lot heavier, with a strong rock beat and distorted guitars, when we came to record the album we decided a more delicate approach would suit the overall vibe a lot more” – Tomas Strode & The Tour Guides take us through their latest album Graceful Mistake. Track By Track here […]


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